How far am I willing to go with God?
Our Scripture reading comes from 2 Kings 2:9, quoting from the New King James Version: “And so it was, when they had crossed over, that Elijah said to Elisha, ‘Ask! What may I do for you, before I am taken away from you?’ Elisha said, ‘Please let a double portion of your spirit be upon me.’ ”
Great leaders are not satisfied with the status quo or content with mediocre gains. As a leader in the home and workplace, how comfortable are you in asking God for big things?
Elisha’s request prompts me to ask myself: How far am I willing to go with God? Elijah’s successor was willing to go all the way and beyond. As it relates to Christian leadership, much can be gleaned from Elisha’s request for “a double portion.”
First, Elisha’s bold request reminds me that God always has a plan for the continuance of His divine mission. Elisha asked for what the successor or inheritor was due. In asking and receiving, Elisha’s legitimate claim was established. With his master’s cloak, he immediately performed miracles in keeping with the authority of one who would speak for God.
The need for convincing, authentic leadership is as important today as it was in Elisha’s day (2 Chronicles 16:9a). Through leaders like Elisha, Asa, and Jeremiah, leaders are challenged to call on God who will reveal His plan (Jeremiah 33:3) and His way.
Second, God’s work does not cease with key personnel turnover. Moses led Israel out of captivity, but it was Joshua who led them into the Promised Land. Likewise, David had a desire for a temple dedicated to God, but it was Solomon who built it. Also, various kings before Asa did not remove idols from the land, but Asa, king of Judah “took courage and removed the abominable idols” (2 Chronicles 15:8).
We cannot put God in a box regarding the who, when, or where of His unchanging plan. As you consider Elisha’s request, does it rise up in you, as it does in me, to avoid using expressions such as “indispensable and irreplaceable” when it comes to turnover in personnel or volunteers? Completion of God’s mission is not up for grabs nor is it personality dependent. God’s mission is enduring.
We, as leaders, might consider asking Him to provide replacements that possess a “double portion” to help carry out the mission He has given us to do.
Points to Ponder
Over the next week, here are 3 points to ponder during your personal time of reflection or with a small group or mentor.
- First, What ministry, project, or relationship will you trust God to take to the next level? (Psalm 90:17; Proverbs 19:21).
- Second, What steps are you taking to equip another for the important work you are currently doing? (2 Timothy 2:2-4, 15-16).
- Third, If someone asked for a double portion of your spirit, what would they be asking for? (Ephesians 4:20-24; 5:1).