|“Heaven is not a reward, it is a gift.” Walter A. Henrichsen (“Walt”)
Thoughts from the Diary of a Desperate Man by Walter A Henrichsen (“Walt”)
“And Elijah said to Elisha, Tarry here, I pray you; for the Lord has sent me as far as Bethel.’ But Elisha said, ‘As the Lord lives, and as you yourself live, I will not leave you.’ So they went down to Bethel.” II Kings 2:2
It was time for God to take Elijah and his servant Elisha somehow knew that it was imminent. Three times Elijah told Elisha to remain behind while he went on, and three times Elisha disobeyed him. This narrative affords two important lessons:
First, when working with others in the cause of Christ, you must be able to distinguish between when God is testing you vis-a-vis leading you in a different direction. God tested Elisha by offering him opportunity to stay behind. Elisha, understanding that it was not the leadership of God, but a test, refused to comply. Because he refused, insisting on staying with Elijah, he received the blessing. Ruth refused to obey the entreaty of Naomi to return to Moab, and as a result received the blessing of being in the genealogy of Jesus Christ.261
Second, note that Elisha did not ask for supernatural gifts or sensational power. He didn’t request the recognition of men, but instead coveted the God of Elijah. When asked what he wanted, Elisha said, “I pray you, let me inherit a double share of your spirit.”262
These two lessons are related. You can see the heart of Elisha by the request he made. The Psalmist prayed, “Whom have I in heaven but thee? And there is nothing upon earth that I desire besides thee.”263 When you covet God you delight His heart. Such an attitude helps when you must distinguish between God leading in a different direction and a test.
261 cf. Ruth 1:6-19
Job 34-35 Acts 15:1-21 (New King James Version)
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Mark 11:24 24Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in Prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.
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