Thursday, August 13, 2009

Looking For Elijah

When we first see our need for Jesus Christ, very often God places before us a mentor to gently guide us in our spiritual growth. Because we are like newborn infants, it is essential that we have someone who can feed us the “milk” of God’s Word (1Corinthians 3:1-2). In the beginning of our new life we are not ready for the solid food of God’s Truths because of our immaturity and the danger of being misled. Thus, like an infant we begin our new birth by craving “pure spiritual milk” that is fed us by spiritually mature men and women whose God-given strengths can help us grow (1Peter2:2)

There comes a time when we must take our first step of faith away from our “Elijah”. The inclination is like that of a toddler who bravely wanders a short distance from his mother, but always keeps her in his sight. If he needs her, he knows she is only a few steps away. Elisha felt this discomfort while being reminded by Elijah’s students that his master would be taken away by God (2Kings 2:3). Elisha stubbornly refused to leave Elijah’s side and followed him to the Jordan (v7). But it was not God’s intention that Elijah be Elisha’s guide forever and like the toddler who grows into maturity, it was time to be separated to further God’s plans.

Our first reaction would be to frantically search for the one upon whom we leaned so heavily. We are apt to say, “I cannot go on without Elijah. I am too weak and afraid.” But God says we must. Elisha suddenly found himself alone on the other side of the Jordan. He obviously grieved because he “took hold of his own clothes and tore them apart” (v12). But because God had granted Elisha his request for a “double portion” of Elijah’s “spirit” (v9; Deuteronomy 21:17), his strength was renewed and his commission fulfilled.

When we reach the banks of our Jordan where separation is essential to service and work for the Lord, we must no longer look for our Elijah. Rather we should cross back over and rely on God to lead us in the direction He desires (v13-14). Like Elisha who was chosen by God to follow after Elijah, we have been commissioned by Christ to give His Gospel to a starving world (Matthew 28:16-20). If we continue to hang onto the apron strings of our Elijah, the lost would remain so and we would never mature beyond the point of an infant who survives solely on milk to sustain him. We should crave solid food and desire the “double portion” God granted Elisha and apply it in faithful service to God.

Who knows? Perhaps someday you, too, will become an Elijah to a newborn infant who will then accept the "mantle" of service and bring further glory to the Lord.

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