God Provided the Spirit

Today’s Reading:  2 Kings 1-6; 2 Chronicles 21; Psalm 86

Elijah knew God was about to take him to heaven and so he asked his assistant Elisha, “Tell me what I can do for you before I am taken away.”  Without hesitation, Elisha replied, “Please let me inherit a double portion of your spirit and become your successor” (2 Kings 2:9).  In other words, I WANT WHAT YOU HAVE!  

God saw the desire of Elisha’s heart.  He saw that this request was not for his own glory or to boost his own pride, but that he wanted to live the kind of life that would make an impact on those around him.  He felt God calling him and was praying for God to richly equip him for his calling.  His prayer was very similar to the prayer of King Solomon, asking God to give him wisdom to fulfill God’s purpose in his life (king). Elisha had been watching God work in a mighty way through Elijah and he desired for God to use him in the same way.  And that is exactly what God did.

Elisha asked for a double portion of the Spirit and he was able to do miraculous things:

Just as Elijah had done, Elisha was able to part the waters of the Jordan River by striking it and walk across on dry land (2 Kings 2:14).

Elisha came to the city of Jericho, which did not have a clean water source, causing death and infertility as well as the land to be unproductive affecting their food supply.  Elisha placed salt in the water supply and healed the water, breathing new life into the town (2 Kings 2:19-21).  

Elisha heard from the Lord and told the Kings of Israel, Judah and Edom that God would provide water for their men and animals, as well as victory over the King of Moab.  By having a double portion of the Spirit, Elisha was able to enter God’s presence and hear from God.  God spoke through Elisha (2 Kings 3:15-18).

There was a widow of one of the prophets whose sons were about to be sold as slaves in order to repay her debt.  Elisha was able to take the only thing she had left, a flask of olive oil, and make it a source of income for her by filling every available jar in the village with olive oil.  By doing this, God provided for the widow and her two sons (2 Kings 4:1-7).

Elisha wanted to thank a woman who had been kind to him and provided him with a place to stay.  He inquired as to what she needed and found out that she did not have a son.  Elisha prophesied, “Next year at this time you will be holding a son in your arms,” and that is exactly what happened (2 Kings 4:8-17).

When that same boy died and his mother grieved heavily, Elisha was able to stretch himself out across the child and bring him back to life (2 Kings 4:18-35).

When poisonous fruit was mistakenly added to a stew being prepared for the prophets during a time of famine, Elisha was able to add flour to the stew and heal it so that the group would have something to eat (2 Kings 4:38-41).

During this same time of famine, Elisha was able to bless a sack of bread and have it feed a large group of people with food leftover – sounds familiar doesn’t it? (2 Kings 4:42-44)

When Naaman, the commander of the Aramean army, was struck with leprosy, Elisha instructed him to dip himself in the Jordan River seven times and Naaman was healed. Through his healing, Naaman came to believe in the one true God (2 Kings 5:1-15).

Elisha was able to retrieve a borrowed ax head that had fallen into the river by breaking a stick and throwing it in where the ax head had landed, causing it to float to the surface.  To us that may seem like a small miracle but to the man who would have been unable to repay the one from whom he had borrowed the ax head, it was huge (2 Kings 6:1-7).

Elisha was able to save the Israelite army from ambush time and time again by revealing to them where the Aramean army was waiting to attack them.  When the king sent his troops to seize Elisha, he was able to speak the word and the entire Aramean army was blinded.  At the same time, he was able to speak the word and allow his servant to see the heavenly troops and chariots of fire surrounding them to protect them from their enemy (2 Kings 6:8-18).

So what stops us from asking God for a double portion of His Spirit so that God can use us in a mighty way in the lives of those around us?  

With the Spirit in our lives, dry ground can be walked upon, water can be healed, God can be heard, needs can be provided, wombs can be filled, the dead can be raised, the hungry can be fed, the sick can be healed, the lost can be found and enemies can be defeated.  

If we are not living that kind of life, perhaps it is because we have not asked God to do those kinds of miracles around us.  Perhaps we are not living the kind of faith that expects God to move mightily ahead of us.  Or perhaps our prayer needs to start by asking God to change the desires of our heart – to send His Spirit to create in us a desire to do what God desires to do today.

I know I need a double portion of His Spirit just to make it through a full week of responsibilities, patience with others, and wisdom to make godly decisions.  I need the fruit of the Spirit (love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control) in order to make a positive difference in the lives of others. I want to do more than just survive my week.  I want to be used by God in a powerful way through the infilling of His Spirit.  

Today as we celebrate our Risen Savior, this is what I am going to ask of God – May I have a double portion please? May I have more of your Spirit than I have ever had before. Dear God, I WANT WHAT YOU HAVE!  Lord, I give you my heart and ask for you to make it beat in unison with yours.

You are my God…

I give myself to you…

You are great and perform wonderful deeds.

You alone are God.

Teach me your ways, O Lord, that I may live according to your truth!

Grant me purity of heart, so that I may honor you.  

With all my heart I will praise you, O Lord my God.

I will give glory to your name forever, for your love for me is great. – Psalm 86:2,4,10-13a