Tag: Elisha

More for us than against us!

Scripture Reading for April 11th: 2nd Kings 4-8

I enjoy spending time with my father who is 94 years old and a veteran of World War II.  He enjoys telling stories about his time in the service of our country.  He was drafted in 1941 and spent 4 years in the Army as a messenger and driver for the officers of the Third Armored Division.  He went ashore a few days after D-Day on Normandy beach and fought in the Battle of the Bulge.  He recently told me how he was driving an officer out in the front lines away from the company when he suddenly came upon a German tank.  He did a u-turn before his officer passenger could say a word and beat a path for the cover of his company.  As he topped a hill, a shell landed behind his jeep but he soon passed one of his own tanks who covered him.  These memories are still vivid for my father who knew what it was like to be in enemy territory and out-manned!

The Arameans were angry at Elisha, who was warning the king of Israel about their plans of attack.  They found out Elisha was staying at Dothan, and came at night and surrounded the city with soldiers, horses and chariots.  Elisha’s servant went out the next morning and saw the great army and came back to Elisha alarmed.  (2nd Kings 6:15)  Elisha prayed that the servant would be able to see the forces on their side and his eyes were opened to see more for them than against them!  (2nd Kings 6:16-17)

As this enemy approached, Elisha prayed that the Lord strike his enemy with blindness.  He then led this blinded army to Samaria to the king of Israel and then prayed to open their eyes.   There was more for him than against him!  Thankfully, God is no respecter of persons!   Do you need fresh vision today?  Ask the Lord to open your eyes or those of one you love!

“And Elisha prayed, “O Lord, open his eyes so he may see.”  Then the Lord opened his servant’s eyes, and he looked and saw the hills full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha. (2nd Kings 6:17)

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What can I do for you?

Scripture reading for April 10th: 2nd Kings 1-3

As the prophet Elijah was about to depart from this earth, he asked Elisha: “What can I do for you before I am taken from you?”  (2nd Kings 2:9)  The understudy wisely answered that he desired a double portion of the Spirit.  This is essentially the same question God asked Solomon a few years earlier. (1st Kings 3:5)  God gives us choices.  One of the tensions in Scripture is between our free will and God’s sovereign will.  God is sovereign but he has chosen to work with man who is made in His image.  Part of that image is the ability to make choices.

Elijah had been instructed by God to tap Elisha to take his place some ten years earlier.  Elisha was the son of a farmer.  He was plowing with 12 yokes of oxen–a big rig of that day!  (1st Kings 19:19)  He was called when Elijah threw his cloak over him.  Scripture records that he left his oxen and ran after Elijah.  Then he sacrificed his oxen, burning his plowing equipment to cook the meat and set out to follow Elijah.

As the time for Elijah’s departure drew near, Elisha had to choose to stay near his mentor.  If we are going to get all that the Lord has for us, it means we must persevere!  Elijah gave him a word of knowledge–that if he could see him when he departed, he would have what he asked for.  (2nd Kings 2:10-12)  As they walked on together, suddenly a chariot of fire and horses appeared and Elijah was taken to heaven in a whirlwind right before Elisha’s eyes!  Elisha picked up the fallen cloak and began to do greater things than his mentor!

Jesus Christ has told us to ask Him for whatever we need and He will do it.  (John 14:14)  He has given us the Holy Spirit to dwell in us and bring forth the gifts of the Spirit as they are needed to glorify the Lord.  He has told us that we will do even greater works because He has gone to the Father.  (John 14:11-14)  Ask the Lord today for what you need!  How much more will God the Father in Heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask! (Luke 11:13)

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Don’t look back!

Scripture reading for October 22nd: Luke 7-9

“Still another said, “I will follow you, Lord but first let me go back and say goodbye to my family.”  Jesus replied, “No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for service in the kingdom of God.” Luke 9:61-62

Following Jesus Christ seems to be an easy assignment at first.  It looks pretty simple and may even seem like a glamorous pursuit.  In reality, it involves some difficult choices in each individual disciple’s life.  The verse I chose from today’s reading had some interesting  effects in my own family’s life!

I made an initial commitment to follow the Lord when I was in my early teens.  I went to an altar in a small country Methodist church and prayed to receive Christ as my Lord.  But I learned little about what it meant to become a committed follower of Jesus until my late 20’s.  I had chosen to follow my father in farming and studied farm management at the university.  My wife and I were youth leaders in our church and I was a lay preacher in the Methodist church.  We were building our family and farming operation while life went on.

We had started farming by raising hogs and had built a big complex of buildings.  This had required a lot of borrowed money and sweat equity!  God broke into my busy world and renewed His call on my life to serve Him and preach His word!  We began to get out of debt and to re-order our priorities according to Scripture.  God worked with us and directed us in becoming debt-free and pursue ministry credentials through the Assemblies of God Berean School of the Bible.

As I completed my study for license, a door opened for ministry in our local church.  We spent another 5 years farming and at the same time serving as a staff pastor in a large city church.  After that time, we had clear direction to stop farming.  A little later we also tore down our hog buildings and buried the remains.  This was like Elisha burning his plow and not looking back!  (1st Kings 19:19-21)  We wouldn’t go back for anything!  If God has called you to put your hand to His plow, do it with joy!  The journey is exciting and the best is yet to come!

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“Wash and be Cleansed”

Scripture reading for April 12th: 2nd Kings 4-8

When it comes to healing and other needed miracles, most people have a tendency to think in more complicated terms.  If you traveled a great distance to a specialist and then he didn’t even look at you or talk personally with you, you would probably be upset.  If the specialist told you something to do that was common and ordinary, you would also probably be skeptical.  This is what happened in the reading for today!

Naaman was a commander in the army of Aram (Syria).  He was an important man and a valiant soldier but e had a serious illness called leprosy.  People with this disease have their skin turn white and begin to come off.  They develop very painful sores and must live separated from others to keep from spreading the disease.  Naaman had a servant girl who was an Israelite who knew of Elisha the prophet and told Naaman’s wife about this possible cure.  Naaman set out for Israel with a letter from the king of Aram to the king of Israel requesting a cure.

The king of Israel was worried that this was an impossible thing and that Aram was picking a fight.  Leprosy was not something that was easily cured.  Elisha heard about the king’s dilemma and encouraged him to send Naaman to him.  When Naaman arrived at the prophet’s residence, Elisha sent word to Naaman, “Go, wash yourself seven times in the Jordan, and your flesh will be restored and you will be cleansed.” (2nd Kings 5:10)

Naaman was furious because his expectations were not met.  He had envisioned the healing taking place a certain way and this was so easy.  Pride shows itself as anger often and this great man had some.  His servants urged Naaman to listen and obey, however, and Naaman did go and wash as the prophet said and was immediately cleansed!  Naaman returned to the prophet and tried to pay him but no pay was accepted!  (2nd Kings 5:16) The healing was a gift from the Lord demonstrating that the Lord is God!

God loves to confound the proud and cannot be put in a box.  Think about  this simple example requiring faith and ask God for that kind of obedience to the instructions you already have.  If you have a difficult problem or need healing, be open to the simple solutions God sends your way.

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More for us than against us!

Scripture Reading for April 11: 2nd Kings 4-8

Have you ever been in a situation where you felt you were outnumbered and under-equipped?  I recently spent time with my father who is 89 years old and a veteran of World War II.  He enjoys telling stories about his time in the service of our country.  He was drafted in 1941 and spent 4 years in the Army as a messenger and driver for the officers of the Third Armored Division.  He went ashore a few days after D-Day on Normandy beach and fought in the Battle of the Bulge.  He recently told me how he was driving an officer out in the front lines away from the company when he suddenly came upon a German tank.  He did a u-turn before his officer passenger could say a word and beat a path for the cover of his company.  As he topped a hill, a shell landed behind his jeep but he soon passed one of his own tanks who covered him.  These memories are still vivid for my father who knew what it was like to be in enemy territory and out-manned!  However, there were more for him than against him that day!

In today’s reading, Elisha and his men are cutting trees to enlarge the building housing the company of prophets.  Church growth brought the need for expansion then, too!  As they were cutting, the borrowed axehead flew off and fell into the water.  Elisha cut a stick, threw it into the water, and the axehead floated to the top. There was more for them than against them!

Next, the Arameans were angry at Elisha, who was warning the king of Israel about their plans of attack.  They found out Elisha was staying at Dothan, and came at night and surrounded the city with soldiers, horses and chariots.  Elisha’s servant went out the next morning and saw the great army and came back to Elisha alarmed.  (2nd Kings 6:15)  Elisha prayed that the servant would be able to see the forces on their side and his eyes were opened to see more for them than against them!  (2nd Kings 6:16-17)

As this enemy approached, Elisha prayed again to the Lord to strike his enemy with blindness and God answered.  He then led this army to Samaria to the king of Israel and then prayed to open their eyes.  God again answered!  There is more for us than against us!

A great lesson to learn today is this wonderful truth that remains true for us!  Thankfully, God is no respecter of persons!  God answers prayer and responds to faith.  Elisha, under the direction of the Spirit, could see the unseen realities of God’s power and provision.  He prayed for his servant, and the servant could see as well!  Do you need fresh vision today?  Why not ask the Lord to open your eyes!

“And Elisha prayed, “O Lord, open his eyes so he may see.”  Then the Lord opened his servant’s eyes, and he looked and saw the hills full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha. 2nd Kings 6:17

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What can I do for you?

Scripture reading for April 10th: 2nd Kings 1-3

As the prophet Elijah was about to depart from this earth, he asked Elisha: “What can I do for you before I am taken from you?”  (2nd Kings 2:9)  The understudy wisely answered that he desired a double portion of Elijah’s spirit.  This is essentially the same question God asked Solomon when he appeared to him a few years earlier. (1st Kings 3:5)  Solomon asked for wisdom to rule God’s people.  God gives us choices.  One of the tensions in Scripture is between our free will and God’s sovereign will.  God is sovereign but he has chosen to work with man who is made in His image.  Part of that image is the ability to make choices.

Elijah had been instructed by God to tap Elisha to take his place some ten years earlier.  Elisha was the son of a farmer.  He was plowing with 12 yokes of oxen–a big rig of that day!  (1st Kings 19:19)  He was called when Elijah threw his cloak over him.  Scripture records that he left his oxen and ran after Elijah.  Then he sacrificed his oxen, burning his plowing equipment to cook the meat.  He set out to follow Elijah.  Choices have consequences and rewards and often lead to more choices.

As the time for Elijah’s departure drew near, Elisha had to continually choose to stay near his mentor.  Elijah kept asking him to stay away, but he kept insisting on staying.  If we are going to get all that the Lord has for us, it means we must persevere!  Those who persevere to the end will reap a reward!  Elisha asked for the double portion of his mentor’s spirit.  Elijah could not give that himself.  It must come from the Lord.  Elijah gave him a word of knowledge–that if he could see him when he departed he would have what he asked for.  (2nd Kings 2:10-12)  As they walked on together, suddenly a chariot of fire and horses of fire appeared and Elijah was taken to heaven in a whirlwind right before Elisha’s eyes!  It was an exciting exit for the prophet Elijah and an exciting transition for the prophet Elisha as he picked up the cloak and began to do greater things than his mentor!

Jesus Christ is the Son of God and the final word from God.  He had the Spirit without measure. (John 3:34)  He has told us to ask Him for whatever we need and He will do it.  (John 14:14)  He has given us the Holy Spirit to dwell in us and bring forth the gifts of the Spirit as they are needed to glorify the Lord.  He has told us, his disciples, that we will do even greater works because He has gone to the Father.  (John 14:11-14)  Ask the Lord today for what you need!  How much more will God the Father in Heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask! (Luke 11:13)

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