In the message “Spiritual Companions” we saw how, at the time of his greatest need, God gave Elijah a spiritual companion to share the burdens as well as the joys of ministry. I’m so glad God understands this need in His children! Elisha served as Elijah’s attendant for many years while learning the ways of God. Just before the end of Elijah’s ministry – immediately before “Elijah went up to heaven in a whirlwind” (2 Kings 2:11) – Elisha made a bold request of his mentor.
2 Kings 2:9
“Elijah said to Elisha, ‘Tell me, what can I do for you before I am taken from you?’ ‘Let me inherit a double portion of your spirit,’ Elisha replied.”
According to Jewish law, a double portion of the inheritance was given to the firstborn son. This son would also then have the honor of leading the family. By boldly asking for a double portion of Elijah’s spirit, Elisha was asking to inherit Elijah’s prophetic ministry and his ability to serve God. Elisha could have made many different requests, but he asked to be blessed with an increased ability to serve.
God granted Elisha’s request and used him to perform many miracles and serve as a prophet for more than 50 years (almost twice as long as Elijah). God granted his request because Elisha’s motives were pure; his heart was firmly set on worshiping God through his service and proclaiming His Word throughout the land.
Solomon made a similar request when God offered to grant him anything he asked; “Give your servant a discerning heart to govern Your people and to distinguish between right and wrong” (1 Kings 3:9). The primary focus of our requests should always be to draw closer to God and glorify Him in all we do. Jesus said if this is the one true desire of our heart, all our other needs will also be satisfied; “But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well” (Matthew 6:33).
Our Heavenly Father desires to abundantly bless His children as we seek His kingdom. He desires to increase our abilities, knowledge, wisdom, peace, and all manner of gifts; He desires for us to inherit these blessings as firstborn sons, “coheirs with Christ” (Romans 8:17). And when He blesses those with pure hearts, we ought to remember that He “is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine” (Ephesians 3:20).
God honors the prayers of those who love Him with all their heart and desire to increase their ability to serve. Let’s “approach the throne of grace with confidence” (Hebrews 4:16) and live our lives as firstborn sons. Let’s inherit all He has promised, and glorify His name as we boldly ask to be blessed with a double portion!
Have a Christ Centered Day!
God’s Daily Word Ministries
**** Reading Plan ****
Mar 31 Deuteronomy 16:1-17:20; Luke 9:7-27; Psalm 72:1-20; Proverbs 12:8-9