This Day in History: 0000-04-24

April 24 – 2 Kings 2:1-16 

*I am only including excerpts of this passage, but you can read the whole thing here: 2 Kings 18:1-18.

When the Lord was about to take Elijah up to heaven in a whirlwind, Elijah and Elisha were traveling from Gilgal. And Elijah said to Elisha, “Stay here, for the Lord has told me to go to Bethel.”
But Elisha replied, “As surely as the Lord lives and you yourself live, I will never leave you! So they went together to Bethel…
… Elijah and Elisha stopped beside the Jordan River. Then Elijah folded his cloak together and struck the water with it. The river divided, and the two of them went across on dry ground!
When they came to the other side, Elijah said to Elisha, “Tell me what I can do for you before I am taken away.”
And Elisha replied, “Please let me inherit a double share of your spirit and become your successor.”
“You have asked a difficult thing,” Elijah replied. “If you see me when I am taken from you, then you will get your request. But if not, then you won’t.” 

Shortly after that, Elisha did see as the chariot of fire appeared and took Elijah away from this earth. As he stood there alone, Elisha picked up Elijah’s cloak, which had fallen to the ground and then turned to return the way they had already come. When he got back to the Jordan river, he struck the water with the cloak, just as Elijah had done, and cried out, “Where is the Lord, the God of Elijah?” And the river divided, just as it had done for Elijah.  

Elisha went on to live an incredible life in service of God, just as Elijah had, and the Old Testament records more miracles performed by him than any other single person by more than double! In other words, God honored his request and gave him what he had asked. 

You might be wondering where I’m going with all this. Let me end the suspense: Let’s never be afraid to ask for BIG things from God! 

When I read through the Bible I see example after example, and this is one of the best, of God honoring the courage of people who dare to ask for the impossible. I think He absolutely loves it when we come to Him believing He can do incredible things, and just straight up ask Him to do it! 

Of course, motives matter. I could also list many examples from the Bible of people asking for big things from selfish motives who were then rebuked for it. If what we want is personal glory, or a life of ease and comfort, it’s unlikely He’ll grant those requests…. and frankly, I don’t think we’d really want Him to if we understood the long-term ramifications. 

On the other hand, when our motives align with His will, and what we seek is HIS glory – well, that’s another thing! When we long to see the circumstances of our lives point people to Him, when we desire to see the people we love following Him, and when the cry of our hearts is to be used for the advancement of His eternal Kingdom, we need not hold back. We can come with boldness before His throne and ask Him to move mountains! 

Let’s not forget this truth, though, Elisha’s life was a lonely one. As was that of Elijah before him. The Bible tells us the road that leads to the things of God is a narrow one. Walking it, even in great victory and power, is lonely, and following God isn’t easy. But it. IS. WORTH. IT!!!! So let’s ask for big things!