PREPAREDJane Hamon spoke at our church recently and her message has me thinking.

She discussed scriptures in 2 Kings about Elijah leaving earth and Elisha’s request.

2 Kings 2:7-8
Fifty men from the company of the prophets went and stood at a distance, facing the place where Elijah and Elisha had stopped at the Jordan. Elijah took his cloak, rolled it up and struck the water with it. The water divided to the right and to the left, and the two of them crossed over on dry ground.

Note:  That was Elijah’s last miraculous sign.  He struck the water and divided it.

2 Kings 2:9-12
When they had crossed, 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.

“You have asked a difficult thing,” Elijah said, “yet if you see me when I am taken from you, it will be yours—otherwise, it will not.”

As they were walking along and talking together, suddenly a chariot of fire and horses of fire appeared and separated the two of them, and Elijah went up to heaven in a whirlwind.  Elisha saw this and cried out, “My father! My father! The chariots and horsemen of Israel!” And Elisha saw him no more. Then he took hold of his garment and tore it in two.

Elijah told Elisha that he had requested a difficult thing, nonetheless he was granted his request.  Jane said that God is wanting US to ask for “difficult/hard” things!  That stood out to me because how often do we forget that God’s ways are greater than we can ever hope or dream.

Ephesians 3:20-21
Now to Him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us, to Him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.

I decided to make a list of BIG things this morning.  Things that seem impossible in my own strength — hard, large, amazing!  These things were all for His glory – yet my heart’s desire too.

Jane also pointed out in verse 12 where Elisha tore his garment in two pieces, that the OLD MANTLE from the last season had to be torn before he could receive the NEW MANTLE.  That was good!

What OLD MANTLE do you need to tear apart?

Think about this.   So far in this story, Elisha was in training.  He was following Elijah around and taking notes.  He was being mentored by Elijah for a season.

Some of you may be in a season where God is preparing you.  It may seem like nothing much is taking place — as if you are wandering through the wilderness, but training and preparation is happening in the secret places.

What had to happen before Elisha could walk in the calling God had for him?   He went through a time of preparation and he had to wait for the mantle to be passed to him.

DEATH HAD TO OCCUR FIRST!  Not that Elijah died, because he was carried away in a chariot.  But it must have felt like a death to Elisha.  He called him father and cried out for him.  There was a death of the relationship they had.  Elijah was gone and Elisha was left to carry on the mantle.

What was Elisha’s first miraculous act?

2 Kings 2:13-14
Elisha then picked up Elijah’s cloak that had fallen from him and went back and stood on the bank of the Jordan. He took the cloak that had fallen from Elijah and struck the water with it. “Where now is the Lord, the God of Elijah?” he asked. When he struck the water, it divided to the right and to the left, and he crossed over.

Jane pointed out that Elisha’s first act was the same as Elijah’s last act to show that he was starting where Elijah left off.   Interesting isn’t it?

This morning as I spent some time with the Lord, it suddenly occurred to me that death had to take place before Elisha received what God had for him.  Even though in his case Elijah didn’t die physically.

As I look at the death of my parents and how it all happened, I can see God’s loving Hand within it.  Now is not the time to share some of my epiphanies, but God is good.   He sees and knows the hearts of His people.  He knows what needs to take place because He is all-seeing and all-knowing.  We often have greater hindsight than foresight, but not God.   Even in this story of Elijah and Elisha, God didn’t waste a moment of Elisha’s life before Elijah was taken away.  He was in training.  He was being prepared.

Be encouraged.  YOU are being prepared!


(Photo: recent photo of me)