“As the Lord lives and as you yourself live, I will not leave you”
There are relationships in life that are orchestrated by God Himself. The relationship of Elijah with Elisha was one of those. It was a bond shared between a spiritual son and father in the faith over 20 years. There was a specific purpose God intended for this relationship: the younger was to succeed the older.
Like many promises, the one God made to Elisha, to be Elijah’s successor, was conditional. Elisha could have refused the call when first invited (Kgs.19). He had plenty of time to walk away because the cost of ministering to this confrontational prophet was just too high (2 Kgs.1). Whether or not the protégé would ever step into the fullness of his calling was based on his desire, determination and devotion. We can hear this in Elisha’s reply to Elijah’s directive to remain behind in 2 Kings 2, “As the Lord lives and as you yourself live, I will not leave you.”
Elisha knew the day of his master’s departure was near. And he knew precisely what he wanted before they were separated – a double portion of the spirit that rested upon Elijah. Elisha would not be discouraged, though he served Elijah for many years. He would not be denied when his mentor told him to stay behind while he went on without him. He would not be dissuaded when his peers tried to discourage him. And he wasn’t defiant when he refused to remain behind. He was hungry for more of what he had seen and experienced walking with his spiritual father.
It has been said, “Salvation costs you nothing, but discipleship (following) will cost you everything.” One of the characteristics I look for in young people who are preparing for a life of ministry is DESIRE. A passion that burns so strong they are willing to sacrifice – pay a high price – to obtain what they know is available. Elijah was told the double portion he asked for was a “hard thing.” The cost was remaining faithful until the appointed time of transition. He did, and he was rewarded with the double.
We are constantly living in a state of transition. Previous generations are passing along knowledge, wisdom and experience to the succeeding generation. The key to successful transitions, particularly in ministry, is relationships that are intentional, have been tested, and endure. Seasoned fathers in the faith should be looking for spiritual sons. Young men (and women) in ministry should be pursuing spiritual fathers or mothers. God has divine connections for us if we will ask and expect to find them.
Who has the LORD connected you with in a relationship?
What purpose does God have for this connection?
Do you recognize them as a spiritual father/mother; son/daughter?
How will you be responsible (respond) to this person?
“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.” Jesus