We are told to throw off or cut away everything that hinders us, but we create space for God to do something greater. Creating space opens the door for Elisha to…
Ferociously Follow—As 2 Kings 2 opens up after months, maybe even years of training, and it is time for Elisha to take over, and for his mentor to be taken into heaven, the rumor has spread that he isn’t going to die but God is going to take him. (best retirement plan)(2,4,6) 2 Elijah said to Elisha, “Stay here; the Lord has sent me to Bethel.” But Elisha said, “As surely as the LORD lives and as you live, I will not leave you.” So they went down to Bethel. 4 Then Elijah said to him, “Stay here; the Lord has sent me to the Jericho. And he replied, “As surely as the LORD and as you live, I will not leave you.” So they went to Jericho. 6 Then Elijah said to him, “Stay here; the LORD has sent me to the Jordan. “As surely as the LORD and as you live, I will not leave you.” Three times Elijah tells Elisha to stay and three times he refuses. His commitment is tested before God commits to him a new opportunity. God knows that in every opportunity that we want there will be obstacles—he had been following for months but would he follow to the end, even when he didn’t like what was about to happen?
(8-12) 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. 9 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. 10 “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.” 11 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. 12 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.
As we face quicksand faith—times we feel stuck and stagnant—the question isn’t about having enough power to get free—it is about having enough closeness (ferociously following) Christ to embrace the freedom already gained on our behalf. We get opportunities all the time to stay where we are at rather than to follow—After a long weekend—I just want to stay put at home, or hectic schedule—I just want to stay put glued to the couch rather than on my knees in prayer. We feel powerless—when it is never a question of power but of His presence. Jesus went so far as to declare in John 10:27-28a My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they will never perish.