Elisha was determined to follow Elijah as far as he could for as long as he could. The two of them have just crossed the Jordan River together.
2 Kings 2:9a – “When they had crossed (the Jordan River) Elijah said to Elisha, ‘tell me what I can do for you before I am taken from you..’”
Before Jesus returned to heaven, He said to His disciples (i.e. repentant believers),
“Until now, you have not asked for anything in my name. Ask and you will receive, and your joy will be complete.” (John 16:24)
Many of us are very uncomfortable at the thought of asking Jesus for something for ourselves. Usually, we don’t even bother to ask because we don’t know our Bibles well enough to know what we can and cannot ask for and we’re afraid that if we do ask, we won’t get it. So, if we do ask, we don’t ask for much or we don’t ask for anything too specific because we don’t want to be embarrassed or disappointed when we don’t get it.
But Jesus wants us to ask just like Elijah wanted Elisha to ask. Maybe this will make it easier for us. There are five things we need to be sure of before we ask the Lord for anything.
(1) We have to know who we are.
(2) We have to know where we are.
(3) We have to know what we’re doing.
(4) We have to know what we want. Specifically, what do we actually want the Lord to give us or to do for us?
(5) We have to know why we want it? What is our motive for asking?
When we fully understand those five things, we can ask for anything in His name and know we’ll receive it just as He promised.
The Lord told Solomon to ask.
“At Gibeon the Lord appeared to Solomon during the night in a dream, and God said, ‘Ask whatever you want me to give you.’” (I Kings 3:5)
King Solomon had it pretty well sorted out.
“But I am only a little child and do not know how to carry out my duties.” (1Kings 3:7b)
(1.) Who am I? I’m just a little child who doesn’t know what he’s doing.
“Your servant is here among the people you have chosen, a great people, too numerous to count or number.” (1Kings 3:8)
(2) Where am I? I’m here among the people you have chosen and only you know how many
(3) What do I want?
“So give your servant a wise and discerning heart…to distinguish between right and wrong.” (1Kings 3:9a)
(4) What am I doing? – I’m governing your people.
“For who is able to govern this great people of yours?” (1Kings 3:9b)
(5) Why do I want this?
“Now, O Lord my God, you have made your servant king in place of my father.”
You have made me king. This was your idea, not mine.
“The Lord was pleased that Solomon had asked for this. So God said to him, ’Since you have asked for this and not for long life or wealth for yourself, nor have asked for the death of your enemies but for discernment in administering justice, I will do what you have asked. I will give you a wise and discerning heart, so that there will never have been anyone like you, nor will there ever be.’” (1Kings 3:10-12)
“I am pleased that you asked me for this.” You were thinking about my will when you made your request. You didn’t ask me to make your life easier. You ask me to help you do your job better. Because of that, I’ll give you what you asked for.
Moreover, I will give you what you have not asked for – both riches and honor – so that in your lifetime you will have no equal among kings.’” (1Kings 3:12-13)
Because you put my work first, because you were seeking the Kingdom of God first, (Matthew 6:33), I will add a lot of other things to your request. I’m going to give you things you didn’t ask for. I’m going to give you more than you could ever ask for or even imagine.
Now back in 2Kings 2:9a Elijah says to Elisha, “Tell me what I can do for you before I am taken from you.” In order for this to work, Elisha has to ask himself:
(1) Who am I? I’m your disciple, Elijah.
(2) Where am I? I’m in a hostile and unbelieving world.
(3) What am I doing? You want me to keep doing the things you’ve been doing.
(4) So what do I want? I want what I need to do this job better.
2Kings 2:9b “’Let me inherit a double portion of your spirit,’ Elisha replied.”
I’m not even half the person you are, Elijah. So I’m going to need twice as much of whatever it is you have – to make it possible for me to do what you’ve called me here to do. “Let me inherit,” (pass on to me) “a double portion of your spirit,” a double portion of the power that makes it possible to do what you have done.
We’re disciples of the Lord Jesus Christ. We live in an unbelieving world that is hostile toward the things of God. We’ve been called to preach the gospel, to be witnesses and to make disciples. Everything we ask for has to be designed to help us do that job better; help us to be more effective witnesses for Christ. If we’re only interested in making our lives easier, we probably won’t get what we’re asking for. Lord willing, we’ll take a final look at Elijah and Elisha next Tuesday. Thanks again fir being in God’s word with Pastor Buj.