A Good Student Demonstrates Desire - II Kings 2:7-10
March 13, 2024, 8:49 AM

7. Fifty men of the company of the prophets went and stood at a distance, facing the place where Elijah and Elisha had stopped at the Jordan.  8. 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 not."

 There are many in ministry or with church responsibilities, who view their service merely as a job, and many who look at it as a calling. Elisha knew his position was a divine calling. Yet he also knew he needed to learn some things from his mentor, Elijah, to be an effective servant of God.    

What is in the heart of a person? Is it advancement? Is it performance? Is it money? Is it fame? Elisha‘s commitment at the time of his calling, included a heartfelt desire to serve passionately.    

“What is it I can do for you”, the older asks the younger. Elisha had just witnessed a miracle. He knew about the parting of the sea in the wilderness wanderings. He knew about the parting of the river Jordan when the people entered into the promised land. Now Elisha watches as Elijah takes his cloak and rolls it up, touches the river and it parts. Like those miracles of old, they walk across on dry ground.        

How do you teach someone how to do that? Never has that been taught in seminary or Sunday School class. That is only given by God as a gift.        

The student is not desiring to be better than Elijah, but rather to serve with the same zeal for the Lord. While there are skills and knowledge we can learn, abilities and gifts are given by God.

 Likewise, it is important to learn lessons in church, missions or ministry. We can learn how to teach better, use study skills to understand the Bible, how to send out cards of encouragement or make visits, but the touch of the Spirit of God on a life desiring to be used is not something to be taught. It is to be caught. There are those who learn all they can and seek to apply what they see in others as examples. In sports the athlete wants to improve their skills, but realize they have something uniquely designed by the Lord.       

Elijah saw in Elisha a desire to be all God wanted him to be. Elisha's heart desire was to have a double portion of Elijah’s spirit. That does not mean twice as much power but instead to be considered as his son who will receive his spiritual inheritance. The desire of the heart of Elisha was to have the Spirit of God like he had seen in Elijah. It wasn’t for personal advancement or envy, but to be a tool effective for the service of God.     

To learn all we can is important in any job or responsibility. To do things well and with excellence is admirable when one applies himself or herself, but spiritual desire comes when you realize God is God and you want Him more than anything else, not for what you can do, but for who He is in you. It comes not by our choice, nor by our training, but by the grace of the Lord.     

That is what Elijah tells his student. This is a gift from God. Ask for it. Desire it and let God give you what God wants to give you. Be ready and willing to receive whatever God has for you while you continue your journey with the tasks at hand. What God gives to you, do it with excellence and let Him take it from there.