II Kings 2:8-13 New King James Version (NKJV)
8 Now Elijah took his mantle, rolled it up, and struck the water; and it was divided this way and that, so that the two of them crossed over on dry ground.
9 And so it was, when they had crossed over, that Elijah said to Elisha, “Ask! What may I do for you, before I am taken away from you?” Elisha said, “Please let a double portion of your spirit be upon me.”
10 So he said, “You have asked a hard thing. Nevertheless, if you see me when I am taken from you, it shall be so for you; but if not, it shall not be so.”
11 Then it happened, as they continued on and talked, that suddenly a chariot of fire appeared with horses of fire, and separated the two of them; and Elijah went up by a whirlwind into heaven.
12 And Elisha saw it, and he cried out, “My father, my father, the chariot of Israel and its horsemen!” So he saw him no more. And he took hold of his own clothes and tore them into two pieces.
13 He also took up the mantle of Elijah that had fallen from him, and went back and stood by the bank of the Jordan.
Our world needs many things. Mostly prayer and God.
--The Holy Spirit in us, could improve everything.
--Among believers, we all should seek His fullness.
Blaise Pascal, scientist, saved; sought God's Spirit.
--Often prayed, "Lord, help me do great things as though they were little, since I do them in Your power; and do little things as though they were great, for I do them in Your name." In his day, a blessing.
--Prayer is power! Pray for more of God's Spirit.
II Kings 2 is about two men, who had God's Spirit.
--Elijah said to Elisha, "What may I do for you before I am taken away? Ask!" (v 9). What would we ask?
--Elisha replied, "Please let a double portion of your spirit be on me." It was an unselfish prayer.
--He wanted more of the Holy Spirit of Almighty God.
--Not for his own sake. But to bless others!
--He shows the world that anyone may ask; can get it.
In I Kings 3:5, God gave that request to Solomon.
--"Ask what I shall give you." He asked for wisdom.
--Got much more than wisdom. God says, "Call to Me".
--It is calling in faith, and obedience, who get it.
Back then those were tough times too. Lots of sin.
--Among people and leaders, who should be examples.
--They needed more of God. And more of His Spirit.
--What may we learn from these two outstanding men?
Elijah's name means "God is Jehovah." God's prophet.
--John the Baptist was a bit like him. Both won many.
--Both in deserts. Both wore camel hair garments.
--Both "Preached repentance." That we need more of.
--Elijah stood against the evil prophets of Baal.
--Asked, "Who is on the Lord's side? If God be God, follow Him. How long will you falter, between two opinions?" (I Kings 18). Many were converted.
Elijah is one of only two, he and Enoch, who went to heaven, without dying - as the living, when our Risen Lord comes again. Let's get more of God's Spirit!
We do not know what a day brings, or our end may be.
--There is "a time to be born; a time to die" (Ecclesiastes 3:2). So let's be ready. Elijah was.
--But he did not die, He was translated to heaven, in a "chariot of fire .. by a whirlwind," II Kings 2:11.
Next we read of Elijah is in Matthew 17:3, when he and Moses appeared with Jesus, discussing His cross.
--In heaven they know what was going on, for Jesus.
--Peter and John recognized them. So will we.
--Indeed, Elijah was a Spirit-filled man of God.
Now, let's meet Elisha. His name, "God is salvation."
--Elijah met young Elisha, plowing in a field.
--Called him to follow him to a prophet's school.
--Years later was asked, "What shall I do for you?"
--He replied, "Let a double portion of your spirit be upon me" (v 9). He could have asked many things.
--Elisha had seen what God's Spirit does in lives.
What is the Holy Spirit, I'm often asked.
--The Holy Spirit is God, third Person of the Trinity.
--Father, in heaven. Son, Jesus, of the cross.
--He Who "died for our sins," and "arose" alive.
--He proved it for forty days. Ascended into heaven.
--Jesus sent the Holy Spirit into the world. To us.
--The Trinity, all Three, are One, True, Living God!
--Together, as a triangle, within a circle.
--My friend, we need the ministry of all the Trinity.
In Person Jesus could be one place as the sky's sun.
--The Spirit can be everywhere, like the sun's rays.
--The Spirit is power and wisdom we need over evil.
--In John 16 Jesus tells what the Spirit is and does.
--Our "teacher of truth .. guide you in all truth."
--"He will convict the world of sin, righteousness, of judgment" (John 16:8). We can't; the Spirit can!
--He came at Pentecost, Acts 2, in miraculous ways.
--To save three thousand! Baptized into Jesus.
How do we get the Holy Spirit? Be "born again."
--How are we "born again"? Believe in Jesus (John 3).
--The Spirit indwells every believer in Him.
--His infilling comes as we each grow in the Lord.
--As we feed our souls on the Lord, and His Word.
--As we pray and worship, and live a godly life.
--God says, "Be filled with the Spirit" (Eph. 5:18).
--"Let a double portion of your spirit be on me."
The Holy Spirit is like the heavenly dove, at the baptism of Jesus. A dove has no gall, or bitterness.
--Never do we read of the wrath of the Holy Spirit.
We may "grieve the Spirit" (Ephesians 4:30).
--Even "quench the Spirit" (I Thess. 5:19).
--But are to seek the "gifts of the Spirit" (I Cor 12).
The Spirit continues what Jesus commences!
On beautiful Princes Street in Edinburgh, across from our hotel, is a huge monument of Sir Walter Scott.
--You've read his books. He was a strong Christian.
--He tells of throwing a stone toward a stray dog.
--It hit the dog. Injured the animal. He felt bad.
--Instead of running away, the dog limped to him!
--It began to lick his hand! Showed its forgiveness!
--Imagine, a dog, loving and forgiving one who hurt it.
--Sir Walter Scott wrote, "that dog preached a sermon to me as few ministers ever have." Forgiveness!
My friend, Jesus is like that! We hurt Him.
--Sin against Him. But Jesus comes, offers His grace.
--Grants His forgiveness. Comes "to seek and save."
Note verse 10, Elijah said, "You ask a hard thing."
--Sure is. Hard to always "walk in the Spirit."
--Or always go God's way. Jesus, "tempted, as we."
--Our old flesh is weak. Why He sent the Spirit!
--In His Spirit, Word, and prayer, we can prevail!
How can we get all this? Only from the Lord God.
--"Be born again" Jesus told Nicodemus. All of us.
--Every "born again" believer receives His Spirit.
It only takes a little water to indwell a glass.
--But its infilling - like "a double portion" -takes an overflowing, with a "cup that runneth over."
Often people try everything else before Jesus Christ.
--They try the ways of the world. Often wrong ways.
--They feel sin brings happiness. Often it is regrets.
--We truly break God's commands, Break some hearts.
--Rather breaking His commands really breaks us.
--Brings us tears. Disappointments. Heartaches.
--The flesh is weak. Needs Christ. The Holy Spirit.
--The beautiful thing, forgiveness is a prayer away.
The true end of life is God's life that has no end.
--With the Spirit's power to overcome temptation.
--The only religion .. or Savior .. who died for us.
--The sinless One for sinners. And rose again alive!
--Who said, "Because I live, you shall live also."
--Who sent the Holy Spirit to us in Pentecost power.
We need the Spirit. Helps us return "good for evil."
--Helps us make, and keep, peace in hearts and homes.
--Helps us make friends, even of enemies. Show love.
--Helps us be giving. Forgiving. Living His life.
You ask, Was Elisha's prayer answered? It sure was.
--He got a "double portion .. of God's Spirit."
--How do we know? He did double Elijah's miracles!
I know that some may say, "These are great prophets."
--Then, add, "We can't do all they did, today!"
--That's right, we cannot. But we all can do better!
--We can try harder. Live more godly. Prayerfully.
People say, "I know some unsaved and unchurched, that live better than some church folks they know."
--They use it as an excuse for avoiding church.
--That may very well be true, sad to say.
--But at least the church folks attend, if able.
--In the right place. They are trying. Being fed.
--They are making a start, and that is commendable.
Sure, we all live below what Jesus wants. We may sin.
--We may fall and fail. Have our hurts and doubts.
--But we don't have to stay there! Get back to God!
--To the Lord Jesus. Be filled with "the Spirit."
--He is always available. Ready, and able to assist.
--Don't hesitate to come to the Lord.
--Ask for His Holy Spirit. Even a "double portion."
--We all need it.
Wilbert D. Gough, ThD., DD. 764