Posts Tagged ‘Elijah’

River of Transition

“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. 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.” 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.” (2 Kings 2:8-10)

When Elijah and his successor, Elisha came to the River Jordan they were at the “River of Transition”. A change was about to take place. The Mantle of prophetic anointing is about to be shifted from the elder to the younger. How will this take place? By the careful and deliberate choice of Elijah! Notice here that the sons of the prophets were left on the other side of the River – they will have no say in the transfer of the Mantle. The transfer will occur at a place of God’s choosing and not man’s.

Asking for Double!

In seasons of transition, there are opportunities for increase! For eight long years Elisha had followed Elijah faithfully, and finally the Man of God asks Elisha what he wanted from their relationship. Elisha was bold, because he understood the value of transition. He asked for a double portion of the Spirit that was upon Elijah. Elisha wanted the anointing and authority of the Holy Spirit… in fact, he was after double. It is important to state clearly that no man can give what he does not have. Therefore, it was impossible for Elijah to give double; but it was not impossible for Elisha to receive double according to his faith in God. His faith got him just what he asked for… a double portion. And the principle seems to have been true in Elisha, because we see recorded in Scripture double the miracles done by his hand than that of Elijah. When he received the mantle, the observant followers of Elijah recognized the anointing on Elisha’s life by saying, “The spirit of Elijah doth rest on Elisha”. They saw and recognized the power of God upon the ministry of Elisha.

When you stand at the River of Transition… what do you ask for?

Jesus received His mantle at this same River!

Leaping forward… 2500 years or so. It may have been the will of God that this “mantle of anointing” to be passed from one generation to the next all the way from Moses to John the Baptist… and on to Jesus! I cannot help but believe that God was once more speaking in the river of transition. At the time of Jesus’ baptism, all righteousness was fulfilled and the Holy Spirit came as a dove and lit upon the Son of Man. The Father’s announcement is heard, “this is My Son in whom I love!” And from this very place a mantle was received and miracles began in Jesus’ ministry.

Today, Jesus is calling us to the River of Transition… Go after double!

“Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do he will do also; and greater works than these he will do, because I go to My Father.  And whatever you ask in My Name, that I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son.  If you ask anything in My Name, I will do it.” (Jn. 14:12-14)

Believe

Jesus says it best: “When you pray, believe.” (Mark 11:24)

Crisp, clear and to the point, Jesus tells us exactly how to have an effective fervent prayer life. We can create all kinds of theories and teach about the five ways to approach God or three hindrances to our answers; but the key is “FAITH”. Believe in God’s ability to do what He has said He will do! And can I suggest something here… get over the issue of sounding religious! Faith is most easily found in relationship; because it works by love, not by rituals or perfect theology (Gal 5:6).

Faith Hears in the Spirit:

Elijah said to Ahab, “Go, eat and drink, for there is the sound of a heavy rain.” (1 Kings 18:41)

This verse illustrates the confidence of the Prophet Elijah who believed God for what He had promised. I will repeat that “…for what God had promised”. The story of Elijah’s prayers holding back the rain in Israel is only climaxed by his bold confidence in proclaiming Ahab’s demise if he didn’t make haste for Jezreel. Rain is coming, because God said so… and I can hear it!

What exactly was it that Elijah heard? Nobody else seemed to hear the rain nor did they see it. The fact is, there was no indication that even one drop of rain was going to fall on any part of Israel! But faith comes out of a spiritual kind of hearing (Rom 10:17). Faith operates from a platform of putting hope in the promise of God (Heb 11:1).

Confidence:

Elijah heard the rain before it was manifest, much like we might trust our friend to send us a package in the mail. If the promise is good, then our confidence dictates our hearing. I will be looking for that package in the mailbox and praying in faith for its arrival. I’m speaking to God in prayer and speaking to others with testimony from a confident stance. “The Promise is on the way!” Its not to be hindered, not to be delayed, not to be distracted or crushed or stolen or intruded upon in any way… God has promised and I’ve heard it in my spirit.

Knowing to Pray

A little Elijah

A Little Elijah

Elijah is a powerful example of a man who knew… “Its time to pray”. I want to suggest that the reason he got answers to his prayers was not because of his eloquence, but his awareness. Elijah knew that prayer comes before the Highest Court of the Universe… God’s Heart. The prayers of a righteous man are effective prayers. This means they are heard and answered by God, because they pull upon His “fathering” nature. In fact, James tells us that Elijah was an average kind of guy, with similar passions to any of us.

“Elijah was a man just like us. He prayed earnestly that it would not rain and it did not rain on the land for three and a half years. Again he prayed and the heavens gave rain and the earth produced its crops.” (James 5:17-18)

Knowing is a Vital Key:

Do we know that we must pray to God in order to get the will of God activated in our lives? Knowing is not head knowledge, its experience in the doing of something. Knowing is the motivating factor that gets us invested, we know in order to stay in sync with reality… physical or spiritual. Elijah was a man full of conviction. His thought was not “if” prayer works, but when prayer works, get ready. How quickly do you run so you won’t get wet.

Talk with God:

Its that simple… just talk with God. The people who had lived through the drought at the Prophet’s request were unconvinced that Yahweh was indeed the only God who answers prayer; but when they saw fire fall from Heaven, there was little question who brought the goods. It was the one who prayed to the right God. These folks were out of touch with God, because they were not praying to God.

Prayer is Connection:

Prayer is as individual as we are, but it offers the connections we need to engage in relationship to the Living and Speaking God (Heb 1:1-4). We will be heard loud and clear, if we will just show up and participate. If we draw near to God in prayer, He will draw near to us with answers (James 4:8).

Pray in Faith

Just like Daddy's Hand

Promise

Jesus says it best: “When you pray, believe.” (Mark 11:24)

Crisp, clear and to the point, Jesus tells us exactly how to have an effective fervent prayer life. We can create all kinds of theories and teach about the five ways to approach God or three hindrances to our answers; but the key is “FAITH”. Believe in God’s ability to do what He has said He will do! And can I suggest something here… get over the issue of sounding religious! Faith is most easily found in relationship; because it works by love, not by rituals or perfect theology (Gal 5:6).

Faith Hears in the Spirit:

Elijah said to Ahab, “Go, eat and drink, for there is the sound of a heavy rain.” (1 Kings 18:41)

This verse illustrates the confidence of the Prophet Elijah who believed God for what He had promised. I will repeat that “…for what God had promised”. The story of Elijah’s prayers holding back the rain in Israel is only climaxed by his bold confidence in proclaiming Ahab’s demise if he didn’t make haste for Jezreel. Rain is coming, because God said so… and I can hear it!

What exactly was it that Elijah heard? Nobody else seemed to hear the rain nor did they see it. The fact is, there was no indication that even one drop of rain was going to fall on any part of Israel! But faith comes out of a spiritual kind of hearing (Rom 10:17). Faith operates from a platform of putting hope in the promise of God (Heb 11:1).

Confidence:

Elijah heard the rain before it was manifest, much like we might trust our friend to send us a package in the mail. If the promise is good, then our confidence dictates our hearing. I will be looking for that package in the mailbox and praying in faith for its arrival. I’m speaking to God in prayer and speaking to others with testimony from a confident stance. “The Promise is on the way!” Its not to be hindered, not to be delayed, not to be destracted or crushed or stolen or intruded upon in any way… God has promised and I’ve heard it in my spirit.

A Holy Partnership

“Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.” (Heb. 4:16)

Have you ever experienced a need for breakthrough? The kind where you have done all you know to do, cried out for revelation and yet continued to face a wall of opposition? I have! I’ve seen situations that have lingered for years, though I had purposed to walk in complete obedience, sought God, and even received prophetic words promising the breakthrough… yet still nothing! The Holy Spirit dropped a key in my heart one day that helped me unpack a mystery, I heard Him whisper in my inner ear… “Mercy is at the heart of breakthrough!”

As I began to study mercy a wonderful partnership began to emerge… the partnership between mercy and providence. To understand breakthrough I needed to see how mercy is tied to providence. In essence God was showing me that providence is the “Throne of Grace”. Its the place where God’s plans become our reality. That’s why the author of the book of Hebrews says, “Come Boldly!”. When we realize there is access to grace ( favor with the King), we must begin to figure out how it works… and then we must run to Him in the time of need.

Explaining Providence: 4 Defining Truths

  1. Its God’s Knowledge in Advance. God exists outside of time, knowing the end before the beginning. Jesus was the Lamb slain before the foundations of the world (Rev. 12:8) and we were chosen in Him before that foundation was established (Eph. 1:4). Our God, knows the battles, roadblocks, and stumbling stones that we will face as we walk out our destiny. He has already prepared victories and breakthroughs for us. His plan is for good, to prosper us and give us a future and a hope… peace (Jer. 29:11).
  2. The Active Governing of God. Governing is the authority to control or manage a people or nation, in order to rule in their midst. Mercy deals directly with our position in Christ. His rule and reign in our lives is literally based upon the reality that we do not get what we deserve. Scripture tells us how Jesus carries out His Lordship by governing our lives through peace (Isa. 9:7). When we cry out for mercy, we are crying out for His rule and reign in our lives. The world system, the strategies of the enemy, the circumstances of life must not be allowed to rule over us. Problems will come, but God has already met the need when we arrive. When providence and mercy, God’s governing authority is allowed to grow in us, there will be peace and Kingdom breakthrough!
  3. It is God’s Protective Covering (Glory). Its the Glory of God that was originally design to crown or clothe man at creation in the Garden of Eden (Ps. 8:5). When we cry out for mercy it pulls us under God’s protection in our lives (Ps. 91:1-2), because it pulls us into fellowship, “walking in the cool of the day with the Father” (Gen. 3:8). Rather than hiding ourselves, we are relying upon His care for us and expressing our trust in Him. We may never know what God is doing in the midst of our struggle and there may be times of stretching our faith, but we must press into God. Fear and unbelief only alienate us from God’s Presence and distance us from seeing God’s plan for good (Rom. 8:28).
  4. The Love and Care of Our Heavenly Father. Fathers exercise a balance of honor and provision. They walk in authority only to the degree that their sons and daughters honor their leadership and delight in their wisdom. Just think about the Prodigal Son (Lk 15:11-14), who stepped away from his father’s providence and could not gain access to mercy. I like to remind myself that authority is established through intimacy… that my success is hinged to the tree of life, not the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.

Elijah’s Example:

Mercy reveals God’s care, but providence establishes our needed resources… long before we even feel our need. A good example of this is when God told Elijah that He would feed him at the Brook Cherith. Elijah would have to go to where the provision was, in order to receive it! When the Brook dried up, so did the provision, which meant Elijah would need to seek God for more mercy and providence… a fresh word of breakthrough (1 Kings 17:2-8). Whatever we need to accomplish in our lives has already been established in God’s providence, because of God’s mercy!

The Apostle Paul said it this way, “and my God shall supply all of your need according to His riches in Glory in Christ Jesus” (Phil. 4:19).

God is Able:

I look back now and see that when I have cried out for mercy, for needed finances or help of any kind, that mercy and providence worked together for the promised breakthrough. I knew something about God; I know, He is faithful and just, He loves and cares for me, and He knows how to “take care” of that which concerns me. This is why I run to the Throne of Grace… to obtain mercy – to hold it as an abiding reality for breakthrough! You see I know that beyond any of my own efforts, God is able to do the extraordinary, the impossible and that which is exceedingly abundantly beyond all that I can ask or imagine. But I am also discovering that it is based upon the power that works in me (Eph. 3:20). This revelation is so powerful!

“Sow for yourselves righteousness; reap in mercy; break up your fallow ground, for its time to seek the Lord, till He comes and rains righteousness on you.” (Hosea 10:12)

We see that we have our part, -the possible, to sow in righteousness, to break up the fallow ground and to seek the Lord. But mercy is God’s part of the equation, its what causes us to reap -the impossible! I can plant a seed, water it, but only God can bring the increase (1 Cor. 3:7). We know that it is not by our power or might, but it is by God’s Spirit… that we experience our breakthroughs (Zech. 4:6). So we will contend at the Throne of Grace with a boldness that proves we trust God’s providence and desire to obtain mercy to help in our time of need.

“…So that in all things at all times, having all you need, you will abound in every good work.” (2 Cor 9:8)

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