Friday, August 11, 2017

How You Can Be Like Paul, Elijah, And Elisha

Elijah went up by a whirlwind into heaven. And Elisha…saw him no more. —2 Kings 2:11-12

{CHAMBERS} “It is not wrong for you to depend on your “Elijah” for as long as God gives him to you. But remember that the time will come when he must leave and will no longer be your guide and your leader, because God does not intend for him to stay. […] You have been to the Jordan over and over again with Elijah, but now you are facing it alone. There is no use in saying that you cannot go— the experience is here, and you must go. If you truly want to know whether or not God is the God your faith believes Him to be, then go through your “Jordan” alone. […] Jericho represents the place where you have seen your “Elijah” do great things. Yet when you come alone to your “Jericho,” you have a strong reluctance to take the initiative and trust in God, wanting, instead, for someone else to take it for you. […] When you come to your wits’ end and feel inclined to panic— don’t! Stand true to God and He will bring out His truth in a way that will make your life an expression of worship. Put into practice what you learned while with your “Elijah”— use his mantle and pray.”

{ELGIN}  As I was reading Chambers this morning, I could not help to think about a message I heard Dr. Howard Hendricks give in a football stadium in Colorado in 1993.  He was speaking from Ecclesiastes 4:12. “Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.”  He said that every Christian needs a Paul to build into their lives, a Barnabus to keep them accountable, and a Timothy into whose life they can build (as their Paul).  I wonder how many Christians have those three people in their lives?  Paul is like Elijah with the respect that they are someone who mentors by showing and teaching and coaching.  Martie and I have had many people like that over the years.  But the point of discipling is not to have the disciple stay by your side forever.  The point is that they would mature and then go and make disciples themselves. (Find a Timothy)  Unfortunately there is a trend in the American Christian culture to keep Christians “on the bottle” and not encourage them to strike out on their own.  Rather than come together to be recharged to continue in the battle, they come together to commiserate with each other and dream of what it might be like if they really did strike out.  Maybe they will hear someone speak about how they are striking out for God and thinking that they could never be like that.

When I speak to people about where God has taken us and how He has used us for His purpose, they marvel – well that may be a strong word.  At minimum they want to praise us for the work we have done.  I am quick to tell them that the only credit we can take is that we said “Yes” to God when He called.  We stepped out in faith.  He did the rest.  He gets the glory.  And that was the case with Paul, Elijah, and Elisha.  You can be like them … you are like them … in that you are called by God for His purpose … All you have to do is say “Yes”

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