What the Past Teaches about the Future

When the sons of the prophets who were at Jericho opposite him saw him, they said, “The spirit of Elijah rests on Elisha.”
–2 Kings 2:15

What lessons did Elijah leave for Elisha in those final moments he spent with him? Both by word and example, Elijah impressed upon his protégé, Elisha, two important principles.

First of all, Elijah taught Elisha that God’s power is not limited to a particular time or place. Elijah was saying to Elisha, “I’m about to go, but nothing of God is changing at all. The same God who protected me and empowered me is going to do the same for you as well, and you can trust Him.” The same thing is true for us today. The same God who was the God of Elijah and Elisha is the same God today. Hebrews 13:8 says, “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.” And even though three thousand years have elapsed since Elijah’s life, God’s power has not atrophied one iota. He is as strong today as He was three thousand years ago. He’s strong enough to take care of you and to accomplish His purpose in your life.

Second, Elijah taught Elisha that God’s power is not limited to a particular person. Elijah and Elisha weren’t alone on this trip down memory lane in 2 Kings 2; there were other prophets, enrollees in the school of the prophets, who were following them around as well. Look at 2 Kings 2:15: “Now when the sons of the prophets who were at Jericho opposite him saw him, they said, ‘The spirit of Elijah rests on Elisha.’ And they came to meet him and bowed themselves to the ground before him.” When they saw Elisha part the waters with the mantle Elijah had left behind, they realized that the same spirit was now with Elisha. These prophets thought Elijah was the only one God could work through. Nobody could replace him–or so they thought. But when they saw Elisha perform the same miracle that Elijah had, they said, “Hey, God is working through him just like He did through Elijah.” Today, in Christian circles we tend to get caught up in the cult of personality. We say, “There will never be another . . .” fill in the blank with a name of a great Christian preacher or Christian leader. But God can work through anyone. Yes, God worked through Moses, but He also worked through his successor, Joshua. Yes, God worked through David, but God also worked through his son, Solomon. Yes, God empowered Elijah, but He also empowered Elisha. The same is true for you.

The best use of your life is to spend your life serving God and following Him faithfully. But the time will come when God will call you home, and if you have prepared a successor, if you have built a legacy that lasts, if you have successfully passed on the baton of faith to your children, your grandchildren, and your friends, then the work of God will go on long after you have departed. To live your life with the end in view requires having the right perspective.

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Today’s devotion is excerpted from “Secret #7: Living with the End in Mind” by Dr. Robert Jeffress, 2017.

Scripture taken from the NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1960,1962,1963,1968,1971,1972,1973,1975,1977,1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.

 

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