Go mbeannai Dia duit.

About Me

My photo
Quaker by conviction, mother by default, Celticst through love, Christ follower because I once was lost but now am found...

Sunday, October 23, 2011

A Double Portion.

“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.” ~ 2Kings:2One of my very favourist stories can be found in 2nd Kings.  You probably know it.  It is one of the most dramatic in the Old Testament.

The time has come for the prophet Elijah to depart the world.  This was commonly known amongst the prophetic people.  Anyway, in those days prophets trained to be prophets under a practising prophet by becoming their servant & Elijah's servant was Elisha.

Elijah knows God is coming for him so twice he suggests Elisha leave him but this Elisha refuses to do.  He is Elijah's servant.  More, he is Elijah's designated heir to the prophetic mantle.  He is sticking with him to the end.

Finally Elijah turns to Elisha & says: Ask! What may I do for you, before I am taken away from you?”  And do you know what Elisha asks for?! A double portion!!!!  I don't know why this has always struck me with amazament but it has.  Elisha's not content to just accept the leftover scraps.  He's bold.  He says, in effect, I'll have what you have ~ & then some!

I was sharing recently, because it struck me that Elisha was onto something & so I have been praying for a double portion.  The person I was sharing with looked at me dumbfounded then said in tones of utmost horror, Don't you think that's a little greedy?

I'd never thought of it like that so I thought about it & here's what I concluded.  My heavenly father is rich.  I could ask for a hunderedfold of His spirit & it would still not even begin to drain His resources.  We are commanded to love the Lord our God with all our strength & all our might & all our soul ~ something not humanly possible.  The only way to actually obey that command is if His Spirit enables us so logically the more of His spirit we have the better able we are to love Him in the way He desires to be loved.  Thirdly, we're not shy about asking for worldly things.    You know people will tell me all the time that they are saving for this, that or the other or that they are upgrading to a newer model whether it's a house a car or a t.v set. Don't you find that just a little odd?

Here's God filling His word with promises we can claim & we fix our eyes firmly on the things of this world.  Why shouldn't we be greedy for the things of God?  Why shouldn't we desire to have as much as He is willing to gift us with? ~ & He's prepared to gift us very lavishly indeed if we just ask. 

The things of this world will pass away.  They are already going.  They rust; they mold; they plain wear out.  The things of the spirit do not perish.  Why do we not eagerly desire that which we can actually take with us into the Kingdom? 

In the Last Days the people of God are going to face terrible persecution.  If I'm around when that happens I want to be like Elisha, who finding himself heir to the mantle of Elijah, struck the water with Elijah's cloak & demanded: Where is the Lord God of Elijah?”

He did expect to be answered. ~ & he was; decisively. Yep, I want a double portion!


seekingmyLord said...

We are doing it again...although it may not be as apparent, but the underlying purpose is the same, I think.

I am still dragging my heels at working mine out, but there is forward motion.

Happy Elf Mom said...

One thing I've been impressed with in your family is your giving out. You are giving as well as receiving double portions. God bless you! :)

Sylvia said...

I don't mind the asking of double portion. But asking 'where is the Lord God of Elisha' sounds a tad bit arrogant to me and to be very honest somewhat like testing God. Why should God answer me ? Who am I to be worthy of anything that he should answer me ? He gave his son freely and the only reason I have any blessing and am saved is by pure grace. If I demand 'where is the Lord God of Elijah' or something to that effect and He answers, I may not like the way He answers, possibly not even survive it :) Am I wrong in feeling this way ?

Ganeida said...

Sylvia, I don't know. I know Elisha was under the old covenant but I also know that God doesn't seem to mind honest contention. Job argued with Him. Jacob wrestled with Him. Paul downright oppossed Him. What I see is Elisha's expectation. He asked for blessing & so he expected to be answered. IT is pride that God hates ~ Pharoh's pride. Nebechuanezzer's pride. Satan's pride. The pride that says I don't need God & sets themselves up as higher than God ~ which is not what I see Elisha doing. He has asked for blessing. According to Elijah's conditions he has recieved it & so he puts faith into action by going, ok, where are you? Just my thinks. I could be wrong. It happens. ☺

Sylvia said...

I don't know what exactly I object to when people ask the question 'where is God' and I thinking out loud here, so please bear with me.
I see wrestling with God in two ways, in the material and spirtual sense.
First the material one. I guess I am just wary of people who believe in an interventionist God pray about material things and ask the question 'where is God' if it is not answered in the way they want to. I am no angel, I have often wondered 'where is God' and 'why does he allow this' because I come from a country of extreme poverty. I cannot reconcile the idea of a loving God and poverty to the extent of people living in mud houses, sleeping on the road, begging for a living, eating from dumpsters and they look like me. My parents were not rich, but by some miracle I was educated enough and blessed enough to come to America. My life is not perfect by any means, but compared to what I have seen, everything I have is above and beyond my wildest dreams. So I have always been grateful for what I have, slightly felt guilty for it, begged, cajoled, pleaded and you can say nagged God :). But I would never presume to argue or demand with Him. He has been so wonderful and I am so undeserving, truly why I cannot imagine for I have done nothing to deserve it nor my family.
As far as wrestling with Him on the spiritual front, the idea of wrestling with God, especially one who can send fire from above scares me :(. Even if I am brave, I don't think I have the spiritual gravitas to wrestle with Him like you. I try to be the best I can, I hope I am good enough to go to heaven, but I am not sure if I will until I get there.
I have rambled on, I hope some of what I have said made sense :).

Ganeida said...

Dear, dear Sylvia. ♥ None of us are *good enough* but when we recieve Christ God in His mercy looks upon us & sees not our human imperfection but His son, Christ, manifested in us.

Everything with God is about relationship. Yes, we should hold God in holy awe ~ but Jesus also told us to address Him as Abba ~ the name a small child calls his daddy. I think this is one reason God gave us families. We begin to understand the parent child relationship ~ not perfet, sometimes fraught but still full of love. It is why we have the example of God's people in scripture. We can learn from them how they approached God.

There is not much point, really, if I am angry with God to deny that when I go to speak with Him. Better to be upfront & honest & talk it out; it's not like He's not going to understand & He's certainly big enough to deal with my human pettiness.

It is a heart attitude & I can understand your difficulties because part of God's nature is His Wrath, His holy jealousy, His anger, His justice. He also says he won't crush the broken reed ~ & that is what I see. If I approach God as his humble daughter, with expectancy & trust, we are all good. If I approach with pride & arrogance I am in all sorts of trouble. Remember Christ prophesied we would do more & greater works than He did & Joel says God's spirit will be poured out on His people & that will help bring about the heart of flesh & God writting His law on our hearts.

THe whole point of Christ's sacrific was to enable us to enter into God's presence with confidence, knowing that He wants only the best for us. It is restorative; restoring what was lost when Adam & Eve sinned in the garden.

I have not had to live with the sort of poverty you speak of but I do not blame God for that. That is the result of fallen, sinful human nature. I do think we in the west will be held accountable for our lack of compassion towards our less fortunate brothers & sisters. There is enough for all but not enough for all our greed.

Intersting discussion. You may not say much but it always begins an interesting bunny trail. ☺ God blees. Thank you for commenting!

seekingmyLord said...

Sylvia, I have pondered on many occasions why some suffer poverty and illness, and I have had both in my own life. I have a couple of thoughts on these matters that would take a few blog posts to explain in detail, but briefly I think God is not as concern about the comforts of this existence as he is in being the Lord of our heart.

The more one has, the more one is enslaved by what he has. A house requires a lot of maintenance and that is either done by the home owner or by others hired by the same. When a great deal of repair is needed, home ownership is more like the home owns the person. That being said, I am not so sure I would want to be wealthy to be enslaved by many more things.

Similar in a way, what Elisha was asking was riches in spirituality and that has so much more responsibility. We all want to be close to God...sort of. We want what God can give us and His love, of course, but surrendering ourselves in the bargain is where we tend to get a bit stingy. I think the question was more like I am ready NOW to surrender and to be your servant completely! In comparison, I think that most Christians are scared of surrender and tend to want half portions or only a taste.