Tag: elijah

Pick Up The Cloak Of Elijah

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I love to read about great men and women of God. How they touched their world with the power of the living God.

When I read the story of Charles Finney, I found myself saying, “Where’s the Lord, the God of Finney?”

Reading about Aimee Semple McPherson and Kathryn Kuhlman, my heart cried, “Where is the Lord, the God of the miracle workers?”

As I read the testimonies of A. A. Allen, Jack Coe, and Oral Roberts I asked, “Where is the Lord, the God of the tent evangelists?”

Many great men and women of God have come and gone. Though each one had feet of clay, they left their mark on their generation. God used them to touch their world with His glorious love and power.

Do you remember the story of Elijah and Elisha? Elisha, who was handpicked by God to fill Elijah’s prophetic shoes after Elijah was taken to glory, sensed the transition time was near.

Refusing to leave Elijah’s side, Elisha witnessed the following miracle.

“Then Elijah folded his cloak together and struck the water with it. The river divided, and the two of them went across on dry ground!” (2 Kings 2:8 NLT)

Elisha, understanding the enormous task awaiting him, asked Elijah for a double portion of his spirit when the time of transition came. Elijah basically said, “If you’re around when I go, you bet.”

Well, shortly after that, the chariots of fire came and whisked Elijah away, at which time the cloak Elijah had been wearing fell to the ground.

“Elisha picked up Elijah’s cloak, which had fallen when he was taken up. Then Elisha returned to the bank of the Jordan River. He struck the water with Elijah’s cloak and cried out, “Where is the Lord , the God of Elijah?” Then the river divided, and Elisha went across.” (2 Kings 2:13 – 2:14 NLT)

Elijah left behind something that connected his generation to the next. He left his cloak. Some translations refer to it as a mantle.

The mantle symbolized the calling, and the anointing that empowers such a calling.

Elisha picked it up. 

And he touched his generation with God’s Presence and Power!

God has always been concerned, not only for the present generation, but for the next one as well.

And I believe God wants us to be so connected with those older, and younger, so the mantle can be passed from one generation to the next.

Paul said, “You have heard me teach things that have been confirmed by many reliable witnesses. Now teach these truths to other trustworthy people who will be able to pass them on to others.” (2 Timothy 2:2 NLT)

David wrote, “Let each generation tell its children of your mighty acts; let them proclaim your power.” (Psalm 145:4 NLT)

Elisha picked up Elijah’s mantle. He didn’t treat is as something passé. Nor was he a carbon copy of Elijah, but he respected what God had done through his predecessor and embraced it wholeheartedly.

Remember these words of Jesus? “I tell you the truth, anyone who believes in me will do the same works I have done, and even greater works, because I am going to be with the Father.” (John 14:12 NLT)

There’s an old phrase, “We don’t need to reinvent the wheel.”

There’s another one, found in Proverbs, “Don’t cheat your neighbor by moving the ancient boundary markers set up by previous generations.” (Proverbs 22:28 NLT)

Boundary markers; territory gained through faith and hard work. Experiences and impartations which are shared to be a blessing to the next generation.

God didn’t plan on each generation digging their own wells of revelation and power. His pattern was for each generation to equip the next with the necessary tools and fire to do even greater works.

Though there are a number of reasons why it hasn’t always happened like He wanted, we can begin now to make sure we act accordingly.

How?

Don’t be afraid to pick up Elijah’s cloak.

Lord of the Flies

20131007-210521.jpgIsn’t it funny how some thoughts seem to hang around for days without you knowing why? Well, here’s something that’s been buzzing around my head for a bit.

When’s the last time you thought about flies? You know, those pesky little critters with wings and big eyes. The ones that always have to fly in front of your face, instead of staying on the far side of the room. The nasty things that are attracted to stink and rot! Yuck!

Have you thought any lately about The Lord of the Flies? Remember that old movie? When I was in seventh grade our class had to watch the 1963 version of the film.

It definitely was a strange movie!

Its storyline went something like this: during WWII, a group of young British boys were shipwrecked on an uninhabited island, without any surviving adults. They had to figure out how to survive until they could be rescued. Some of the boys felt they should establish laws to govern their new civilization, build homes, and work for the betterment of all. Others, however, decided that playing, hunting, and living without rules was what they wanted to do. So there became a split in leadership, and opposing factions were formed. Eventually, and before they could be rescued, the lawless became the hunters and hunted the other group; even to the point of murder.

The “lord of the flies” was symbolized by a wild boar’s head, placed on top of a bloody pole, with swarms of flies covering it completely, inside and out. Nice mental image, eh?

Basically, the author of the book, William Golding, was trying to say that people, left to themselves, will not get better; only worse.

I believe I see his point.

But let’s look at a different “lord of the flies” story; one from the Bible.

“One day Israel’s new king, Ahaziah, fell through the latticework of an upper room at his palace in Samaria and was seriously injured. So he sent messengers to the temple of Baal-zebub, the god of Ekron, to ask whether he would recover. But the angel of the Lord told Elijah, who was from Tishbe, “Go and confront the messengers of the king of Samaria and ask them, ‘Is there no God in Israel? Why are you going to Baal-zebub, the god of Ekron, to ask whether the king will recover? Now, therefore, this is what the Lord says: You will never leave the bed you are lying on; you will surely die.’” So Elijah went to deliver the message.” (2 Kings 1:2-4 NLT)

The city of Ekron, located about 20 miles west of Jerusalem, had their own special “god” to worship: baal-zebub, which means “lord of the fly”. Seems kind of stupid, doesn’t it? I mean, worship the god of flies? Maybe their god WAS a fly. I’m not sure, but either way, it sure doesn’t make sense.

The king of Israel was in a very bad condition. He felt as though he was dying, and he was right. So he sent his messengers to the “Fly God” to find out if he’d recover or not. (The king was trying to get the latest “buzz” on the matter-ha!) Sounds wild!

The prophet Elijah was sent by Jehovah God (the fly’s Creator) to the king’s messengers with a special word; in question form. Again, wild!

Imagine the knuckleheads who would actually seek wisdom from a Fly God! Of course, that happened somewhere around 2500 – 2800 years ago. People were a lot more stupid, more gullible, then anyone today! We’d NEVER try and talk with a fly (unless we missed a few times), or worship a Fly God!

No, we’d rather try and seek wisdom and direction from more reliable sources. Today, our society prefers to listen to whoever Oprah touts as great. Or, we may rather read the section of paper which carries the syndicated horoscope column. You know, find out what you need to know from some “nearby” planet or star!

Fortune cookies “work” for some, while others are beholden to whatever “cosmic revelation” they receive while flitting around the universe in their “mind capsule”. I’ll say it again; WILD!

The Lord’s question to the king is relevant to us today. “Why are you going to everyone and everything else for the answer you need? Why not come to Me?”

I may be wrong, but I believe the reason the king DIDN’T ask the God of Israel for an answer is because he knew he would have to change his evil, selfish, rebellious ways.

You see, flies really don’t care what you believe, what you say, what you look at on the internet, who you “sleep” with, or what you put into your body or spend your money on. Flies just don’t care about anything but food, stink, and other flies.

And that goes for OUR “replacement god’s”, as well.

If you’ve been having more conversations with flies, the television, or the horoscope columnist than with God, maybe it’s time someone asked you the question Elijah had for the king.

“Why the Fly God?”

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