“For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end. Then shall ye call upon me, and ye shall go and pray unto me, and I will hearken unto you. And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart.” (Jeremiah 29:11-13)
Elisha was a perfect example of a diligent servant and passionate seeker of the glory of God. Faithfully and diligently this man of God, in humility poured water on the hands of his master Elijah as his servant from the day he casted his mantle upon him where he was plowing with twelve yokes of oxen. (1 King 19:19)
At the long-last, when Elijah was about to be taken to heaven, several times, Elijah persuaded him to stay behind in the strategic cities where remarkable events had taken place in the history of the Israelites journeys. But Elisha resolved persistently and in perseverance he chose to follow him and said, “as the LORD liveth, and as thy soul liveth, I will not leave thee.” Please you will notice that in all the four places that Elijah told Elisha to stay behind were all remarkable places where God did miracles in the journeys of Israelites.
- Gilgal—Gilgal is the place of circumcision of the Israelites where God rolled away the reproaches of the Egyptian from the lives of the Israelites. “And it came to pass, when they had done circumcising all the people, that they abode in their places in the camp, till they were whole. And the LORD said unto Joshua, This day have I rolled away the reproach of Egypt from off you. Wherefore the name of the place is called Gilgal unto this day.” (Joshua 5:8-9)
- Bethel—Bethel is the place where Jacob experienced an open-heaven in his dream. The angels were trafficking to and from on the ladder and the Lord was above the ladder. In the place God assured him that He will bring him back to his father’s house. Jacob woke up in that morning, the stone he used as his pillow, he set it up as an altar unto God. He called place Bethel which is interpreted as the house of God. “And Jacob rose up early in the morning, and took the stone that he had put for his pillows, and set it up for a pillar, and poured oil upon the top of it. And he called the name of that place Bethel: but the name of that city was called Luz at the first.” (Genesis 28:18-19)
- Jericho—Jericho was the place of remarkable victory that Israelites experienced when God fought for His people and the well-fortified wall of Jericho fell down like a deck of cards. “So the people shouted when the priests blew with the trumpets: and it came to pass, when the people heard the sound of the trumpet, and the people shouted with a great shout, that the wall fell down flat, so that the people went up into the city, every man straight before him, and they took the city.” (Joshua 6:20)
- Jordan—Jordan was a place where the Israelites crossed the boisterous river to their inheritance on a dry ground. “And the priests that bare the ark of the covenant of the LORD stood firm on dry ground in the midst of Jordan, and all the Israelites passed over on dry ground, until all the people were passed clean over Jordan.” (Joshua 3:17)
Elisha walked diligently and faithfully with His master Elijah because he did not want to live in the remarkable past glory of rolling away of reproaches of Israelites in Gilgal. He did not want to remain in Bethel because of opened heaven alone. The victory of Israel in Jericho was awesome, but he did not want to remain in Jericho adoring the victory for ever. Crossing the Jordan to receive inheritance is good but greater was the inheritance that Elisha was looking for. Elisha knew that God had promised to do a new thing. “Behold, I will do a new thing; now it shall spring forth; shall ye not know it? I will even make a way in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert.” (Isaiah 43:19) He did not want to settle for less. He desired to experience a greater new thing in the presence of the All Sufficient Almighty God. He wanted something so precious that no one had experienced before. He did not allow any discouragement of the children of the prophets around him to distract and hinder him. He simply quieted them by saying, “Hold your peace.” Diligence and perseverance were the watchword of Elisha.
And it came to pass, when they were gone over, that Elijah said unto Elisha, Ask what I shall do for thee, before I be taken away from thee. And Elisha said, I pray thee, let a double portion of thy spirit be upon me. And he said, Thou hast asked a hard thing: nevertheless, if thou see me when I am taken from thee, it shall be so unto thee; but if not, it shall not be so. (2 Kings 2:9-10) He exhibited that God pleasing faith because the scripture says, “But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.” (Hebrews 11:6) A faithful person is the one that is diligently and patiently waiting in the Lord focusing for divinity to permeate in humanity to unfold the glory of God. Faith always see what physical eyes of humanity could not see. Elisha trusted God for a double-portion of the anointing of his Master Elijah. Faithfully his spiritual eyes was on the prize of his calling. He did not wait in vain. He saw the chariot of fire that came down to carry his Master Elijah to heaven. The mantle of Elijah that ascertained the double portion of anointing fell upon Elisha. The rest is the story of the faithfulness of God.
Diligence, perseverance and God-pleasing faith will lead us to experience the miraculous power and glory of God in the vineyard of God.
Prayer: O Merciful Father, endow me with your grace to be faithful, diligent and persevere in my humble services in your vineyard. Grant me the grace not to listen to the crowd of hindrances in order that I may maintain my focus on you. As Elisha experienced a brand new touch of God in his ministry let the power of God be made manifest in my humble services in the Lord in Jesus name, Amen.