Elisha Teaches Us Lessons

by APC on May 14, 2015
Apostolic Pentecostal Church
Elisha Teaches Us Lessons


“Elisha Teaches Us Lessons” is the second part in our Profiles on Prophets series. As an extension to last week’s lesson on Elijah, this week our focus is on his protégé: Elisha. While Elisha’s ministry pronounced judgment on people, it also showed God’s love, mercy, and tenderness toward those who served Him. We can learn many lessons from Elisha’s ministry.

No Going Back

When the prophet Elijah was instructed to find a servant to train up in the ways of the Lord, he went out to find Elisha:

So [Elijah] departed thence, and found Elisha the son of Shaphat, who was plowing with twelve yoke of oxen before him, and he with the twelfth: and Elijah passed by him, and cast his mantle upon him… And he returned back from him, and took a yoke of oxen, and slew them, and boiled their flesh with the instruments of the oxen, and gave unto the people, and they did eat. Then he arose, and went after Elijah, and ministered unto him (I Kings 19:19–21, KJV).

When Elisha was moved to follow the man of God, he decided to destroy everything that could potentially be a temptation for him to turn back. He didn’t want to have a Plan B when he started his ministry with the Lord.

When God calls us to do a work for Him, He doesn’t want us to look back to the life He’s brought us out/away from. “And Jesus said unto him, No man, having put his hand to the plough, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God” (Luke 9:62, KJV). We shouldn’t have the “spirit of Israel” within us that wants the life style before God delivered us from a life of bondage in our own Egypt.

Need for Spiritual Ambition and Hunger for God

When Elisha was called into ministry, he was not the only one serving the Lord at the time (other than his mentor, Elijah). However, he was not the “average” Christian—he was constantly seeking out more in his relationship with the Lord.

When Elijah was due to depart from the earth, Elisha had one request from the man of God.

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 (I Kings 2:9, KJV).

Elisha had an ambition to do something great in the Kingdom of God. He recognized the amazing ministry Elijah had, but he wanted something greater. He lived the truth Jesus proclaimed, when He said, “…the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do…” (John 14:12, KJV). Elisha’s had pure ministry with pure motive. He wanted to truly accomplish more for God and His Kingdom. If our motive as just as pure, we don’t have to be afraid to ask God for great things.

Elisha knew that if he walked the close to the man of God that he would experience that anointing—Elijah’s ministry would have influence on him. We need to follow the leaders that God puts in our life so when then walk, their anointing will fall upon us. We cannot drift away from ministry and from the Lord or we will not see the anointing in our ministry.

Covered with Authority

When Elijah was taken up by a whirlwind into heaven, his mantle fell to the ground. Elisha ripped of his own clothes and took up the mantle (II Kings 2:11–13). Elisha understood that the mantle was everything that Elijah was and stood for—it wasn’t just a piece of clothing! He remembered the way it felt with Elijah let it fall on his shoulder (I Kings 19:19). Elisha understood the need to be covered with authority.

He Submitted Himself

When Elijah called Elisha to ministry, Elisha rose and ministered unto him (I Kings 19:21). We do not hear much about Elisha throughout the rest of Elijah’s ministry, but we do know according to Scripture, that Elisha was Elijah’s servant. Elisha was so submitted (and committed), he was content to stay in the background and out of the limelight to learn from Elijah’s ministry.

He Followed Positive Spiritual Patterns

When the mantle fell from heaven, Elisha picked it up and walked over to the bank of the Jordan river. “And he took the mantle of Elijah that fell from him, and smote the waters, and said, Where is the LORD God of Elijah? And when he also had smitten the waters, they parted hither and thither: and Elisha went over” (II Kings 2:14, KJV). He smote the waters just like he had seen Elijah do, and he called upon the God of Elijah. He didn’t seek after a new anointing; he wanted what he had learned from and seen Elijah do.

He Allowed Himself to be Mentored

Elisha was very teachable and willing to learn from the man of God. Scripture points to references where Elisha served and followed Elijah. He was there in the background observing and learning from the teachable moments in Elijah’s ministry. Elisha knew that if he was going to grow in the Lord, he had to walk closely to and imitate the man of God. If we want to grow spiritually and in our ministry, we need to find someone who is strong in their faith and ministry and imitate them!

He Followed His Spiritual Heritage

When Elisha was anointed to do a work for the Kingdom of God, he didn’t walk around telling everyone about his call to the ministry—he just walked the walk and talked the talk. Elisha’s ministry was apparent and obvious to those around Him. It was obvious that he now wore the mantle of his mentor, Elijah. “And when the sons of the prophets which were to view at Jericho saw him, they said, The spirit of Elijah doth rest on Elisha…” (II Kings 2:15, KJV). When God calls us to the ministry we won’t need to convince people of our ministry—they will see us doing and living it.

Provision of God in the Every Day

Elisha’s miracles showed people that God works in every-day circumstances. God works in the small things, not just the big needs. God worked through Elisha to:

God wants to perform miracles that matter to us. He wants his children to turn to Him with every need and help us realize there is nothing that is impossible for Him! God will be glorified just as much in the small miracles as in the big miracles.

Lessons of Elisha

If we are to see anointing in our ministry and walk with God, we need to start applying these lessons from Elisha in our own life. We can learn much from the lessons outlined in Scripture about the child of God the Lord wants us to be. But, more importantly, we can learn what God will do in our life when we are obedient to Him.

Adapted from Wednesday Night Bible Study on May 13, 2015