Elisha Teaches Us Lessons

Thursday, May 14th, 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

Mistakes that Come from Victory

Thursday, May 7th, 2015
Apostolic Pentecostal Church
Mistakes that Come from Victory


“Mistakes the Come from Victory” is the first part in a new Profiles on Profits series focusing on the story of the prophet Elijah. Of all Israel’s prophets, Elijah was mentioned more than any other prophet in the Bible. He was known for his confrontational ministry, which put him into conflict with the people and culture of his day. But, Elijah, in all of his greatness, struggled with bouts of depression.

And he came thither unto a cave, and lodged there; and, behold, the word of the LORD came to him, and he said unto him, What doest thou here, Elijah? And he said, I have been very jealous for the LORD God of hosts: for the children of Israel have forsaken thy covenant, thrown down thine altars, and slain thy prophets with the sword; and I, even I only, am left; and they seek my life, to take it away (I Kings 19:9–10, KJV).

It is after one of Elijah’s greatest victories, we find him isolated in a cave in the midst of a bout of depression. God used Elijah to speak to the periods of time we may encounter where we too feel low or depressed. This is why Paul warns us not to be weary in well-doing (Galatians 6:9).

We are Never Closer to Defeat than in Our Moment of Greatest Victory

Elijah prophesied it wouldn’t rain, and it didn’t for 3 ½ years. During this time, he challenged 450 prophets of Baal to make a sacrifice to their god, while Elijah made a sacrifice to the Lord. He declared the God that accepted a sacrifice by fire would be the God the people would serve. When God consumed Elijah’s sacrifice by fire, he had the prophets of Baal killed, and soon afterward found himself in severe opposition with King Ahab’s wife—Jezebel. She vowed to take his life.

After Elijah was mightily used to show Israel that God was the One true God, he shows his weakness (I Kings 19:4). It isn’t coincidence Elijah faced a “low” time after a spiritual victory. In our own spiritual walk, when we are spiritually victorious, we let our guards down. We assume in the presence of good things, there will be an absence of bad things. Therefore, we walk from a victory right into a new spiritual battle—sometimes with our eyes completely shut.

We are Never as Alone as We May Feel

When Jezebel made plans to take Elijah’s life, he didn’t approach this spiritual battle the same way as before. In the dawn of a new tribulation, he completely forgets that God just consumed his sacrifice, and that God was on his side! Elijah felt that in this new trial he alone and powerless. He didn’t learn a valuable lesson—if God brought him through one situation,  God would do it again!

We need to understand our spiritual journey with God and learn how to navigate the good and the bad that comes with it. Scripture tells us in I Thessalonians 5:21 to “prove all things; hold fast that which is good” (KJV). God will be with us every step of the way in our day-to-day walk with Him. When bad things arise, we can’t fall into a pit of depression. What we determine should happen isn’t always the plan that God has in mind!

Elijah’s Complaints

When God finds Elijah alone in a cave, He asks him, “…What doest thou here, Elijah?” (I Kings 19:9, KJV). Elijah responds and gives his “complaints” for why he decided to curl up and isolate himself.

I’ve Been Faithful But Not Effective

Elijah didn’t think he was making a difference in the Kingdom of God. We need to remember that we, as well as others, are not the judge of our own performance—God is the judge! We may not know how effective we are in His kingdom until the very end. By the end of Elijah’s life, everyone was looking at him because of his anointing and work for God’s Kingdom. James taught his church about Elijah’s ministry (James 5:17). John the Baptist was sent in the spirit and power of Elijah (Luke 1:17). And, Elijah’s servant wanted a double portion of what Elijah had (II Kings 2:9).

I’m All By Myself

Loneliness is based on ignorance. We cannot believe in God, His church, and His sacrifice on the cross and say that we are alone. We are never alone because God promised never to leave or forsake us (Hebrews 13:5). Elijah knew other prophets were also hiding in caves to escape Jezebel (I Kings 18:4); he knew he was not the only one serving the Lord at that time. Although others who were serving God were not in close proximity to Elijah, they were people he could connect with!

God told Elijah to get up and to anoint Hazael to be king over Syria, Jehu to be king over Israel, and Elisha to be his servant (I Kings 19:15–16). God didn’t want Elijah to be by himself! God wants the same for us today—we need to connect with people.

God wants us to connect with people because:

  • Others Have What We Need—God knows that we need help when working for His Kingdom. This is why God created the body. When we face spiritual hardship, the church is there to pray for us and strengthen us in the Lord.
  • We Have What Others Need—There’s always something that we can give to the church. Elisha, Elijah’s servant, needed him to instruct him in the ways and anointing of the Lord.
  • God Works in Teams—God rarely sends a person alone to do His work. There are numerous examples throughout Scripture. There is strength in numbers!

What’s Fighting Me is Able to Beat Me

Elijah just had victory over 450 prophets of Baal, but didn’t believe he could be delivered from one woman. Not believing that we will emerge victoriously from a tribulation just doesn’t make sense! If we trust God for X situation, and He brings us through, we need to trust Him in Y situation and know He will bring us through again. God is the same yesterday, today, and forever! Trust God because the victory has already happened!

God Speaks More Frequently in Persistent Whispers than in Shouts

After Elijah gives his compliant dissertation to the Lord, God brings him out of the cave to show him a demonstration:

And, behold, the LORD passed by, and a great and strong wind rent the mountains, and brake in pieces the rocks before the LORD; but the LORD was not in the wind; and after the wind an earthquake; but the LORD was not in the earthquake: And after the earthquake a fire; but the LORD was not in the fire: and after the fire a still small voice (I Kings 19:11–12, KJV).

God showed Elijah that the “greatness” of something will not determine how effective it is. All that matters is a word for the Lord. God told Elijah that if any enemy came against him, Hazael, Jehu, or Elisha would conquer them (I Kings 19:17). All God wanted Elijah to do was follow His word and not to worry about anything else.

We need to have our own faith rise up to believe in the Lord. When we receive a word from Him, it is true. God’s word never comes back without results (Isaiah 55:11). His word always has purpose and operation. We can’t get distracted by our spiritual situation. Focus on God and lean on His promises!

Learning Lessons

We can learn a lot from Elijah’s mistakes. We need to be spiritually aware and ready to face anything that the devil can throw at us whether we’re on the mountain top or in the valley. Regardless of what we face, the Lord will go with us and will bring us out. We need to develop a relationship with God and a trust in Him that when He speaks. Listen because greater things are in store!

Adapted from Wednesday Night Bible Study on May 6, 2015