Summary: Passion for God, if it is to mean anything at all, must be expressed in action. In Luke 10 we consider how Jesus coached the disciples as a pattern for discipleship today.
31.8.08 MENTORING RELATIONSHIPS – ELIJAH AND ELISHA
2 Kings 2:1-15 – If you want the power you need the passion
Olympics – The one thing that separates the average from the outstanding is passion. Passion is the driving force that makes people strive to be the best.
The very same is true about being disciples of Christ. Passion to be like Christ and to make him known drives us close to God who brings about the transformation.
POINT We have been thinking a lot about mentoring relationships as Christians in order to pass on wisdom and skills to each other.
Over the next few Sundays we are going to take a look at some of the mentoring relationships in the Bible, and what we can learn and apply from them.
In the first of these that we are going to take a look at one such mentoring relationship that could be described above all by one word: ‘passion’.
READING 2 Kings 2:1-15
THESIS: Passion is the driving force that leads us to seek to experience God’s fullness.
And this is well illustrated by the passion showed by Elisha in pursuit of an anointing he saw on Elijah, and which he wanted more than anything else by which to serve God.
Passion is from the Latin Passio ‘to suffer’ and it is a word used to describe the Cross of Christ:
Acts 1:3 KJV
To whom also he shewed himself alive after his passion by many infallible proofs,
It describes the single-minded pursuit of a something highly prized
– something we value so highly that we would sacrifice everything else we value in order to possess it.
And Elisha had that kind of passion.
The Lord Jesus Christ is our ultimate Mentor.
There is no difference between being a disciple of Jesus and an apprentice of Jesus. It amounts to the same thing. The apprentice learns alongside the skilled craftsman and the goal of the apprentice is to become like his or her mentor.
• Having a passion to be like Christ is of greater significance than anything else in our pursuit of God.
• Passion more than anything else will fit us for the role God has for us in the Christian life.
And in our relationships it applies to those of us who are mentors, and those of us who learning from our mentors.
Here is a challenge to more mature Christians to be the Elijah’s that can pass on a mantle to the next generation of believers.
It is also a challenge to less mature or less experienced Christians because of your need of the anointing to serve.
Who are the mentors in your life? Who are your role models? And who looks to you for an example? Who are you a mentor to?
Marsha Sinetar – author of The Mentor’s Spirit: Life Lessons on Leadership and the Art of Encouragement. writes:
We need mentors—wise and faithful guides, advisers, or teachers—the wisdom keepers of an entire family, …. or community. Much more, we need the mentor’s spirit: an unseen, affirming influence and positive energy. The mentor’s spirit is the heart’s posture pervading healthy relationships in every family, classroom or organization….The mentor’s spirit animates our life.
There is some powerful imagery in this story.
• It symbolizes the point at which the apprentice graduates and the craftsman moves on.
• It is the moment at which the anointing is transferred from one generation to the next.
Elisha - outstanding
Elisha was not the only prophet. There was a whole school of prophets. But Elisha stood out from among them not because he had greater gifts or height or strength or family ties or wealth, but because of his passion.
The first time Elisha appears in scripture is in 1 Kings 19:16 where God tells Elijah that Elisha will succeed him as prophet.
Elijah went to him and threw his cloak around him. By this symbolism he chose his apprentice. And then Elisha “set out to follow Elijah and became his attendant.” I Kings 19:21
Wherever you are placed in service for God you have commission as a Christian to train someone else to eventually replace you.
This is a biblical principle of discipling.
Are you a Sector leader? Identify and appoint your assistant who will ultimately succeed you.
Teachers should teach others to produce more teachers
Leaders should lead others to produce more leaders
The same is true for every role we have in the fellowship. Ask God who your assistant might be.
But above all have passion as a Christian – passion for the Gospel. Passion to make Christ known. For this is of greater value than all things – and it’s contagious.
Are you passionate about the things of God?