Summary: There comes a time for each of us to step out on the word God has spoken to us.
We are celebrating the final third of our three week message series entitled, Greater. The series is grounded in a comment by Jesus at that final Passover meal before he was crucified. Jesus said in John 14:12: Anyone who has faith in me will do what I have been doing. He will do greater things than these.
In the first week, we heard about taking a moment to listen to God’s call on your life and then like Elisha become an apprentice of the king by burning the plow so their can be nothing to look back on or retreat. Then last week we talked about recognizing God’s power to help us in our endeavors and so trusting in God’s promise to be with you that we prepare accordingly. ”Trust in the Lord” are the scriptural words that are appropriate here. This week I would like to continue the discussion by recognizing that in everyone’s journey there will be a seminal moment where your belief and actions become one. It’s the moment when it all comes together. I’ll never forget the Federal Express story:
Founding executive Robert Frock describes the episode in his book, Changing How the World Does Business: Fedex's Incredible Journey to Success - The Inside Story. That’s one business principle you likely won’t need to explain to FedEx founder Fred Smith. In FedEx's early days, Smith took the company's last $5,000 to a Las Vegas blackjack table after the shipping giant was denied a vital business loan. Had Smith's bet gone awry, FedEx wouldn't have been able to foot a $24,000 fuel bill. “I asked Fred where the funds had come from, and he responded, ‘The meeting with the General Dynamics board was a bust and I knew we needed money for Monday, so I took a plane to Las Vegas and won $27,000.’ I said, ‘You mean you took our last $5,000-- how could you do that?’ He shrugged his shoulders and said, ‘What difference does it make? Without the funds for the fuel companies, we couldn't have flown anyway.’ Fred's luck held again. It was not much, but it came at a critical time and kept us in business for another week." Since that harrowing effort, FedEx is on much firmer ground. In the last fiscal year FedEx's 146,000 worldwide employees helped earn the company of $26.5 billion in revenue. In the near future, FedEx plans to boost profits by nearly $2 billion via a series of cost-cutting measures. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/10/15/fred-smith-blackjack-fedex_n_1966837.html
While we don’t condone gambling, it was the moment when vision and reality collide. Elisha had just such a moment. If you would open your bibles to 2 Kings 2:1-15 we are going to dive into the scriptures a little deeper today. Before we do, let’s pray. Lord open our hearts to truly hear your word for our lives.
When the Lord was about to take Elijah up to heaven in a whirlwind, Elijah and Elisha were on their way from Gilgal. 2 Elijah said to Elisha, “Stay here; the Lord has sent me to Bethel.” But Elisha said, “As surely as the Lord lives and as you live, I will not leave you.” So they went down to Bethel. 3 The company of the prophets at Bethel came out to Elisha and asked, “Do you know that the Lord is going to take your master from you today?” “Yes, I know,” Elisha replied, “so be quiet.” 4 Then Elijah said to him, “Stay here, Elisha; the Lord has sent me to Jericho.” And he replied, “As surely as the Lord lives and as you live, I will not leave you.” So they went to Jericho. 5 The company of the prophets at Jericho went up to Elisha and asked him, “Do you know that the Lord is going to take your master from you today?” “Yes, I know,” he replied, “so be quiet.” 6 Then Elijah said to him, “Stay here; the Lord has sent me to the Jordan.” And he replied, “As surely as the Lord lives and as you live, I will not leave you.” So the two of them walked on. 7 Fifty men from the company of the prophets went and stood at a distance, facing the place where Elijah and Elisha had stopped at the Jordan. 8 Elijah took his cloak, rolled it up and struck the water with it. The water divided to the right and to the left, and the two of them crossed over on dry ground. 9 When they had crossed, Elijah said to Elisha, “Tell me, what can I do for you before I am taken from you?” “Let me inherit a double portion of your spirit,” Elisha replied. 10 “You have asked a difficult thing,” Elijah said, “yet if you see me when I am taken from you, it will be yours—otherwise, it will not.” 11 As they were walking along and talking together, suddenly a chariot of fire and horses of fire appeared and separated the two of them, and Elijah went up to heaven in a whirlwind. 12 Elisha saw this and cried out, “My father! My father! The chariots and horsemen of Israel!” And Elisha saw him no more. Then he took hold of his garment and tore it in two. 13 Elisha then picked up Elijah’s cloak that had fallen from him and went back and stood on the bank of the Jordan. 14 He took the cloak that had fallen from Elijah and struck the water with it. “Where now is the Lord, the God of Elijah?” he asked. When he struck the water, it divided to the right and to the left, and he crossed over. 15 The company of the prophets from Jericho, who were watching, said, “The spirit of Elijah is resting on Elisha.” And they went to meet him and bowed to the ground before him. 16 “Look,” they said, “we your servants have fifty able men. Let them go and look for your master. Perhaps the Spirit of the Lord has picked him up and set him down on some mountain or in some valley.”