Summary: Passion is the driving force that leads us to seek God’s power and blessing.
ELIJAH AND ELISHA
2 Kings 2:1-15 – If you want the power you need the passion
I wonder how many of you gained an insight over the summer into the potential of your life as a Christian.
You’ve seen the anointing of God on other people and you desire it – you dared to dream that you also can be mighty in God.
People become passionate about all kinds of things. Some people become passionate about their career. Others about a hobby, or passionate about being the best they can be in their chosen sport.
In fact, the one thing that really separates the average from the outstanding is passion. Passion is the essential factor that drives people to become all that they can be in their chosen field.
The very same is true about a disciple of Christ. Passion to become what we can be in Christ will take us to the place where we will experience the anointing of God’s Holy Spirit that will make us into the people we desire to be in God.
Put simply: If you want the power, you need the passion.
If we are looking for a role model to follow then Elisha provides a good one.
READING 2 Kings 2:1-15
Elisha spent time with Elijah and he witnessed what a life of ministry in the power of the Holy Spirit was like. Elisha knew that he could only minister for God as Elijah did if God gave him both the gift and anointing of the Holy Spirit, and so he pursued this with passion. He would be satisfied with nothing less.
It had become clear to Elisha that Elijah’s ministry was coming to an end. God would soon take him.
Elisha was not the only other prophet. There was a whole school of prophets.
But Elisha stood out from the rest, not because he had greater gifts but because of his passion.
A good example of this is found in 2 Kings 2:7 where
the school of prophets “stood at a distance” when the time of Elijah’s departure was about to take place.
But in contrast, Elisha stayed close to Elijah because he wanted more than anything else a double portion of the spirit of Elijah.
[Double portion = like the inheritance of a first-born son]
He wanted to be Elijah’s successor and heir.
If we want the anointing of the Spirit for service we need a passion that will drive us to get close to Jesus and to there until we receive it.
Elisha didn’t only have passion.
Elisha didn’t only seek to get closer.
Elisha also had to go a bit further than he had expected.
1. THEY WENT FIRST TO BETHEL
• Bethel was a place of encounter. Bethel means ‘House of God’ or ‘God is in this Place’.
• It was a very significant place for Jacob who had met with God there.
• In a dream he saw a ladder coming down from heaven with angels descending and ascending on it.
• And God spoke to him, telling him of things yet to come, and of the blessings that would surround his life in the future.
There are special times and places when we hear God speaking powerfully and intimately to us. Elisha might well have expected that his prayers would be answered here. But he was going to have to go a bit further.
We could liken Bethel to the place of our conversion – the beginnings of the Christian life when we are more concerned about our salvation or belonging to Christ and his people than we are about being powerful in God.
God has to take us to other places before we are ready to receive his anointing.
2. THE NEXT PLACE WAS JERICHO
If Bethel represents BLESSING then Jericho symbolizes BATTLE.
I expect that Elisha could have been content to become a ‘professional’ prophet (like some no doubt in the school of the prophets).
Jericho symbolizes the stronghold of the enemy. It was destroyed during the conquest of Canaan, but it was rebuilt by Elijah’s arch enemies Ahab and Jezebel.
Even Elijah himself was intimidated by the vehemence of Jezebel and at one time he fled from her threats. But he drew near to God and overcame his fears.
There are spiritual battles that we must go through if we to receive the anointing. These include dealing ruthlessly with our ourselves wherever we are most inclined to sin.
We will never be powerful in God if don’t do battle with these and overcome.
There are six things the Lord hates,
seven that are detestable to him:
 haughty eyes,
a lying tongue,
hands that shed innocent blood,