Elisha was the prophet that followed Elijah. He was the one with the double anointing. He was the one who revealed that no only “God is” (Elijah) but that “God saves” (Elisha). Through the years people keep praying the same prayer over me, the double anointing of Elisha. They don’t know what others have prayed, but still pray the same thing. Even in India I find the same thing happening, the same prayer. I have studied this prophet over the years and have a few things to share; not about the prophet so much, but maybe about us. The people of our generation, who are called to share the Word of God and His presence. I will use his call as an example.
I will not be going to scriptures much but you can check out what I am saying in the Word. Elisha is called in the 19th chapter of 1st Kings. Then he appears again in 2nd Kings 2. Chronologically there seems to be about 10 years from the time of his calling until you hear of him again. He was in training for a while. Sometimes we tend to want things now but with God we should expect time to go by between the call and the anointing.
There are four tests that the Lord put Elisha through preparing Him for ministry and these same tests await all called to be God’s representatives. These tests are; loyalty, loneliness, faith, and ambition.
First is loyalty. Loyalty could be called commitment of a kind but is deeper than that. It has to do with the attitude of unfailing and determined love. Loyalty stays when commitment runs out. It stems from God’s call so is deeper than your words. It stays when there is no encouragement. It gives when there is no reward. It sees changes through knowing that there will be discouraging things happen. Rather than being based on convenient love, loyalty is based on covenant love. Elisha’s loyalty is tested when Elijah is starting his journey to go home to the Lord. Three times he is given the opportunity to quit. He is tested to see if he would cling to his vision or abandon it because of other things. If he didn’t want to take the risk that what he felt was true, he was given the opportunity to stay safely behind. Loyalty is a decision of the will. For Elisha leaving Elijah is not an option because He fears God and loves Elijah.
Second comes loneliness. Loneliness could be isolation from others, those who don’t hear the call to really be sons or servants as deeply as you. Elisha had been plowing for years and had no way to answer the call in his heart till Elijah came along. He left his home, family, living, and burned his bridges behind him. Loneliness can come from misunderstanding you and your dream in the Lord by others also. We need each other and we need to work at relationships in ministry, yet at times there will be a real separation unto God, by God, so your dependence on God will be your rock. Being shunned, criticized, or misunderstood should never give us the excuse to be bitter or unforgiving. It should lead us closer to the Lord. People will not understand you. They will be jealous and envious of God’s presence in your life when things start to happen that show God is for you. They may even laugh when you have misfortune or appear to have lost your anointing. We must be prepared to walk alone with our vision until some catch it with us and realize that it is God. Loneliness will test your relationship with God and your security in the call He has on your life. Responsibility always brings with it envious and patronizing comments from fear filled, hurting people. Responsibility will cause many lonely times for the man of God with a vision of God’s will and purpose.
Elisha was probably shunned by the other prophets because he was always with Elijah and looked like a “favorite” as he served the prophet’s needs. He also probably felt alone because no one understood his desires for the Lord and the anointing that filled his heart.
Third is faith. Faith works by love and is fueled by hope. Biblical Christianity is unashamedly supernatural in exhibition and fact. Faith produces miracles. God’s supernatural events usually were channeled through men of faith. Elisha was a man of miracles through faith. He even raised a man from death after he was in the grave. God is a liberator and every miracle of God is an act of liberation to men and nations. Elisha’s life was filled with miracles. God is always about the destruction of the devices of Satan and his deceptions. We need to have a faith that puts us in touch with the Spirit and power of God. Like Elisha, we need to bring the miracles of God to bear on the wiles of the devil. In America we have tried to tame God and make Him manageable. We want a God that will not shock, surprise, or threaten anyone. We need to overcome our fears of what God will do and just move with Him, trusting Him. We need to get acquainted with a non-predictable, scary and not safe, but loving God. Love and power are made available to us as servants and sons to demonstrate at this time His mercy and truth to a dying world. Faith produced miracles enable us to destroy the works of the enemy. They bring hope to the masses of frightened people, who will fear us and mock us with our God in spite of the miracles. Faith should possibly have a definition of “risk taking belief” added to it’s meaning. You risk God not showing up. You risk the ridicule of your peers. You risk your life and reputation. You risk missing God and misrepresenting Him, but to those who are called, you must risk! We must die to the fear of all these, to have real faith. All of the fruit on the tree is “out on a limb”. Plundering hell will always make the enemy mad and will always involve risk-taking. Regardless of the consequences faith is daring, because God has told you to do it. We live by faith or we don’t live at all.
Fourth and last is ambition. Ambition is the aspiration or hope we have for our own future and the future of the lives God puts in our path. It is the form of faith in a future tense. Elisha demonstrates godly ambition when he asks for the double anointing of Elijah’s spirit. Fleshly ambition will ask for fame and money, maybe even a tape ministry. It envies everyone it meets that is having a greater anointing or appears to be. It is selfish. Godly ambition seeks; the double anointing for the miraculous, the faith for souls, and the wisdom to change people’s hearts. It is desirous of the presence of God and all He brings. Godly ambition is not a spur of the moment thing. It has weighed the cost and realizes that this double anointing will cause one to have to confront sin and misdirection, challenge idolatry and demon worship, risk poverty and unpopularity, and expects to be misunderstood and mistreated. Elisha had been with Elijah for years and knew the suffering of the prophet well before he asked for the double anointing.
The following message was given to me on the 30th of June 2001:
God will soon demand of his anointed ones a demonstration of the love, presence, power, and character of Christ worthy of the day, hour, and time in which we live. Only the Elisha spirit will bring this demonstration of “God is” and “God saves” to the world. Let us be prepared. Let us be ready. Let us pray for the double anointing.
The calling of God on our lives should cause us to look at our lives without deceit. We should be real in all of our reflections. If God is not calling on us to do the impossible then we should wonder why. We should be constantly, and consistently checking ourselves out to make sure we are in “The Way”.
All of the prophet’s life, he was giving grace and mercy to the ones in need and the oppressed. At the same time he confronted the religious and the powerful. He was a man of sorrows and he was a man of deep passion. If we are to make the world know that their gods are not in control we will have to develop an intimacy with the Lord that causes us to know what is going on in their bedrooms to confound the enemy’s plans. We will have to become companions of the Lord’s presence. A new and better covenant is what the Word says we have. A son is more than a servant, closer than a friend. We should dwell in His domain. Heaven is a place where all is known. The Word of the Lord says we should know the truth and things to come through the Holy Spirit. Are we willing to be scorned? Are we willing to pay the price to have a double-edged sword, a double anointing? I think that we have avoided the Lord in some ways, like not being willing to see the judgments of God on our works and our lives. Let’s get freed up and stop deceiving ourselves. Let’s see the grace in judgments and justice. “Those He loves, He chastens”. God is calling us to come away with Him, but we are saying no, because we fear seeing to clearly. It will cause us to fall on our faces in fear. We will have to see the truth and that can be really scary. I have found in these last days that I am not honest with myself. I will not put myself in a place of being too vulnerable to Jesus as it will hurt too much. Even though I pray for him to change me I find that I hedge on that prayer when I see things too clearly. I am becoming a man who is undone. A man who finds himself in the presence of One who will not trifle with sin, yet loves me. I want to fulfill His desire and His purpose for my life; yet, I tell him that I don’t like the price that He wants me to pay. May the Lord have mercy on us all and remember that we are like grass.
How can we see, and know, and not do? How can we face the enemy if we don’t deal with the sin that suppresses us? We must apprehend who and what we are from the Lord. We must become dangerous to the enemies of the Lord! We must become more than we know! It is time for the church to say, “No more, no way, to all our enemies!”