I read this verse the other day (it’s from 2 Kings 2:9)…
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.
If I’m true to the text, the reason Elisha asked this is probably so that he would have twice the authority of the other prophets and therefore would have the strength to be their leader (have a look at www.BibleGateway.com to see the verse in loads of translations). Not a bad thing to ask, but not what I originally pondered.
I must confess that at times I’m disappointed in the ‘next generation’ (not a Star Trek reference!). I’ve spotted all the opportunities I missed when I was in school – the only place where we can get an audience with the entire population – and tried to pass the encouragement to make best use of the time on to the next generation. But in many instances they’ve missed it too. Just like me, they’ve got caught up in study, hormones, money and self-obsession. I started wondering, ‘Is Christianity going to fade away as it gets diluted with each generation’s failings?’ If you think that’s a bit harsh, please forgive me and send me a comment!
The verse in 2 Kings struck me. It’s pushing two thoughts into my head.
- I also belong to a generation that persists in making our own mistakes rather than listen to the wisdom of the leaders before us. But our time is not over. God is not age-ist. We can ask for a double portion of the Spirit and see God moving in awesome ways in this world.
- It’s not too late for the next generation. I see glimpses of glory, of what could be, I see Kingdom values enacted in an environment that has changed beyond recognition even in ten years, young people living real, honest lives before friends who do not yet know God, rather than living in holy huddles that preserve faith but do not inspire it.
The best of all is: GOD IS WITH US. May you and I receive a double portion of the Spirit of the ones who have gone before us, learning from their wisdom and serving God in our age.