Our family loves to go out for walks. After all, we live in one of the most beautiful places in the state of Florida known as the Emerald Coast. On a recent walk with the family, I saw Josiah do something on his own that has taken him a while to learn. He was running at full speed and as I began to prepare to tell him to slow down. He did it without me telling him, as he approached the crossroad, suddenly he stopped and looked both ways carefully before crossing the road.
We’ve had many walks together. On some of those walks, Josiah did not want to hold my hand, sometimes he would throw a tantrum, screaming and kicking. However, I knew he needed to learn to walk with me first before I could let him run on his own. Our walks paid off, my repeated instructions and wisdom about why he should slow had finally begun to bud in his mind and heart.
As the events of that day replayed in my mind, I knew exactly what God was speaking to me about. Elisha had to walk with Elijah before he could run as an Elisha for the next generation. In other words, Elisha had to learn to yield to Elijah without reacting immaturely?
I immediately began to recognize the processes I had been through in my 13+ years of walking with different Elijah’s in my life. Ultimately, I realized there were some valuable lessons I learned with some and resisted with others. However, all of them eventually led me to the place of joy and contentment in the value of learning to walk.
Can we yield without taking personal the firm grip they may have on our hand because they may be trying to teach us something that we may not fully comprehend yet?
Can we yield, without throwing a tantrum, kicking and screaming when we may not like some instruction or discipline, because we may not be ready to fully understand the reason behind it?
Can we yield, willing to hear repeatedly the warning or wisdom until it goes from our ears to our mind and then to our heart without a bad attitude?
Walking with our Elijah will require for us to yield. That means yielding to the pace, the process, the faith tests, the wisdom, the discipline knowing that they have one heart towards us that says “I love you, I want you to succeed, but I must teach you to walk with me first so you can run your race!”
Remember Elisha being called into ministry? 1 Kings 19:19-21, when Elisha comes running to Elijah and says, “Let me kiss my father and my mother, and then I will follow you.” and then Elijah replies: “Go back again, for what have I done to you?” It was the beginning of Elisha’s walking lessons. In this lesson, Elijah plainly said to Elisha, “it is not me calling you it is God, go and do what you want.”
Often, younger prophets put the burden of destiny fulfilled in their mentors when in reality it is God. Our Elijah’s have one responsibility, and it is to point us to the one who called us and to learn to trust Him.
We don’t hear about Elisha again until 2nd Kings 2 when Elijah is about to be taken up to heaven. Let’s read this passage carefully:
“Now when the LORD was about to take Elijah up to heaven by a whirlwind, Elijah and Elisha were on their way from Gilgal. And Elijah said to Elisha, “Please stay here, for the LORD has sent me as far as Bethel.” But Elisha said, “As the LORD lives, and as you yourself live, I will not leave you.” So they went down to Bethel. And the sons of the prophets who were in Bethel came out to Elisha and said to him, “Do you know that today the LORD will take away your master from over you?” And he said, “Yes, I know it; keep quiet.” Elijah said to him, “Elisha, please stay here, for the LORD has sent me to Jericho.” But he said, “As the LORD lives, and as you yourself live, I will not leave you.” So they came to Jericho. The sons of the prophets who were at Jericho drew near to Elisha and said to him, “Do you know that today the LORD will take away your master from over you?” And he answered, “Yes, I know it; keep quiet.” Then Elijah said to him, “Please stay here, for the LORD has sent me to the Jordan.” But he said, “As the LORD lives, and as you yourself live, I will not leave you.” So the two of them went on.”(2 Kings 2:1–6, ESV)
It is here that we see Elijah three times tell Elisha, “Stay here, for God has called me…” This was the ultimate test for Elisha. How many Elisha’s have stopped walking with their Elijah because they feel they have been called to something different? We also see how external voices tried to discourage Elisha, yes, even prophetic voices that are not called to walk with you will have some insight about why you should start going your own way.
Elisha walked with Elijah until the appointed time for him to begin running on his own. It says in 2nd Kings 2:11 “And as they still went on and talked, behold, chariots of fire and horses of fire separated the two of them. And Elijah went up by a whirlwind into heaven.”
Going back to Josiah’s story about that day, while I can trust him to run in certain places, it does not mean I will allow him to run just anywhere without my supervision. His walking lessons with me will continue for a while. I remember the times he told me “I’m so mad” because I did not allow him to just run wild. I also remember the day he slowed down and looked both ways and minutes after that he stated: “This is a super fun day!”
I believe every Elijah is crying out “Elisha, walk with me, for when you run it will be with a double portion!”
You can read the second part of this message here: 4 Lessons for Elisha’s