Observations from today’s readings and today’s S-WOD, Sunday, 13 November 2022:
2 Kings 2:2 — But Elisha said, “As the LORD lives, and as you yourself live, I will not leave you.”
Godly love and devotion towards others are permanent. Godly love is covenantal vice contractual.
2 Kings 2:5 — 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.”
God’s prophets knew what God was going to do. God reveals His plans to His prophets. God has given you His word and the counsel of the Holy Spirit to reveal truth to you. What has God revealed to you?
2 Kings 2:9 – When they had crossed, Elijah said to Elisha, “Ask what I shall do for you, before I am taken from you.” And Elisha said, “Please let there be a double portion of your spirit on me.”
“There had never been a man like Elijah. Elijah had raised the dead, called down fire from heaven, and revealed God’s plans for a devastating drought. The Israelites must have felt certain there would never be another prophet like Elijah, until Elisha came along. Moses was arguably the mightiest leader the Hebrews had ever followed, yet God prepared Joshua to accomplish what not even Moses had achieved. David’s reign marked a high point for the nation of Israel, yet it was Solomon who carried out the task that was denied his father, by building the spectacular temple.
We can be tempted to put more trust in the leaders God gives us than in God Himself. History teaches that, as wonderful as these godly people are, God always has another Moses, Elijah, or David. Often the successor will come with a double portion of their predecessors’ spirits.
God’s purposes do not depend on us. He has limitless ways to accomplish His will. The same God who led Moses could also use Joshua. If no one were willing to serve Him, the Lord would accomplish His work by His own divine power. We are not irreplaceable to the Lord. He will achieve His purposes. The question is this: Will we be a part of God’s activity, or will He find someone else? We deceive ourselves if we think we are indispensable to God. Service to the Lord is an honor God bestows on us, not a favor we do for God.
If you are mourning the loss of one of your leaders, do not despair. God has another leader, for He will see that His will is carried out. It may even be that He has been preparing you to be that leader.” (Henry T. Blackaby)
2 Kings 2:11 — Elijah went up by a whirlwind into heaven.
Elijah did not die.
2 kings 2:12 — Elisha saw it….
The Holy Spirit enabled Elisha to see within the spiritual realm things that could not be seen in the flesh.
2 Kings 2:15 — Now when the sons of the prophets who were at Jericho saw him opposite them, they said, “The spirit of Elijah rests on Elisha.” And they came to meet him and bowed to the ground before him.
God uses miracles to validate or legitimize His prophets before others.
2 Kings 2:24 — He cursed them in the name of the LORD. And two she-bears came out of the woods and tore forty-two of the boys.
Holiness demands respect. Disrespecting a true prophet of God is a dangerous thing. Even God’s creation is against that offender.
Psalm 131:1-3 — O LORD, my heart is not lifted up; my eyes are not raised too high; I do not occupy myself with things
too great and too marvelous for me. But I have calmed and quieted my soul, like a weaned child with its mother; like a weaned child is my soul within me. O Israel, hope in the LORD from this time forth and forevermore.
Perhaps you are like the psalmist and need to learn to stop worrying about things which are out of your control, or perhaps you need to stop trying to understand what is impossible for you to understand. Perhaps you need to stop feeding your soul negative thoughts, fears, and doubts and start trusting God with the future. The psalmist would encourage you to make the decision today, once and for all, to stop worrying and to “hope [trust with complete assurance – no doubt at all] in the LORD from this time forth and forevermore.” Paul would give you further guidance: “Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice. Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me—practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.” (Philippians 4:4-8) As Paul says, “practice these things,” It might take awhile for you to wean your soul from negativity. Practice!
Psalm 132:3-5, 7 — I will not enter my house or get into my bed, I will not give sleep to my eyes or slumber to my eyelids, until I find a place for the LORD, a dwelling place for the Mighty One of Jacob…. Let us go to his dwelling place; let us worship at his footstool!
The dwelling place of the LORD is within your heart, mind, spirit, soul, and body. You are God’s temple. Your first priority in Life is to “abide” in the Presence of God within you, to establish this invisible reality in your heart, mind, sprit, and soul as being more real than anything you can perceive with your five senses; and you must trust this truth more than what you sometimes “feel” is true. Feelings (which are based on your thoughts and perceptions) are very often misleading, and you must make the decision to follow faith and facts (what God says is true) over deceptive feelings. “Let us go to his dwelling place; let us worship at his footstool!” The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, and peace (among other things), which flow from the person who is in the continual presence of the LORD. Go to the dwelling place (Christ in you) and stay there, in continual worship, praise, and thanksgiving. What is inside you is far greater than whatever is going on around you. Let the peace of God which surpasses all understanding guard your heart continually.
Psalm 132:9-11 – Let your priests be clothed with righteousness, and let your saints shout for joy. For the sake of your servant David, do not turn away the face of your anointed one. The LORD swore to David a sure oath from which he will not turn back…
The Bible says that we are the priests and we are the temple. The priests are known for righteousness, but also for joy. Said another way, they obey God joyfully – it isn’t a burden but rather their heart’s desire – “For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments. And his commandments are not burdensome.” (1 John 5:3) If you are struggling with joyful obedience, it isn’t because God has turned you away or abandoned you but rather you are not fully appreciating who you are in Christ. You are God’s precious child, and he loves you so much He sent Christ to remove the penalty of sin from your life as well as the power of sin in your life so that you could experience oneness with Him, and He has given you His Spirit to dwell within you to empower you to live the life He always intended for you, to be Christlike.
Proverbs 13:7 – One pretends to be rich, yet has nothing; another pretends to be poor, yet has great wealth.
It is not what you say you are that matters or what others think you are but rather what you really are, what you are in the dark, what you are in your heart.
Proverbs 13:8 – The ransom of a man’s life is his wealth, but a poor man hears no threat.
Life is easy when you have nothing left to lose. Discipleship is easy when you have already been crucified with Christ and no longer live, when you have truly died of self.
Proverbs 13:11 – Wealth gained hastily will dwindle, but whoever gathers little by little will increase it.
There are no shortcuts to the things that matter most in life. Everything that matters takes daily, persistent, hard work over a lifetime. This applies to discipleship too.
Proverbs 13:13 – Whoever despises the word brings destruction on himself, but he who reveres the commandment will be rewarded.
There are consequences for disobeying God’s word, always. Do you revere the word of God?
Proverbs 13:18 – Poverty and disgrace come to him who ignores instruction, but whoever heeds reproof is honored.
God’s discipline is intended to teach you valuable lessons for life. Don’t ignore it.
Proverbs 13:20 – Whoever walks with the wise becomes wise, but the companion of fools will suffer harm.
Wisdom is a journey. Walk with the wise and become wise.
Proverbs 13:22 – A good man leaves an inheritance to his children’s children, but the sinner’s wealth is laid up for the righteous.
God expects his people to think generationally, long-term, not short term. Abraham was promised to be the father of many nations and to receive the Promised Land, but that promise was not fulfilled until generations after his death. A theme through the Bible is that God’s plan is generational. We have the burden of responsibility to pass the teachings of the Gospel on to the next generation, training them to do the same.
Proverbs 13:25 – The righteous has enough to satisfy his appetite, but the belly of the wicked suffers want.
The wise know how to be content in any situation. The wicked are never satisfied.
“Cross” Fit S-WOD (Spiritual Workout of the Day) – 13 November 2022: Practice abiding in the LORD today, weaning your soul of all negativity and worry, and trusting in Him completely and obeying Him with love, joy, peace, contentment, gratitude, and enthusiasm. Let your life today be clear evidence to everyone around you that Jesus saves and transforms lives.