Steadfastness: Example of Elisha

Courtesies

My Appreciation to the Chapel Leadership through the Chaplain and the Chapel Services Committee for this unique Opportunity to share God’s word on this special day. Congratulations to the New Chapel Committee and its Chair, and Well done to the immediate past leadership.

I salute the Chaplaincy, and rejoice with the Chaplain as his tenure winds down, and pray that God will anoint his own choice to continue the great work you have done here, among his people. I am sure that you are destined for greater heights, and so shall it be in Jesus name. Amen.

Congratulations to the Officers, Boys and Girls of the Boys and Girls Brigade on this years enrollment. Aseyi Samodun loruko Jesu, Amin.

It is good to be home, and on behalf of my wife and I, We bring you greetings from the good People of Ijesa North East Diocese in Osun State, where it has pleased God to ask us to fish for men and woman for the extension of his kingdom here on earth. Let it be stated clearly, that Chapel of the Resurrection is our home and our source, because a river that forgets its source will definitely run dry.

Please continue to remember us in your prayers day and Night. The Good Lord will not forget each and everyone of us in Jesus name, Amen.

Let us Pray:

Today Lord! fill me with the same grace, anointing and power so that I can preach Your word boldly and with authority for the deliverance of those under the bondage of Sin. I’m unworthy Lord! But make me worthy by cleansing me and filling me with Your Holy Spirit. I on my own, an empty. Let Your Holy Spirit take full control of me and let Him speak, not me. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.

Theme: The man God uses

Topic: Steadfastness, example of Elisha

Text: 2 Kings 2:1-9

What is Steadfastness?

According to the English Dictionary, Steadfastness is to be sure, dependable, reliable, constant, unwavering. Steadfast, staunch, steady imply a sureness and continuousness that may be depended upon. Steadfast literally means fixed in place, but is chiefly used figuratively to indicate undeviating constancy or resolution: steadfast in one’s faith. To be able to do this, one needs Jesus.

No wonder, the Motto of the Boys Brigade is Sure and Steadfast, and the emblem of the Boys Brigade is the Anchor, derived from Hebrews 6:19-20

This hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast, and which enters the Presence behind the veil, 20 where the forerunner has entered for us,even Jesus, having become High Priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek.

The Boys’ Brigade (BB) is an interdenominational Christian youth organisation, conceived by Sir William Alexander Smithto combine drill and fun activities with Christian values.[2]Following its inception in Glasgow in 1883, the BB quickly spread across the United Kingdomand became a worldwide organisation by the early 1890s

The organisation that is now the Girls’ Brigade was originally three separate organizations. These three organizations, each with a similar aim, all came into being at the turn of the 19th /20th century in different places around the United Kingdom. Miss Margaret Lytle formed The Girls’ Brigade in Ireland in 1893, with the aim of “the extension of Christ’s Kingdom among girls”; The Girls’ Guildry was formed in Scotland in 1900 with the aim of helping girls to become mature Christian women and the Girls’ Life Brigade was formed in England with the motto “to save life” and the aim “to help girls become responsible, self-reliant Christian women”

The stated object of the Boys‘ Brigade is “The advancement of Christ’s kingdom among Boys and the promotion of habits of Obedience, Reverence, Discipline, Self-respect and all that tends towards a true Christian manliness.”

Motto of the Girls Brigade: is “Seek, Serve and Follow Christ” and its Aim is “To help girls become followers of the Lord Jesus Christ, and through self control, reverence and a sense of responsibility to find true enrichment of life”

Proverbs 22:6 says:

Train up a child in the way he should go,
And when he is old he will not depart from it.

A great example of steadfastness in the Bible, is the life of the Prophet Elisha.

Elisha the man

God who sees in secret, always knows all who are His, and He had earlier declared to Elijah that there were 7,000 persons in Israel who had not done homage to Baal during a very wicked time (1 Kings 19:18).

Yet I have reserved seven thousand in Israel, all whose knees have not bowed to Baal, and every mouth that has not kissed him.”

As Elijah was nearing the end of his ministry, God directed him to anoint a younger man named Elisha to take his place. Elisha, son of Shaphat, was from Abel Meholah, of the Jordan Valley (1 Kings 19:16).

After a few years of training, Elisha would become God’s spokesman to the northern kingdom; and his ministry would be filled with signs and miracles, proclamations and warnings. He would become known as the prophet of peace and healing.

Starting as a disciple

Elijah was divinely directed by God to seek his successor, and Elijah found Elisha out in a field plowing on his father’s farm. He had consistently ploughed his father’s field. Elijah placed his mantle (an outer garment, like a cloak) on Elisha’s shoulders, and Elisha apparently understood this symbolic act as being appointed to the role of a prophet. Without hesitation, Elisha accepted the call to service, leaving the comfort of his family and home to follow a less predictable life that would require personal sacrifice (1 Kings 19:19-21).

Elisha began his ministry as Elijah’s student and personal attendant. The young man would first prove himself faithful in small things, such as the humble duty of pouring water on the hands of Elijah (2 Kings 3:11). Elisha’s training under Elijah would gradually prepare him for a work that he would one day take up alone.

It is instructive to know that the little drills, marches, parades are all meant to instill a sense of attentiveness, attention to details, calmness, consistency, repetition, tolerance and obedience to our young boys and girls.

Steadfast Elisha

Elisha’s faith and resolution were tested three times. At Gilgal, at Bethel and at Jericho, he was invited by Elijah to turn back (2 Kings 2:1-7). But Elisha had learned not to give up easily. Just like in his growing-up years walking behind a plow, now that he had set his hand to the “plow” of another much greater line of work, he would not be discouraged or distracted from his task.

Elisha succeeds Elijah

On the day that the prophet Elijah understood his ministry was coming to a close and that Elisha would take his place, Elijah said to Elisha, “‘Ask! What may I do for you, before I am taken away from you?’ Elisha said, ‘Please let a double portion of your spirit be upon me’” (2 Kings 2:9).

Elisha didn’t ask for worldly honor or for a high place among men. What he really desired was a large measure of the Holy Spirit that God had so freely placed upon the prophet Elijah. He knew that He needed God’s Holy Spirit to equip him for the responsibilities that lay ahead.

Elijah then answered, “You have asked a hard thing. Nevertheless, if you see me when I am taken from you, it shall be so for you; but if not, it shall not be so” (2 Kings 2:10).

Then it happened, as they continued on and talked, that suddenly a chariot of fire appeared with horses of fire, and separated the two of them; and Elijah went up by a whirlwind into heaven.

And Elisha saw it, and he cried out, ‘My father, my father, the chariot of Israel and its horsemen!’” (2 Kings 2:11-12). God had suddenly taken Elijah out of service, and Elisha was privileged to watch the miraculous way in which his master departed.

Elisha reached down and picked up the mantle of Elijah that had fallen from the prophet when he was taken away. This represented the authority God had given His prophet. Elijah had used it earlier that same morning in miraculously causing the waters of the Jordan River to divide (verse 8).

After picking up Elijah’s mantle, Elisha went to the bank of the Jordan River to test whether the spirit of Elijah had really fallen upon him. Approaching the river, he asked, “‘Where is the LORD God of Elijah?’ And when he also had struck the water, it was divided this way and that; and Elisha crossed over” (verse 14).

The sons of the prophets also recognized that the “spirit of Elijah” now rested on Elisha, and they bowed before him in respect (verse 15).

Elisha’s ministry differed from Elijah’s

The ministry of Elisha the prophet was different from that of Elijah in some regards. Elijah was commissioned to deliver fearless messages of condemnation and judgment to the king and to the people, warning them to turn from sin. Elisha’s ministry was to build on the work that Elijah had begun by teaching the people God’s ways.

Elisha’s ministry of miracles

Elisha’s prophetic ministry included works of healing and restoration. The biblical record also shows Elisha bringing joy to people through miracles from God. His gentle spirit enabled him to have a positive influence on the lives of many in Israel and is revealed in several illustrations in 2 Kings 4-6.

Elijah’s ministry began by shutting up the heavens for three and a half years, whereas Elisha’s ministry began by healing a spring of water near Jericho (2 Kings 2:19-22). This spring possessed certain toxic qualities, and one complained to Elisha that it was unfit for drinking and had destroyed the foliage around it. Elisha asked to have some salt in a new bowl brought to him. Elisha tossed the salt into the gushing spring and the poison of the pool of water was suddenly healed.

The use of the salt was symbolic, as it was God who performed the miracle. God declared through the prophet, “Thus says the LORD: ‘I have healed this water; from it there shall be no more death or barrenness’” (2 Kings 2:21).

Elisha’s second recorded miracle granted an impoverished family of faith a financial blessing. A student of one of the religious training centers died and his wife became a widow. She was very poor and owned just one marketable item of value, a jar of olive oil. She had two sons to care for, and she asked Elisha to help her as she feared her sons would be taken away to pay a debt.

Elisha instructed her to go to all her neighbors and borrow as many empty jars as she could. A miracle was going to occur that would allow her to fill every empty jar to the top by pouring from her one jar of olive oil. The one jar of oil was multiplied miraculously, and she was able to sell enough of the valuable oil to pay off her debt and live off the remainder (2 Kings 4:1-7).

Two additional miracles were wrought for a married couple dwelling in the town of Shunem. Elisha the prophet often stayed at the home of this childless couple, as his ministry would take him from town to town. As a gesture of appreciation for their hospitality he prophesied that they would have a son who would bring them great joy.

Later, the little boy suffered an illness while out in the field, and his mother went searching diligently until she found Elisha. The prophet went back to her house to see what could be done. The boy had died but Elisha prayed and God raised the boy from the dead (2 Kings 4:8-22; 2 Kings 4:23-37).

Lessons for today

In all the service and miracles performed by Elisha the prophet, whether it was in response to sickness, death, financial need, hunger or to give wise counsel to kings, something to note is that God didn’t prevent problems and trials in the lives of His people.

Instead, God used these occasions to increase their faith and trust in Him. God often allows problems and trials for our learning, for our experience and for our spiritual growth.

When we remember these stories, we can draw strength from them and understand that God is willing and able to help us with what we need, when we need it (2 Corinthians 9:8); that He expects us to keep all of His commandments if we are to boldly come before Him in times of need (John 14:12-15; Hebrews 4:14-16); and that those who trust in God are to live by faith and not by sight (2 Corinthians 5:7).

Elisha’s lifework was in educating people about keeping God’s requirements and His blessings for living in faith. His message is just as important for us today, as we seek to draw close to and become more like the God who worked through Elisha.

We must pray for God’s help and seek His Spirit as Elisha did.

In conclusion breathren, let us always remember the admonition in

1 Cor 15:57-58

The sting of death is sin, and the strength of sin is the law. 57 But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

58 Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord

Are you ready to be used by God Almighty?

Are you willing to Anchor your life to Christ the Solid Rock?

Bow your head in prayer:

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