Have you ever had times where you felt burned out and weary?
If so, you’re not alone.
Elijah, one of God’s prophets in the Old Testament, came to a point in his ministry and life where he was burned out. He just couldn’t gather up enough energy to go on. He was discouraged and at his whits end. He couldn’t see past the obstacles that kept chasing him. Even after amazing victories that were being worked out through him, he found himself in a state of despair and depression.
The Lord ministered and sustained him through this season where he withdrew to a quiet place and laid down his life before the Lord in a state of resignation. After he slept and rested the Lord gave him his final assignments in preparation of wrapping up his ministry and his legacy – the final chapter of his life. He gave him some leaders to anoint and appoint and he gave him the assignment of discipling a young man named Elisha who was to be coached up to take his place.
Elijah was not being demoted in this replacement assignment. Instead it turned out to be an amazing exit strategy the Lord gave him. Essentially God was instructing him to hand his mantel – what he had learned – over to someone younger than him in the faith in order to pass the baton to the next runner in the race.
Elijah obeyed the Lord and illustrated one of the most amazing exits into heaven ever recorded. He discipled Elisha for a time. This wasn’t an arduous, difficult task. It was simply inviting and allowing Elisha to come along on some of his journey, to tag along to see how God worked in and through Elijah’s life first hand. It was on the job training.
Elisha was able to see for himself who Elijah really was and how God worked in his life. When he saw this he wanted more and asked for double. Elijah did not put any pressure on Elisha to follow him either. Elisha wanted to hang out with Elijah, to be his helper and he had to keep up with him. He was tested along the way to keep pace with Elijah who was not a slacker. He was always on the move being about his Father’s business. If Elisha wasn’t as diligent about keeping up with Elijah, he wouldn’t have received as much coaching and would have missed out on what God had in store.
Finally, after spending a short season together, Elijah was free to be escorted up to heaven in a limo (whirlwind, fiery chariot). Because Elisha had stuck with him, he had served Elijah and learned from him first hand how God worked through him, he was handed the baton and given a double portion.
I believe part of the reason Elisha got a double portion was because of the discipleship and coaching he had received. He took all of the lessons learned through Elijah and received them well. He was willing to learn from someone older than him. He wasn’t a know it all. He was humble and with a servants heart so when Elijah poured into him he received it well and received a double portion of wisdom, power, understanding and faith from God.
In the end, Elijah did not burn out. Instead, he poured out the light and lessons he had received from God into someone else. He invested time and teachable moments into someone, lighting a fire in them that lasted long after he departed.
Be encouraged to be the light in someones life, to pour into someone else and pass the torch on to the next generation. You may be surprised to see a fire kindled far brighter and bigger than anything you have obtained which is one of the greatest rewards you could ever receive.
(1 kings 19, 2 Kings 2)