2 Kings 2:9-12. 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.” 10 And he said, “You have asked a hard thing; yet, if you see me as I am being taken from you, it shall be so for you, but if you do not see me, it shall not be so.” 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. 12 And Elisha saw it and he cried, “My father, my father! The chariots of Israel and its horsemen!” And he saw him no more.
Do you live in fear? The fear of living an inconsequential life? Elijah and Elisha did. The ministries of Elijah and Elisha were full of divine power and great miracles. But in spite of God’s great hand upon them, these men lived in fear. The fear that so many of us live in. The fear of living a life that doesn’t matter. That fails to make a difference. The fear of not being enough.
But here in 2 Kings, at the end of Elijah’s ministry and the beginning of Elisha’s, we get a preview of who we are in Christ and why that means we no longer need to live in fear.
What’s the best way to avoid the fear of death? Don’t die. Elijah was swept up by God’s angelic chariots of fire. Caught up in a whirlwind to heaven. It’s a spectacular death, or should we say non-death?
But why would God take this great man away? Wasn’t there more that he could do? There was definitely more that he wanted to do. But here’s what we must understand: the chariots of fire and the whirlwind don’t end Elijah’s life; they are just the beginning of his real living. Living in the presence of God where all his true potential will be reached.
If you are in Christ, you never have to fear death. The chariots of fire and the whirlwind come for all who are in Christ. Like Elijah, your life goes on. And you never have to fear that your life was unreached potential. In Christ there is no such thing. All that you “failed” to accomplish here and now you will fulfill in glory. Your destiny is Christ alone. And Christ will carry you in his chariot of fire into the arms of the Father. There in his presence you will realize your life’s full potential – the image of Christ.
And what about Elisha’s request of Elijah – “Please let there be a double portion of your spirit on me.” Elisha isn’t asking for “twice as much” of the Spirit. He’s asking for Elijah’s same spiritual inheritance. The double portion was the inheritance of the oldest son. The oldest son would receive a greater inheritance than the other heirs. Elisha wants the same presence of God that Elijah had, not more, just the same.
When Christ, like Elijah, was taken up into Heaven, he had promised the Apostles, and us, that his Spirit would come to them. That we his followers would receive his same life, his same inheritance, his same power, his same love. Christ is the “oldest son” who has shared the double portion of his Spirit with us.
Now, not only do we have no need to fear death, we have no need to fear being alive. We have the life of Christ in us by his Spirit. All that is his is ours.
This changes everything for us because we have been given everything by Christ. Now we can give everything through Christ. We can live his sacrificial life. We can live without fear of any loss, for everything is ours in him. We can live without the fear of an insignificant life, for our life is united to the most significant life that ever lived.
“To live is Christ means fearless living is possible. As “Elijah’s” we have no fear in death, for we will be immediately swept up into the presence of God. And as “Elisha’s” we have no fear in life, for we live from the double portion of the Spirit, the life of Jesus himself.
Where are you living in fear today? Fear of death? Fear of life?
You in Christ
How does believing that you are in Christ begin to remove fear from your heart?
Christ in you
What fear can you face today in the power of Christ’s “double portion?”