Thursday, June 19, 2008

The big ask

I was reading in 2 Kings 2 this morning and was reminded of the importance of asking. When we want something accomplished we ask, when we need help we ask others to help, when we are dreaming great dreams for God we need to ask for God's help, guidance, influence, favor, etc. We have to ask. The epistle of James says "we have not because we ask not". Jesus says, "ask and you shall receive . . .". Many times in Jesus ministry people with real and obvious needs come up to him and he consistently asks them "what do you want me to do for you?"

In 2 Kings 2 Elijah is about to be taken up into heaven. His anointed successor, Elisha, has been serving him, following him and being mentored by him for several years. Elijah knows his time has come near and tells Elisha to wait for him but Elisha refuses to leave his side. A little while later Elijah tells Elisha to wait in a place while he goes on further but Elisha refuses to leave his side. After the third time this exchange happens Elijah says to Elisha "what do you me to do for you?" And Elisha makes the big ask "I want a double portion of your spirit."

I don't believe Elisha is asking for double as in twice as much what he is asking is "can I have as much spirit as you have?" A "duplicate" portion might be more accurate. Even so this is an amazing thing to ask for. Elisha, has been named Elijah's successor and in this one question he asks for the power, authority and spirit to actually live out that succession. The reason he asks for this is simple, he needs the fullness of the power and presence of God to do what he will need to do -- he will need a double portion to live out the dream and to be faithful.

The big ask can only come when there is a big dream. There is no point to Elisha asking for a double portion if his dream is to sit by the road side or watch the world go by drinking mint juleps on his veranda. But if Elisha's dream, the vision God has placed within him, is to do great and might things for the LORD then he is going to need a full measure of God's spirit and a full replacement value anointing to get it done.

I have not because I ask not. I do not ask because I may not be dreaming big enough dreams.

What do you want?

Dr. BJ

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