2 Kings 2:1-15 God's Power for The Impossible
In succeeding Elijah (to say nothing of crossing a river without a bridge) Elisha was facing an impossible task. This was not a moment in which he needed inspiration from Elijah but an impartation from God.
The Holy Spirit is the longed-for and promised power and presence of God for all God's people (Numbers 11:29, Isaiah 44:3, Joel 2:28, John 7:38-39, Acts 1:4-5, 8, 2:38-39).
What Elisha had seen in Elijah's ministry, we can also expect now:
1. God speaks.
Elijah’s ministry as a prophet was about speaking the word of God, what He says about people and situations right now. He wasn’t making these things up, he was reporting what God had spoken to him. They were often words of challenge against powerful people, sometimes they were words of hope in hopeless situations. We're told to eager desire the gift of prophecy (1 Corinthians 14:1). Prophecy today is always in harmony with what God has said definitively in the Bible.
2. God acts
The stories of Elijah and Elisha are full of God doing remarkable things. (If we accept that He exists, it must be possible for Him to break into our world in whatever ways He desires.) Healings and other miracles occur throughout the Bible so we should expect them now. The more we take a chance and ask God to act in power, the more likely we are to see Him do it. Coming along to Hope On The Streets (Saturday 22nd October) or offering to pray for people you know to be healed are a couple of first steps you could take. We believe that God is going to do more miraculous things among us as we trust Him to.
3. God loves
God showed His loving faithfulness to a faithless people by sending them Elijah and then Elijah to bring them back to the way they should live, as well as kindness and care for Elijah himself when he had a breakdown). Romans 5:5 and 8:15-16 tell us to expect to experience the love of God when the Holy Spirit is poured out on us, we don't just know about Him, we know Him personally.
- What did Luke's story about meeting Olympic gold medalist Heather Stanning illustrate about the difference between inspiration and impartation?
- Luke quoted many of the promises in the Bible about the Holy Spirit - why is it important for us to be convinced from God's Word about Him?
- Which of the three aspects of the Holy Spirit's work are you wanting to see more of in your life: Him speaking, acting, or loving?
- Spend time worshiping God and welcoming the Holy Spirit, pray for each other to receive the promised gifts of God and begin to use them.
Extra notes: basic points on the Holy Spirit
- Spirit promised: Joel 2:28-29, John 14:15-17, Acts 1:5, 8
- Promise begins to be fulfilled: Acts 2 (NB 1-4, 14-21, 37-41), 4:31, 8:14-24, 9:17-19, 1044-48, 19:1-6
- Normal Christianity: Romans 8:9-11, Ephesians 1:13-14, 5:18-20, Jude 20
Go through each reference in Acts asking these questions:
- Did something observable happen?
- Did anyone lay hands on the people here to receive the Spirit?
- Had they been baptised in water?
- Was there speaking in tongues?
- Were there other gifts given?
There seem to be 3 stages of Holy Spirit activity for the believer:
- The indwelling of every believer at their conversion (1 Corinthians 12:3, Titus 3:5, Romans 8:9).
- A particular event when He meets with a believer for the first time in an experiential way, what we would term receiving the baptism of the Holy Spirit (e.g. Acts 8:14-24).
- The ongoing empowering of the believer (Ephesians 5:18, Acts 4:31).
The work of the Holy Spirit:
- Assurance of God’s love and our sonship (Romans 8:15-16).
- Power to witness and perform miraculous signs (Acts 1:8, Romans 15:18-19).
- Helps us to pray and worship (Romans 8:26-27, Ephesians 5:18-20)
- Fruit (Galatians 5:22-23).
- Gifts (1 Corinthians 12:7-11, 14:1-33).
Books by Bible-loving people who teach this:
- The Spirit-filled Church, Terry Virgo (we've got spare copies of this) - Surprised by the Power of the Spirit, Jack Deere
- Joy Unspeakable, Martyn Lloyd-Jones