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October 25 – Ascension and succession again

For though we walk in the flesh, we are not waging war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds.  We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ, being ready to punish every disobedience, when your obedience is complete. 2 Corinthians 10:3-6

Scripture reading: 2 Kings 2:15-18

It isn’t exactly clear what was behind the request of the sons of the prophets when they pressed Elisha to allow them to seek Elijah. It is clear, however, that it was not Elijah they should have been seeking. Like Elisha, they should have been asking, “Where is the Lord, the God of Elijah?” (v. 14) That should be our concern too: Where is the Lord Who can do mighty things for the honor of His name and the blessing of His people?

Elisha is Elijah’s successor. So are we. We can see this by looking back and forward from the story. If you look back you will find another tag team that wrestles with the forces of darkness, namely, Moses and Joshua. Elijah is the new Moses and Elisha the new Joshua. Looking ahead we see that John the Baptist is the new Elijah (Matt. 17:11-13) which makes Jesus the new Elisha.

Joshua, Elisha, and Jesus have names that mean the same, begin their ministries at the Jordan, and all receive the Spirit for ministry. Jesus is unique, of course. He is the only Saviour Who reconciles sinners to God. And He is also the only One Who gives the Spirit to His own to carry on His mission of bringing all things under His Lordship. We do that through missions and evangelism, but also by bringing our lives as churches, families, and individuals in subjection to His authority. Do you see areas of your life where you need to wield the sword of the Spirit that you might better please our sovereign?

Suggestions for prayer

Ask the Lord to enable you to examine your lives so that we might better please our God and Redeemer. Pray that He would empower us by the Spirit so that we might have the courage and conviction to work for Christ’s honour in every sphere of our lives.

This daily devotional is available in a print edition you can buy at Nearer to God Devotional. Rev. John van Eyk is the Senior Pastor of Trinity Reformed Church (United Reformed) in Lethbridge, Alberta.

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