Week of Monday, October 26 ­– Saturday, October 31
Test and Turn Loose!—Man as a Battle Buddy

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.” – 2 Kings 2:9 ESV

We call it the Great Commission: the directive Jesus gave his disciples to make disciples before he ascended back to the Father. In my view, it is a call to mentor others. How do you make disciples? You have to mentor them. Start with showing them the way to salvation and then help them understand how to submit to Christ as Lord of their lives. That process takes time, training, tenacity, patience, and even some testing.

In 2 Kings chapter 2, we drop in on an interesting series of exchanges between Elijah and his disciple Elisha. Elijah is wrapping up his prophetic ministry, and he is about to leave this world in a miraculous way, not unlike Jesus did, and he basically tells Elisha: “Stop following me” (see v. 2, 4, 6). It’s a strange thing to say to the guy you are mentoring and to whom you are hoping to hand over the reins of leadership. Elijah, the discipler, tells Elisha, the disciple, not once but three times: “Stop right here. You’ve gone far enough. Just leave me alone. I’m going on. You stay right here.” And Elisha replied three times: “With all due respect, no sir, wherever you go, I’m going. I’m going to stick to you like glue. You can’t get rid of me. As the Lord lives, as my soul lives, I will not leave you.”

Why would Elijah do this to Elisha? After all, Elisha seemed to be motivated by a burning, intense desire to stay close to his mentor. Why then did Elijah keep telling him, “You just stay here; I’m going on”? I believe Elijah was testing him, he was trying him, he was proving him. Elijah knew he was not long for this world and he wanted to know just how serious Elisha was about continuing his ministry. Elijah wanted to know if Elisha was ready to move from being mentored to becoming the leader.

Obviously, Elisha was ready. Because he persevered and passed this series of tests, Elijah allowed him to ask for a spiritual blessing and Elisha asked for “a double portion of your spirit on me.” It was granted, and the Bible records that Elisha performed twice as many miracles as Elijah his mentor. Elisha passed the test and proved to be a worthy successor. As Elijah went to his reward in a “blaze of glory,” he was assured that he was leaving his prophetic ministry in good hands. Elisha became Elijah’s greatest legacy.

This story serves as a biblical example of godly mentoring and brings with it the expectation that men can and should be mentors. Are you mentoring anyone? You should be, or you should at least be looking for that opportunity. Otherwise, you are missing out on a blessing. Yes, Elisha passed the test and got a double portion of Elijah’s spirit, but I would also argue that Elijah was also blessed by the mentoring relationship with Elisha. Want to leave a godly legacy and get in on a blessing? Find someone you can mentor and make sure you test them before you turn them loose!

  • Ask yourself: If I died today, what legacy will I leave behind? More important than a retirement account, do you have a disciple you are mentoring who will continue on? Are you mentoring anyone who will “take up your mantle” (see v. 13-14)?
  • Pray for God to send you someone to mentor, someone you can share your experiences with, pour into, train and test. Make that investment. Be a blessing to another man and you will be blessed in the process.
  • Don’t think because you’ve blown it that you can’t be a mentor. That line of reasoning is a trick of the enemy. All men have had failures of one kind or another. I certainly have. But 1 John 1:9 (NKJV) tells us, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us of all unrighteousness.” Get over it and get on with it.