Elisha and Bethel

“And Elijah said to Elisha, ‘Please stay here, for the LORD has sent me as far as Bethel.’ But Elisha said, ‘As the LORD lives, and as you yourself live, I will not leave you.’ So they went down to Bethel. And the sons of the prophets who were in Bethel came out to Elisha and said to him, ‘Do you know that today the LORD will take away your master from over you?” And he said, “Yes, I know it; keep quiet.’” (2 Kings 2:2-3, ESV).

Over the last couple of days we looked at two visions that Jacob had, one while fleeing Esau and the land of promise, and the other when he returned. While Jacob was still apprehensive about seeing Esau again, he was a different man. He left a deceiver and a cheat, but he returned with a reminder that God is in control (remember Israel means God Prevails). He left with little commitment to God and returned humbled and ready to serve the Lord.

In the first vision God said, “I will give you the land.” In the second vision God said, “I give it to you. In the first vision God said, “I am the God of Abraham and Isaac.” In the second vision He said, “I am God Almighty!” He went from being the God who was able to take care of “your fathers” to the God who can do anything!

Elisha followed Elijah to Bethel, the House of God and the place of vision. He left the comfort of Gilgal and the fellowship of the other prophets. Those other prophets tried to distract Elisha with words about the future as they saw it, but Elisha had caught a vision of his own. He could have stayed with the other prophets, probably gotten a leadership role over them, but he wouldn’t be distracted the visions of others.

Had Elisha remained in Gilgal, his vision would have been empty. He likely would never have walked it out; neither would his ministry have been so powerful. But Elisha never lost sight of his vision. He allowed God to change him through the vision. A vision is something that you see. If you see it, it is before you; if you keep it before you, dwelling on it and meditating on it, you will begin to do and say things that will align you with God’s Word so that you will be in position, and have the character to see the fulfillment of the vision in the natural world.

The trouble with staying at Gilgal, meaning circle, the place of salvation and deliverance, was that a circle has no direction. “Where there is no vision, the people perish…” (Proverbs 29:18, KJV). The problem of staying at Bethel, the place of vision, is never allowing the vision that God gives you to change you. Nothing that matters is ever accomplished by doing nothing. God reveals to us, through His Word, through our pastors and teachers, through the tiniest promptings of the Holy Spirit, a place just a little bit higher, or even much higher, than where we are now. He gives us vision for the purpose of affecting change within us so that we can affect change around us.

We cannot allow ourselves to be satisfied with salvation alone; we must seek God and yield to Him and His will for our lives. And we must not allow ourselves to become distracted by anything or anyone that would slow us down or divert us from fulfilling the visions that God has for us.

Blessings on your day!

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