Elisha Succeeds Elijah
He picked up the mantle of Elijah that had fallen from him, and went back and stood on the bank of the Jordan. He took the mantle of Elijah that had fallen from him, and struck the water, saying, “Where is the Lord, the God of Elijah?” When he had struck the water, the water was parted to the one side and to the other, and Elisha went over.
When the company of prophets who were at Jericho saw him at a distance, they declared, “The spirit of Elijah rests on Elisha.” They came to meet him and bowed to the ground before him.”
Jesus Foretells His Death
Again he said to them, “I am going away, and you will search for me, but you will die in your sin. Where I am going, you cannot come.” Then the Jews said, “Is he going to kill himself? Is that what he means by saying, ‘Where I am going, you cannot come’?” He said to them, “You are from below, I am from above; you are of this world, I am not of this world. I told you that you would die in your sins, for you will die in your sins unless you believe that I am he.” They said to him, “Who are you?” Jesus said to them, “Why do I speak to you at all? I have much to say about you and much to condemn; but the one who sent me is true, and I declare to the world what I have heard from him.” They did not understand that he was speaking to them about the Father. So Jesus said, “When you have lifted up the Son of Man, then you will realize that I am he, and that I do nothing on my own, but I speak these things as the Father instructed me. And the one who sent me is with me; he has not left me alone, for I always do what is pleasing to him.” As he was saying these things, many believed in him.
Who are you and where is the One I am looking for?
God surprises us all. We often stumble across God in our individual search for help as we grow to recognize we are sadly ill-equipped to navigate the harsh landscape of life alone. We face disappointment from the people we surround ourselves with,not because they are all bad or incapable people, but simply because our needs extend beyond their abilities. We have a God-shaped hole in ourselves that nothing else can fill, as the popular saying goes. I take my image of need from one of my favorite Psalms, “Deep cries out to deep”a prayer-poem that compares the depths of our need with the depth of hope we can only find in God.
Yet even with thousands of years worth of evidence pointing to God’s unique provision in our lives we are still constantly surprised by when, where, and how God comes through for us. Why? Because we have mistaken expectations in our relationship with God. It is almost funny because the major purpose of a covenant – the term scripture uses as the type of relationship we have with God, is to spell out and clarify those expectations. Just look at these examples of expectations from traditional wedding vows:
“I, , take thee, , to be my wedded husband/wife,
to have and to hold,
from this day forward,
for better, for worse,
for richer, for poorer,
in sickness and in health,
to love and to cherish,
till death do us part,
according to God’s holy ordinance;
and thereto I pledge thee my faith [or] pledge myself to you.”
What are your expectations of God in your relationship with Him?
If you wrote your own vows what would they say?
What are God’s expectations of you?
When we have mistaken expectations of God, we, like the Jewish people before us, miss seeing Him, even when He is standing right in front of us. Most of the time this mistake is not due to a lack of knowledge, it is a lack of motivation. If I only want a God who gives me license to sin, I will never see God, because He will never be that for me. He will forgive,redeem, and transform me, but He will never change who He is to suit my desires – especially if my desires are ultimately harmful to myself and others. The way of sin leads to death and destruction and God will not help us down that road. Yet when we get lost on that road ourselves we can always look up and see Jesus lifted up, pointing the way back to life for us if only we will trust and follow Him.