“Elijah said to Elisha, “Tell me, what can I do for you before I am taken from you?” “Let me inherit a double portion of your spirit,” Elisha replied. “You have asked a difficult thing,” Elijah said, “yet if you see me when I am taken from you, it will be yours — otherwise, it will not.”
2 Kings 2:9-10 NIV
From the moment sometime around the year 856 BC when Elijah saw Elisha plowing the field with a massive team of oxen, all 120 feet or so of beasts pulling the plow, something happened that would affect generations to come. The anointing on Elijah was so powerful that Elisha immediately slaughtered his oxen on the spot, held a massive barbeque for those around him, and then followed the prophet and became his servant (1 Kings 19:19-21), similar to the way Joshua assisted Moses.
We hear little more about Elisha during the remainder of Elijah’s years of ministry, until the time when it became apparent the Lord was going to take Elijah in a whirlwind (2 Kings 2).
After Elisha’s double-portion request, Elijah tested his servant’s commitment by asking him three times to remain while he went to Bethel (2 Kings 2:2), Jericho (verse 4), and then over the Jordan (verse 6). Elisha refused to leave his master. Why? He did not want to be separated from the promised anointing. As when he was called from the field of oxen, Elisha knew there was no anointing without action and obedience. He kept moving, close to the prophet, and suddenly a chariot of fire appeared and Elijah went up to Heaven in a whirlwind (verse 11).
As Elijah’s mantle fell, Elisha rushed to grab it and he caught the promised anointing: “Elisha then picked up Elijah’s cloak that had fallen from him and went back and stood on the bank of the Jordan. He took the cloak that had fallen from Elijah and struck the water with it.... When he struck the water, it divided to the right and to the left, and he crossed over. The company of the prophets from Jericho, who were watching, said, ‘The spirit of Elijah is resting on Elisha…’” (2 Kings 2:13-15 NIV).
God arranges times when we are near the anointing, but if we hesitate or hold back, His touch will pass us by. Elisha refused to accept anything less than the double-portion anointing. A lot of people want to receive great things from God. Few, however, are willing to pay the price. Today, we must activate our faith and get ready to receive what God has in store for us. May the cry of every believer’s heart be, “Lord, I hunger for a double portion. Let your mantle fall on me!”