Training up our replacement may seem like a task that will add to our being overwhelmed and exhausted, but as I hope you will see, such a task refocuses us on what is important—vitally important to the work of God. In addressing Elijah’s exhaustion and sense of being overwhelmed, God did one of the most wonderful things He could do—He gave Elijah a protégé—a servant—a disciple if you will. Elisha was that disciple.
One of the reasons that we get overwhelmed and exhausted is because we try to do God’s work, our way. We think that we are supposed to foster massive movements and set up awesome “ministries” for God. Yet, when you look at what Jesus Christ did while on the earth (and He said He lived to do the Father’s will), it might amaze you what He devoted Himself to doing. He did spend large amounts of time teaching and ministering to those who came around Him, but not in the way of fostering a huge movement or organization like we do today. He spend the majority of His time ministering to twelve men—seeking to reproduce what He did and was doing through them. If anything, He actually shunned the idea of building a huge organization. In short—He disciple men. This is what God was doing with Elijah as well. He would pour the last months and years of his life into a young man, Elisha, who would continue his prophetic ministry afterward. What is even more wonderful to see is that by the time Elisha moves into the full swing of his ministry for God, he has a group of men with him which we could loosely call, the school of the prophets. Elisha’s legacy would be not just his own ministry as prophet and a replacement—but a wonderful ministry—and multiple prophets who could spread the Word of God far further than he could do alone.
Sometimes we are overwhelmed and exhausted because we see NO END in sight for us to carry the ministry we have—ALONE. Even Jesus did not do that. He gave Himself to raise up 12—and actually by the time they were praying in the upper room prior to the outpouring of the Holy Spirit—there were 120. That would definitely lessen our load and help preclude further exhaustion and a sense of being overwhelmed. So, as I close this week’s article I only have one question. “Who are you working with to be your replacement in the work of the kingdom?