Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Double Shot: The McGuire's

As Ben and Jill McGuire were boarding the bus about 10 days ago to leave Copper and head to Kosice, Slovakia, I asked Ben how we could pray for them. Ben said that he was following a guy who had been the leader there the past three years and Jill was following someone who had been the leader the past two years. He asked that we could pray for them as they stepped into their shoes; for the transition and that both their team and the students within movement would welcome their leadership.

I am sure some of you are walking into similar situations. When Ben asked me to pray I thought of Elisha following Elijah. No, I didn’t think of him because of Elisha’s hairline. (Though part of me could see Ben being tempted to call down bears from the Tatra Mountains to maul some Slovak urchins who were jeering him.) I think Elijah would have had a big cloak to fill. Elijah was the man. You got the praying and no rain for three years, the Mount Carmel showdown, hanging out with Jesus and Moses at the Mount of Transfiguration, having a seat saved for him at every Passover meal, etc. We even learn from Matt Mikalatos that he later visited other planets.

I can’t even imagine what was going through Elisha’s head when suddenly this chariot of fire with horses of fire separates him from his spiritual father and he sees Elijah taken up to heaven in a whirlwind. But Elisha picks up Elijah’s cloak and does a number of things he did (parts the Jordan, miraculously sustains a widow and raises a dead boy) and more amazing things (makes a deadly stew safe to eat, feeds 100, heals a leper, makes an axhead float, etc.). As far as I can tell the 7000 in Israel who knees have not bowed to Baal accept Elisha as their leader. And those 42 youth who teased him wished in hindsight that they had.

Here are some leadership principles gleaned from Elisha’s life:

Actually that is more intriguing to me than making an axe head float or calling down bears on youth who call you baldy. Elisha asked to inherit a double portion of Elijah’s spirit. (In Kentucky where the McGuire’s hail from I imagine they would say “A Double Dose of the Holy Ghost”.) It makes me think of that 80’s praise song, More Love, More Power. I never understood how you can have more of God in your life. How can you have a double portion of the Spirit?

Double portion is a phrase used in the OT in several places to refer to special favor or blessing. It is like an extra reward.

Elisha knew that to follow Elijah and to lead in wicked times that he needed the Spirit in a special way. I think that’s what we need today. Maybe as NT believers we would cry out, “God would you look down in favor on me and pour out your Spirit on me to enable me to lead.” That’s what we need whether we are stepping into someone’s shoes or leading the first team to our location. We need His Spirit to control and empower us. We need to walk moment by moment in the Spirit. We need a double shot of His boldest blend… to go... Venti… no room for cream or anything else.


Bryon and Sam Scharenberg said...

you're funny andy...holy ghost jokes-geesh.

Thanks for the encouragement, and ben and jill's story. It came at a good time as i'm with my team in the dallas airport- after tropical storm ernesto jumbled up all of our perfect travel plans. But we're still rolling, and kicking back shots of the Spirit, or holy ghost as some would have it. Cheers Ernesto.

Andy McCullough said...

I wasn't necessarily trying to make light of the Holy Spirit but I guess I was trying to be clever.

He has greater power than Ernesto, so drink up my friend!

Paul Crichlow said...

Another way of looking at the double portion of Elijah's spirit is that Elijah did double the miracles that Elijah did. CHeck it out!

Andy McCullough said...

Good point, Paul. If note, Elisha asks to 'inherit' the double portion. You can click the links in the blog for 'double portion' to find other verses where this term is found. One is a reference to first born inheriting a double portion. So you are right, he did what Elijah did (as noted in blog) and even doubly more.

Also note that the mcGuires are from Kentucky not WVa as I orgianlly wrote. Double Dose still applies to KY - maybe even more so. :)