Passing the Baton
And Elijah said unto him, Tarry, I pray thee, here; for the Lord hath sent me to Jordan. And he said, As the Lord liveth, and as thy soul liveth, I will not leave thee. And they two went on. ~2 Kings 2:6
The success in a relay race lies in the passing of the baton. The four racers for a team are strategically placed in their respective order for speed and to have the competitive edge. The one component of the race that is the difference between winning and losing is how the baton is passed to the next runner. A dropped baton is a heartbreaking way to lose a race. One of the critical components of leadership is developing future leaders. This is done through mentoring.
We see the importance of faith.
“As the Lord liveth, and as thy soul liveth.” Spiritual leadership and development begins with faith. The spiritual leader must be one who has a vibrant relationship with God. As with Elijah, he must have a vibrant prayer life. He must be in the Word of God. He must give a sense of the Holy Spirit’s power in his life. We cannot take anyone where we have not gone. As a leader, you cannot develop someone to climb a mountain that you have not climbed. By the same token, the protégé must have a genuine walk with God as well and demonstrate that “there is life in his soul.”
We see the importance of following.
“And he returned back from him, and took a yoke of oxen, and slew them, and boiled their flesh with the instruments of the oxen, and gave unto the people, and they did eat. Then he arose, and went after Elijah, and ministered unto him” (1 Kings 19:21). Successful transitions occur when the protégé learns to follow. The best way to follow is in being a servant. Elisha was known as the man who poured water on the hands of Elijah. For over ten years, Elisha found his joy by being the servant of Elijah. When we follow, we must follow right. When we follow we must follow obediently. When we follow, we must follow well.
We see the importance of faithfulness.
“I will not leave thee.” Faithfulness means being staying loyal, reliable and always available. Elisha determined in his heart that he would not leave Elijah no matter what. His calling was to follow Elijah and not his own heart. There were some tough situations he watched Elijah go through, but he remained faithful. He heard the slander of Ahab and Jezebel against Elijah, but he remained faithful.
We see the importance of philosophy.
“Tarry, I pray thee, here; for the Lord hath sent me to Jordan.” Philosophy is how we approach what we do on the basis of convictions and conclusions we have reached. Elijah was testing Elisha about his philosophy. He told Elisha to tarry at Gilgal, Bethel, Jericho and Jordan. Elisha had peers there who had different philosophies of ministry. Elisha knew that there were philosophies of ministry “there” that were different from Elijah’s. In each case, Elisha said I will not leave thee. Wherever God sent Elijah, Elisha determined that he would follow him. If you are the one being mentored, determine that the philosophy of your mentor is your philosophy.
We see the importance of focus.
“And he said, Thou hast asked a hard thing: nevertheless, if thou see me when I am taken from thee, it shall be so unto thee; but if not, it shall not be so.” In order for the mantle to be successfully transferred, Elisha had to be focused on Elijah. If he took his eyes off of Elijah, his request for a double portion of the spirit of Elijah would have never come to him. Well, he kept his eyes on Elijah and he received what he asked for.
You’ll drop the baton if you don’t live out and practice what we see in the life of Elisha. Don’t drop the baton!
Have a faithful God Morning!
Bible Reading Schedule: Exodus 33-35