God calls each and every one of us to live an anointed life. In 1 & 2 Kings, we read the story of a man named Elisha, who was anointed by God through Elijah, his predecessor. Prior to his encounter with Elijah, Elisha was an ordinary farmer who was at the back of the pack (1 Kings 19:19). Nothing about his life made him stand out as someone who would be chosen by God. But God had prepared for him the pathway to anointing. Because of his faithfulness and obedience, God worked through Elisha and by the end of his life he had performed twice as many miracles as his mentor, Elijah.
Read 1 Kings 19:19-21, 2 Kings 2:9-15a
- What is a life lesson for which you are grateful, that you have learnt from your mum or a mother figure in your life?
- God is not looking for someone who is extraordinary. Instead, He is looking for someone who is obedient. What does faithfulness look like to you? How can you see Elisha’s faith and obedience in 1 Kings 19:19-21?
- Our day-to-day lives consist of areas/things that are placed before us by God. What are those areas/things for you? How can you be more faithful in those areas/things?
- Elisha spent seven years from the day he met Elijah to the day he was anointed. How do you think time was important in this matter? How has God been preparing you?
- Read 2 Kings 2:1-8. The pathway to anointing will test our resolve. Distractions and let-downs will still be around, perhaps even more, when we are being prepared by God. What could possibly distract you personally from His anointing? How can you work around that?
- In 2 Kings 2:1-6 Elijah took Elisha to four different places. Each of them has a different meaning, but together they paint the bigger picture of God’s faithfulness to the Israelites. Where do you see God’s work in your life in each of these areas?
Gilgal: walk away from the past (Joshua 4:20-23)
Jordan River: God makes a way when there is no way (Joshua 3:16-17)
Jericho: Remember the victories He has won (Joshua 6:20-21)
Bethel: Ensure you call on the Lord (Genesis 12:8, 35:15)
It is God’s desire to unleash our potential, for us to see that He is working in our lives. To be able to see that, we have to step into a place of faithfulness and obedience. It might be the time for you to remember your Gilgal, Bethel, Jericho or Jordan River moments. If you feel lost, come back to Him and ask for the fullness of the Holy Spirit. This week, pray and ask Him to show you where you are at in your journey with God.
Every follower of Jesus is called to humbly serve God with the gifts, talents and resources that we already have in our hands. We may feel that what we have is too small, insignificant or inadequate to be used by the King of Kings, yet we are reminded today that it is humble offerings, brought with a sacrificial heart, that God values the most – with potentially the most significant outcomes. We cannot, But He can!
Read 2 Kings 4:8-10, John 10:10
- Discernment always leads to discovery. What is God wanting you to discover today? How do you best discern what God is saying to you?
- God calls each of us to humbly serve Him with what we have at our disposal. What do you have that you can humbly offer for God to use today?
- There is a risk that we may think to ourselves “When I have____ [fill in the blank for you], then I can really serve God.” What is the blank in your life that may be preventing you from serving Him at this moment? Is it really a barrier or just a perceived one?
- Read 2 Kings 4:9. What may have motivated the woman to offer up a room for Elisha?
- Read 1 Peter 4:9 and Romans 12:13. What part does offering hospitality to others play in our ministry to God? Who could you offer hospitality to? What could make this easier to do?
- God is more concerned about our willingness and availability to partner with Him than what we may have to offer to him. Discuss.
God is already at work in our world, at our workplaces and in our neighbourhoods. He invites us to partner with Him in the joy of ministering to others around us. What gifts, skills or resources do you have in your hands that with discernment you can humbly offer to God for Him to use for His glory? Who can you offer a simple meal to this week, as a simple step to show the love of God?
All of us have the opportunity to live an anointed life. God puts you where you are right now because He wants to use you and what you can offer to Him for His glory. There are times when the busy-ness of our lives can prevent us from identifying what God wants to use or who God wants us to connect with for Him. If we are not keeping ourselves close to Him and reading His words, we may be more inclined to ‘write off’ the God opportunities before us. It is important for us as His disciples to open our eyes and truly see how God can and will use us – even through things that seem insignificant.
Read 2 Kings 4:1-7
- What was the widow’s posture when she told Elisha her problem? When you are in the middle of a problem, at what point do you usually seek help from others? At what point do you come to God?
- In this passage we can see that God did a wondrous miracle using something that the widow perceived as nothing – a flask of oil that she already had in her possession (2 Kings 4:2). What gift, item or relationship do you already have that God might want to use? Once you name it, what is one step of bold faith that you can make to offer this to God?
- What did Elisha tell the widow to do (2 Kings 4:3-4)? How did she react to it? If it was you, how would you react to Elisha’s command? What is your understanding of faith in this sense?
- Read 2 Kings 4:5-6. When did the oil begin to multiply? When did it stop? What stopped it? How do you understand this part of the passage? What is your ‘flask’? Oil? Jars? What can hinder and distract us from pouring the oil constantly and continuously?
- Read 2 Kings 4:7. Where was Elisha when all this was happening? Why?
- God specialises in making a lot out of a little. What other stories in the Bible can you recall when God has done much with very little offered to Him? Looking at one of these stories, what did God do? What are the characteristics of God and His provision?
We can see how God uses things that we may perceive as unimportant to bring Glory to His name. What is one thing you can do this week that will enable God to use you to bring His blessing to others. In pairs or triplets, talk about (1) how you are going to do it, and (2) to whom you are going to bring God’s blessings. Pray together that God will show you the path to an anointed life.
Going Deeper notes next week will be published on Tuesday
– as next Monday is public holiday .
As believers we know that trusting in God does not mean that problems won’t come our way. Most of us have experienced how overwhelming and challenging life can be, even as followers of Christ. The good news is that even when we are surrounded by challenges, we can have our eyes opened to see with spiritual eyes that God has gone before us. In 2 Kings 6, Elisha sees a problem with his spiritual eyes. He then takes it captive and repositions it, and through this change God clears the slate between Aram and Israel.
Read 2 Kings 6:8-23
- What part of your life feels like it is at war right now? What is the outer reality of that war? How are your internal emotions responding to it?
- Read 2 Kings 6:15-16. How can we expand our line of vision and see beyond what our physical eyes can see? What does it look like when we bring God into our narrative?
- Elisha took a stance when he saw the Aramean army. When trouble comes, why is it important to take the situation captive? What does it look like for followers of Christ to be in control of their fear?
- “The problem is not the problem. It is what you do with it that determines whether you have a problem or not.” How did Elisha re-position the dangerous situation they were in? What can you learn from this in regard to your current personal war (discussed in question 1)?
- Read 2 Kings 6:21-23. What is the difference between the king’s response and Elisha’s response? Recall and share a time in your life when God intervened in your emotions to protect you.
- Read Colossians 2:13-15 and Romans 8:31, 35. God brought peace between Aram and Israel through Elisha. Through Christ and His crucifixion, He freed us from a war that otherwise we wouldn’t have won. How are you with God? What can hinder us from remembering what he has done for us?.
When a problem comes our way, it is important for us as believers to see it with our spiritual eyes. God will not only fight for us, but He will also use that fight for a greater purpose, just as he brought peace to Aram and Israel. Knowing that God is with you, what is one act of kindness and mercy you could do this week to show God’s love to someone in your world?
We all face times when we feel unable to change or overcome the situation before us. It is often in these moments, when we cry out to God, that He is willing and able to do so much more than we dreamed or imagined possible. Yet we have a part to play in this, too. For us to accept the anointing and blessing that God has for us, we first need to be willing to let go of such things as our stubbornness, doubts, insecurities, pride and ego. To truly receive God’s anointing, we first need to be willing to “let go and let God.”
Read 2 Kings 5:1-16
- Read 2 Kings 5:2-3. The servant girl was very courageous in pointing Naaman towards God. When have you needed to be courageous in sharing about God with others? Share.
- Elisha calls on Naaman to take the unusual step of dipping in the river seven times in order to be healed and cleansed. Why might Elisha have asked him to do this? What did this step require of Naaman? Why might he have reacted as he did? What might have been at the root of his anger about this request?
- Have you ever felt that God was asking you to take an unusual or courageous step in your faith? How did you respond?
- In order for us to receive the anointing of God we may first need to let go of our own stubbornness, pride, ego, doubts or insecurities. Why might these be a barrier to God? Why do we want to hold onto them?
- Read 2 Kings 5:15. Naaman went back to see Elisha with a grateful heart after he was healed. When have you been most grateful to God? How can we be more grateful to God in our everyday?
In order for us to receive the full anointing from God that he has for our lives, we first need to be willing to humble ourselves before him, and to let go of the things in our lives that are a barrier between God and us. What is one thing that the Holy Spirit has made you aware of that is a barrier for you to fully receive anointing from God at this time? How could you let go of this? Take a moment now to ‘let go and let God’. Let go of your barrier. Ask God for his forgiveness and healing, and receive his blessing and anointing. Then thank him with gratitude in anticipation of what he has for you both now and in the future.
The past few months have been filled with uncertainty. You may have felt stalled, stuck or even trapped, with no clear end in sight. Fortunately, we have a God who can and will bring about change in His time. Even when we can’t see or feel it, God is at work before us. He is preparing the place of our next destination and is waiting for us to take our next step in His direction. In 2 Kings 7, Israel was stuck in captivity and famine, but God brought about change within twenty-four hours, through four men who were also stuck in their own hardship. ‘Stepping out of being stuck’ begins in the mind, with a thought that turns into action, and action that actively engages with the prompting that is from God.
Read 2 Kings 7:1-20
- Read 2 Kings 6:24-33. God used Elisha to tell the King of Israel and his officer that the situation would change within twenty-four hours. They chose not to believe it. In the current climate that we live in, are you feeling stuck? Have you ever experienced a season where God’s grace or direction for your future seemed far-fetched? Share your story.
- Ps Dale mentions ‘prevenient grace’, the notion that the grace of God is active even before we get into a certain space, just as in 2 Kings 7:3-7. The four men with leprosy felt stuck in their situation and decided to take a step out. What situation do you currently feel stuck in? What does it look like for you to step out in faith? How could you do it?
- Read Acts 20:22. Change begins with a thought that the Holy Spirit stirs inside us. How can we become more sensitive to the promptings of the Holy Spirit? How do we distinguish God’s prompting from our human desire
- The four men got out of their state of stuck and enjoyed the miracle of God’s provision, however they quickly realised their responsibility to share the good news. In much the same way, as believers we are called to be a conduit of the good news, rather than a bucket. When have you experienced unexpected provision from God? What can you do to share the good news of the Gospel with others around you?
- The officer who doubted God didn’t get a chance to taste and see His wonders, and the passage ends without the people recognising and worshiping God. How do you deal with doubts that threaten to overwhelm your faith in God? Is there an example of a recent blessing that you received but need to be more thankful for?
When we are in a ‘state of stuck’ we may feel afraid to make the first necessary steps to get out of it. Once the Holy Spirit stirs and moves in us, we need to be ‘promptable’. The first step is often the hardest one, and should be bathed in prayer. Wherever you are at right now, whether you feel stuck or not, what is one thought that you want to bathe in prayer to enable the Holy Spirit to use you as a conduit for God’s glory?
In the final story of Elisha before his death, we read that God gives an anointing and blessing to an ungodly king (through Elisha) in order for the king to defeat the enemies of Israel. This God-given victory is symbolised through the anointing of an arrow that the king held in his hand. Through this story we see that God’s sovereignty rules far beyond the life span of one King or one generation, and that God can use even an ungodly leader to achieve His plan. Beyond our current challenges, God has a plan that spans all generations. Our part may simply be to let God anoint and release the ‘arrows’ we are holding, for His ultimate glory.
Read 2 Kings 13:10-20
- God blessed an ungodly ruler to defeat Israel’s enemies (2 Kings 13). How does this impact how you see God at work in our political system today? How seriously do we take the command to pray for our leaders, regardless of which political party they belong to?
- Read 2 Kings 13:15-17. Elisha commanded the king to shoot the arrow, and then proclaimed it to be the Lord’s arrow after he had done so. What does this action say to you? How does this story reflect anointing and obedience?
- In contrast to this, Elisha put his hand over the king’s hand and proclaimed a blessing upon him before he shot the arrow. The impartation preceded the release. What is in your hand that you need at allow God to bless, and then release?
- An arrow will only serve its purpose once it is released from the archer’s hand. Why might we be afraid to release what God has put in our hands? What can be the consequences when we hold on and do not let go?
- “Without anointing and release our talent is nothing more than unmet potential.” Do you agree or disagree with this statement? What might this look like for you?
God gives all of us talents and gifts, as well as access to everyday items. If we are willing to obediently release them for His glory, He may anoint and bless them for His ultimate purpose. What do you have that God is calling you to devote to Him and release for His purpose? Take a moment now to hand this over to Him.