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4537
“Elisha's tenacity of purpose”
by Morning Meditation   
December 4th, 2008

Elijah tested it severely at every step of that farewell journey. Repeatedly he said, "Tarry here" (2 Kings 2:2). But He might as well have tried to uproot a cedar of Lebanon or stir Carmel from its base. Neither Gilgal with its panoramic scenery, nor Bethel with its memories of the angel-haunted dream, nor Jericho, the border town, were able to attract or retain him. And though their course lay through the Jordan flood of death, it sufficed not to deter that eager spirit. Elisha knew what he sought; he read the meaning of the discipline to which he was being exposed, and his heroic resolution grew with the ordeal, as the waters of a stream grow against an arresting dam until they overleap it and rush merrily on their way. It was thus that the Syro-Phoenician woman prevailed with Christ. It was thus that the apostles waited for the promise of the Father, undaunted by ten days' delay.

Before giving us (the filling of) the Holy Ghost, our Father will certainly try us to see if we can live without Him. If we can, we may. And it is only when we give signs of a resolution which will take no denial, but detains the Angel with its imperative importunity and vows its unalterable determination to be blessed -- it is only then that God who had never been really reluctant and had only been testing us, turns to us with a smile and says, "O child, great is thy importunity; be it unto thee even as thou wilt." "The kingdom of heaven suffereth violence, and the violent take it by force" (Matthew 11:12).

How often we persuade ourselves that we can acquire the greatest spiritual blessings without paying the equivalent price! Thus James and John thought that they could obtain a seat each on the throne for the asking. They did not realize that the cross preceded the crown, and that the bitter cup of Gethsemane lay between them and the coronation anthem. We must pass through the Jordan; daily must we take up the cross and follow Jesus; we must be conformed to Him in the likeness of His death and in the fellowship of His sufferings; the old nature must be crucified; the divine will must be lovingly accepted, though it cost tears of blood and bitter sorrow. Then, having evinced the steadfastness of our purpose, we shall approve ourselves worthy to be the recipients of God's supreme gift. (Paul said, "That the power of Christ may rest upon me") - F. B. Meyer

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