Transitions: Passing the torch (Part 1)


By Dr. John W. Lewis - Religion Writer



Is the divine direction given to Elijah concerning his replacement as clear today as it was then? I Kings 19:15 & 16, “And the Lord said unto him, Go, return on thy way to the wilderness of Damascus: and when thou comest, anoint Hazael to be king over Syria: And Jehu the son of Nimshi shalt thou anoint to be king over Israel: and Elisha the son of Shaphat of Abelmeholah shalt thou anoint to be prophet in thy room.”

Let me answer this question with a question. Does God still speak to us in a still small voice? I Kings 19:12, “And after the earthquake a fire; but the Lord was not in the fire: and after the fire a still small voice.”

It may not be through e-mail or neon lights, but I believe God speaks to us in the same manner when we are tuned in to the leadership of the Holy Spirit. John 16:13, “Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come.” Acts 13:2, “As they ministered to the Lord, and fasted, the Holy Ghost said, Separate me Barnabas and Saul for the work whereunto I have called them.”

So when it comes to making a transition in leadership we better be listening to that still small voice. Prayer and fasting would be in order as well. God wants the right person for the job more than we do.

Let me give you five ways that God speaks to us today. The first, would be the Word of God. Our paths should never be contrary to the Bible. The second, would be the Holy Spirit our guide. The third, would be other people, sometimes God choses to give us His word through someone else. The fourth, could be the circumstance of life, we call it open and shut doors. Then lastly, would be our own hearts. I John 3:21, “Beloved if our hearts condemn us not, then have we confidence toward God.”

If we listen, God is speaking. Elijah is going to pass his mantle on to Elisha because God told him to.

The actual transfer of leadership and power takes about 10 years this is note worthy because to be a leader Elisha must spend time serving. I Kings 19:21, “And he returned back from him, and took a yoke of oxen, and slew them, and boiled their flesh with the instruments of oxen, and gave unto the people, and they did eat. Then he arose, and went after Elijah, and ministered unto him.”

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By Dr. John W. Lewis

Religion Writer