This morning I had a dream in which I was living in a town I used to live in years ago, working at a place I used to work and I had married a man I dated years ago. This was someone that I did not feel was the Lord’s choice for me (in reality I did marry the man that I feel was and is the Lord’s choice for me). We were separated and I went to visit my Mom. I was trying to decide whether to reconcile with this person and try to make things work or move to the town where I now live with my husband and son and my parents live. In the dream, the man I was married to indicated it was a loveless and passionless marriage and then I realized that he had met someone else and wanted to move on. I realized that I could not make ends meet on my salary and needed to look for other options. My mother indicated she had seven rental homes (in reality, she has no rental homes) and I could move into one of them if I wanted to.
I believe the interpretation of this dream is this: I had settled for a relationship that lacked passion and was living in a place and a job that I had occupied at a time when I was younger (symbolic of a spiritual place where I was years ago). My mother represented the Holy Spirit (maternal figures often represent the Holy Spirit in a dream) inviting me to move into a new place He would provide for me. Seven represents the number of completion or maturity. This new place would be one where I would leave the status quo or compromise behind and move into a place of more intimacy, maturity, obedience and separation to the Lord; a place with a fresh anointing that would empower me to complete my assignments and do all that the Lord has called me to do. This is not to say that I have been practicing sin or that I don’t love the Lord, but sometimes we settle for less than what God has for us. I feel that He is calling me into a time of prayer and fasting, a time to turn off the TV, Facebook, etc. and seek Him.
As I prayed and thought about this today, I was reminded of the story of Elijah and Elisha found in I Kings 19:19-21 and II Kings 2:1-9. In this story, Elijah approaches Elisha while he is plowing with 12 yoke of oxen and throws his mantle on him. Elisha evidently understood that Elijah was calling him to follow him, because he said, in verse 20 “please let me kiss my father and mother, and then I will follow you.” Elijah said to him: “Go back again, for what have I done to you?” (NKJV) However, after slaughtering the oxen, boiling their flesh (using the equipment for the fire), he gave the meat to the people to eat and then arose and followed Elijah, and he became his servant (vs. 21). Notice, he destroyed his livelihood, an act of total commitment, he did not intend to turn back.
Elisha faithfully followed Elijah and served him until the end, but Elijah seemed to test him on several occasions, giving him the opportunity to stop short and not follow him all the way to the end. II Kings 2:1-2 says: “And it came to pass, when the Lord was about to take up Elijah into heaven by a whirlwind, that Elijah went with Elisha from Gilgal. Then Elijah said to Elisha, “Stay here, please, for the Lord has sent me on to Bethel.” But Elisha said, “As the Lord lives, and as your soul lives, I will not leave you!” So they went down to Bethel.” (NKJV).
Gilgal means “rolling”. It was the place where the new generation that the Lord brought out of the wilderness was circumcised, after the older generation (who were disobedient) died off, after wondering in the wilderness for 40 years. Circumcision is symbolic of cutting away or crucifying the flesh (our sinful nature). It was a sign of being in covenant with the Lord. Joshua 5:9 says “Then the Lord said to Joshua, “This day I have rolled away the reproach of Egypt from you.” Therefore the name of the place is called Gilgal to this day.” (NKJV).
Bethel means house of God. It was there that Jacob had the dream where he saw the angels of God ascending and descending on a ladder or stairway from Heaven that reached to the earth. The Lord told Jacob he would be with him and bless him and his descendants and bring him safely back to that place again. It was there that Jacob first made a vow or commitment to follow the Lord. (See Genesis 18:10-22).
In verse II Kings 2:4, Elijah again tells Elisha to “stay here, please, for the Lord has sent me on to Jericho.” (NKJV). Again Elisha refuses. The meaning of the name Jericho is uncertain, but this is the place where the first successful battle took place after the children of Israel obeyed the Lord and followed His battle plans.
In verse six, Elijah again tells Elisha to stay where he is, because the Lord has sent him to the Jordan and again, Elisha refuses to stay behind. Jordan means to flow down. The Jordan river is where Joshua and the children of Israel crossed the river with 12 men, one from each tribe carrying the ark of the covenant (which represented God’s throne and His presence among them) and the children of Israel following. The men carrying the ark were instructed to place their feet in the edge of the water and as soon as they did, the waters receded, just like the red sea did for Moses and the previous generation when the Lord brought them out of Egypt. This new generation walked across on dry ground also and entered the promised land. (See Joshua chapters 3 and 4).
Now Elijah rolled up his mantle, struck the waters of the Jordan river and it divided again, so that he and Elisha crossed over on dry land, like those who preceded them. (II Kings 2:8, NKJV) This is a journey I would not have wanted to have miss out on, talk about amazing! If Elisha had listened to Elijah, he would have missed out on all of this.
In verse nine, after crossing the Jordan, Elijah turns to Elisha and says “Ask! What may I do for you, before I am taken away from you? Elisha said, “Please let a double portion of your spirit be upon me.” So he said, “You have asked a hard thing. Nevertheless, if you see me when I am taken from you, it shall be so for you; but if not, it shall not be so.” (NKJV). Most of you know the rest of the story. Elisha sees Elijah be caught up by a chariot of fire in the whirlwind and taken to heaven. Elisha picks up Elijah’s mantle, parts the Jordan river again on the way back and proceeds to carry on with Elijah’s ministry. In fact, he performed twice as many miracles as Elijah did (the double portion of his spirit or anointing).
My point in sharing all of this is that there will always be stopping points along our journey with the Lord where we can decide to settle for less than all that He has for us. It takes sacrifice, commitment and obedience and it is not always easy to do all that the Lord may ask of us, but it is definitely worth it. I encourage you all to pursue a deeper relationship with the Lord and continue to follow Him into all He has for you in this new year. God bless you all. Kelly Rowe