Elijah is discouraged, downcast, and depressed, even after his great victory on Mount Carmel, in which he has destroyed the prophets of Baal; and even after he has prayed for rain to come and it comes in a torrent after a three-and-half-year drought (of which he had prophesied). Even after such a great victory, when Jezebel, the queen of Israel, announces that she will kill him, Elijah runs to the desert and then Mount Horeb, full of paralyzing fear. (The story is found in 1 Kings 18-19.)
But it is in a cave on Mount Horeb, all alone, full of dread, that God speaks to Elijah and tells him the new game plan. God speaks to Elijah in “a still small voice.” He instructs Elijah to quit fighting alone and to raise up a new generation of leaders. He commands him to find a young man named Elisha and “anoint him as prophet in [his] place” (I Kings 19:16).
From prophet to protégé: Upon this new word from God, Elijah switches gears and begins to search out and look for Elisha. He finds him, throws his mantle upon him, and calls him to a new life (1 Kings 19:19-21). The ministry of Elijah takes on a new trajectory—from building up his own ministry to building up this young protégé prophet, Elisha!
The Apostle Paul deeply understood that a major part of his calling as an apostle was to raise up other leaders. Paul poured his life into his protégé, Timothy. In his letter to Timothy, Paul wrote these words to his young disciple, “And the things that you have heard from me among many witnesses, commit these to faithful men who will be able to teach others also” (2 Timothy 2:2). Four generations of leaders are mentioned in this one verse!
I believe God is raising up a new generation of leaders in our day. He is calling forth pastors and leaders to look for and find young men and women who have a heart for God, to equip them, and to build into them. God is speaking to all of us who are seasoned Jesus followers, to make a focused effort of empowering young people to be wholehearted disciples.
We are living in exciting times. I believe God is recalling, rewiring, and resetting the Church to look for, call out, and empower an Elisha Generation. More on this next week.
Empowering young Elisha’s to change the world,