Motive of a Pure Heart
2 Kings 2:9, “When they had crossed, Elijah said to Elisha, “Tell me, what can I do for you before I am taken from you?” “Let me inherit a double portion of your spirit,” Elisha replied.
The time was drawing near for Elijah to go to heaven and Elisha would not leave his side. Three times Elijah told Elisha to stay back and each time Elisha refused. Elisha was determined to stay with Elijah until the end so when the opportunity presented itself, Elisha put in a request. His request was for a double portion.
2 Kings 2:10, “You have asked a difficult thing,” Elijah said, “yet if you see me when I am taken from you, it will be yours—otherwise, it will not.”
The double portion request was not a request so that Elisha could have greater power than Elijah. His request was in alignment with the custom of the firstborn son (Deuteronomy 21:17). Essentially, what Elisha was asking was that he become heir so that he may continue to do Elijah’s work and lead the prophets. However, in this case the decision was not the father’s (Elijah’s) to make. Elijah only told Elisha how to receive the inheritance yet the final decision on whether Elisha would receive it was God’s.
(Let us be reminded that in 1 Kings 19:19-21, God had already chosen Elisha to be the successor. Therefore, Elisha’s request was in alignment with God’s will.)
2 Kings 2:11, “As they were walking along and talking together, suddenly a chariot of fire and horses of fire appeared and separated the two of them, and Elijah went up to heaven in a whirlwind. Elisha saw this and cried out, “My father! My father! The chariots and horsemen of Israel!” And Elisha saw him no more. Then he took hold of his garment and tore it in two.”
God granted Elisha’s request because his motive for a double portion was pure and he wanted to do more for God. If our motives are pure, we should not be afraid to ask God for great things. However, before we ask God for things that are greater than our norm (powers, abilities, material possessions, etc.), we must not be selfish in our requests yet examine our desires to ensure that what we ask for is in alignment with God’s will. To have the Holy Spirit’s help, we must be willing to ask with a pure heart.
Dear God, you search our hearts and examine our minds to reward us according to our conduct and what our deeds deserve (Jeremiah 17:10). Create in a clean heart, so that we want what you want in our life.
In Jesus Name