You will think I’ve lost my ever loving mind when I make the following opening statement… but here goes….On the count of three, I want everyone to fly around the room, that’s right, just rise up in the air and fly around the room… We have enough room for everyone, without anyone getting injured. Go ahead, right where you are, just rise up and take about 5 minutes… No one?
OK, that’s silly, I know, and yet everyone in this room believes that one day you’re going to rise up and fly to heaven and then after 7 years, you’re going to fly back to set up the millennium with Christ. Paul the apostle mentions 3 heavens. The third heaven is where the children of the Most High God, call our eternal home. There are mansions of splendor and robes that are dazzling white. It’s the city where the Lamb is the light, where tears are never shed and goodbyes are never uttered. There is no sorrow or pain, only joy and sheer perfection. It is the city where we will one day join the angels in singing, “Holy! Holy! Holy! Lord God Almighty!” around the throne of God. Oh, Heaven is real!
The second heaven is where Satan set up his headquarters when he was cast out of heaven. It is where he rules his evil empire with legions of demons and fallen angels. Demons have power in the earth because we give them power through sin and disobedience. They have personality and they have purpose. Satan has come to rob, to kill and to destroy. If he can mislead you down a wrong path that will destroy your life’s purpose… and he has won the battle for the will of man in too many cases. The second heaven is his base of operations. Make no mistake about it! Satan is a fallen angel who quotes Scripture to deceive and destroy the sinner and the righteous.
The first heaven is the heaven you can see with your natural eyes. It contains the sun, the moon and the stars.
When we fly back to earth at the end of the tribulation, we’ll live here for 1000 years. The earth is then renovated by fire and made new again. New Jerusalem, 1400 miles in length, width height and depth, will come down from God out of heaven and hover over the earth and we’ll fly back and forth to and from that. Then we’ll live and reign for eternity…and fly throughout the universe which will be our eternal home!
And even though you have never experienced any of that, you believe it because the bible tells you that it’s going to happen. You believe it, even though you’ve never experienced it.
Could I challenge all of us this morning… believe and you shall see greater things than you have seen and known before!!
1 Thessalonians 2:13 (Paul speaking) And we also thank God continually because, when you received the word of God, which you heard from us, you accepted it not as a human word, but as it actually is, the word of God, which is indeed is working in you who believe.
Hebrews 11:1 Now faith is confident belief in what we hope for and assurance from God about what we do not see.
Ephesians 1:18-19 I pray that the eyes of your understanding may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which He has called you, the riches of His glorious inheritance in his holy people, 19 and His incomparably great power is for us who believe.
Bob Feller lived his life for baseball. When he was 8 years old, his teacher asked him to write an essay about an oak tree, and here’s what he wrote: “An oak tree can be cut down and sawed into boards. You can make baseball bats out of them. You can also make home plates out of the boards. And you can make bleachers out of the boards so people can watch baseball games.” Do you think (maybe) Bob Feller wanted to play baseball?
It’s little wonder that he was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame, because this man was committed to being a great baseball player. In 1936, at 17 years old, he became a pitcher for the Cleveland Indians, and he was so good that he played 18 seasons for them (only missing 4 years because he joined the Navy to fight in WWII). He was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1965 and if you have this baseball card, it’s worth 3,000 dollars. He is considered by many to be the greatest right-handed pitcher in baseball history. His fastball was so intimidating that they called him “Bullet Bob”, and in his career he struck out 2581 batters who faced him. Bob was willing to do whatever it took to be a great ball player.
That’s the kind of heart Elisha had in serving God. He wasn’t going to let anything or anyone get in his way.
2 Kings 2:6 “And Elijah said unto him, Tarry, I pray thee, here; for the Lord has sent me to Jordan. And he said, As the Lord lives, and as thy soul lives, I will not leave thee. And they two went on.7 And fifty men of the sons of the prophets went, and stood to view afar off: and Elijah and Elisha stood by Jordan. 8 And Elijah took his mantle, and wrapped it together, and smote the waters, and they were divided in two, so that they two went over on dry ground. 9 And it came to pass, when they were gone over, that Elijah said unto Elisha, Ask what I shall do for thee, before I be taken away from thee. And Elisha said, I pray thee, let a double portion of thy spirit be upon me.”
Elisha wanted everything Elijah had and he got a double portion. The bible records that he did twice as much as Elijah did… Meanwhile the other prophets, who had the same opportunity, stood afar off and were satisfied to be spectators.
When I was a teenager, I heard an evangelist say, “God will take you as far as you’re willing to let Him…”
Elijah began his journey in Gilgal, and went to Bethel, then to Jericho, and finally to the Jordan River… where he was caught up to be with God. As the story unfolds he turns to Elisha and says “Please Stay Here!” at each town they went through, But Elisha refuses and says “As the LORD lives, and as you yourself live, I will NOT leave you.” And this happens over and over again. Finally, Elijah just gives up and lets Elisha go all the way to his destination. Elisha was willing to go as far as he NEEDED to go and do whatever he needed do to be what God called him to be.
How far do you want to go with God? Where do you stop and say, that’s all I want, if He is still saying “there’s more”?
One young preacher had psyched himself up to deliver a sermon. He jumped up, started out with a bang and ended with athoughtful and quite prayer. He told an older minister, that he just ran out of steam. And had to really depend on the lord to wrap it up. The older minister said to him, “Son if you had started the way you finished, you would have finished the way you started!”? I have told you that when I was a kid, I was seen and not heard. When I got in my 20’s I believed I had nothing to say that anyone wanted to hear or that hadn’t already been said. I was a pop corn preacher. I popped up, turned white and sat down. But it put within me the determination to improve and allow the lord to use me more effectively.
There was a group in the 60s called the Rolling Stones. They did a song called 'Satisfaction.' [I can't get no satisfaction...] In 2004, one magazine placed "Satisfaction" in the number 2 spot on its list of The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time. Seriously? How could that be? It can't be because of Mick Jaggar's voice. If he were on one of these talent shows today he would be the one that got all 4 buzzers. Still today, he comes on the radio and you wonder if the cat's tail got caught under your rocker. It's not because of some genius guitar mastery either...the whole song is 3 notes.
Why does that song resonate so? Because it touches a major nerve...it's the heart cry of our world that is unfulfilled and dissatisfied. They try everything they can to fill the void, and nothing does.
In each of the towns Elijah went through, there was a school of prophets, with young prophets that Elijah was training. But each time, those young prophets are mentioned, they were content to stay where they were, and never venture out any further. They were content, But without some sense of dissatisfaction with the level we’re at, there is no desire for growth, and without a sense that there is more, there is no hunger and thirst for all that God said we could have!!
Jesus fed 5000… but only a few followed Him after that miracle lunch. He had 12 disciples… but only 3 went further into the Garden. And only 1 stood with Him at the cross. The closer you get to the cross, the smaller the crowd becomes. Because God might want more from them than they are willing to give. Where is the cry to God, “Lord I want you more than anything”…. “I cannot live without your fullness”…. “Lord bless me that I may be a blessing”…. “Here am I Lord, use me”…..
When I was in track and field, I used to admire the pole vaulters. I even tried it, but I knew it wasn’t for me. But we had one guy, who wanted to pole vault, but he never made the team. He would run like crazy toward the jump point, and then run right by it. He never got off the ground, because he was afraid of falling. He never flew over the cross bar, because he was afraid to leave his comfort zone.
At a meeting of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, former New York Yankee second baseman, Bobby Richardson opened the meeting with this prayer….“Dear God. Your will. Nothing more. Nothing less. And Nothing else. Amen”
When Elisha was asking for the double portion of the spirit of Elijah, essentially, he was asking for the right of the firstborn.Deuteronomy 21:17 tells us that - for a father to give the right of the firstborn was for him to give of “a double portion of all that (the father) has...” Elisha was boldly asking to be treated like a 1st born son of Elijah. That’s what we are church. We are the first born of the Father in Christ. God doesn’t have any grandchildren in the faith, only first born. The Double Portion Anointing is for all of those who are in Christ Jesus..
Look at Hebrews 12:23 " to the assembly and church of the firstborn who are registered in heaven, before God the Judge of all, to the spirits of just men made perfect" We are part of God's church of the firstborn, God's New Testament firstborn children! We should never let it slip our minds, that we occupy a unique and chosen position before God! Romans 8:29 “For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many (first born) brethren”. Somemissionaries, who were handing out soup to the residents in an impoverished area by means of a “soup kitchen” had instructed all the people to bring something that would hold about 2 quartsof soup. One little boy - all ragged and dirty – but with flashing eyes and a winsome smile, lugged in a container that could hold at least 3 gallons. They said “only 2 quarts in that bucket,wouldn’t look like much. And we knew this youngster came from a large and very poor family. We felt moved to give him at least a gallon, and so we did.” The missionary continued: “The Heavenly Father says to us as His children, ‘Open thy mouth wide and I will fill it.’ (Psalm 81:10). We need to be more like that young boy who carried away twice as much as the others because of his bigger expectation and his greater belief!” Perhaps the other prophets who stood afar off, were so busy embracing what God did in the past, they weren’t ready to let go and reach forward to an even greater thing He was about to do in the future. They just wanted to keep reproducing the past glory and in doing so they missed the greater glory…The new thing in a new way! I want to quickly have us look at the 4 places that Elisha followed Elijah, and refused to leave him, till the double portion was given… The place called Gilgal, means “To roll away”…. And we need to let God roll the stone away that is keeping us from the next thing He is asking of us, the fear, the unbelief, the intimidation, the unforgiveness, and the past. That’s not who we are anymore. Leave it at Gilgal! The next place Elisha followed was Bethel… Originally it meant “House of Idols” or false Gods… But Jacob renamed it “House of Jehovah”… He redeemed it and put God above everything else. He was able to say, surely God is in this place… We Leave all the other things that want our devotion, and want to keep God from first place Behind us on the altar of Bethel! Then Elisha followed Elijah to Jericho, which means “The place of entering in” It was here that Israel left the wilderness wandering and came to the promised land. They conquered the final thing that blocked the way to God’s promise. Let’s leave that final thing that is keeping us from the promise, at Jericho, and enter in! The last place that Elisha followed before receiving the double portion, was Jordan, which means “Place of 3 springs” or fed by 3 springs. The water here parted and they walked across. They were now entering into life in the supernatural. Jesus said out of your innermost being, shall flow rivers of living water. Jesus was saying that a double portion would flow through us by the Holy Spirit. Elisha left his old life behind and entered a walk in the supernatural. At our Jordan. we Mount up with wings as eagles, we leave every weight of the old life behind and rise up.
Isaiah 43:18 says " Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland”. God does not change, but He is constantly creating new ways to connect with His people and relate to each generation. If we don’t look for God’s hand in every change we are in danger of revering our traditions so much that we begin to worship them and shut our selves off from God’s new thing. We are warned in scripture that the traditions of man have made void the word of God.! God used Elisha in different ways than He used Elijah even though it was the same anointing!
God challenged his people in Malachi 3:10 “Prove me now, saith God, that I will open the windows of heaven and pour you out a blessing such as you cannot contain it!” God loves to keep outdoing Himself!
A world renown philosopher was earning $30k per speech. He didn't like to fly so he hired a chauffeur to drive him all over the country. The chauffeur would stand in the back of the room and had the speech memorized. One day he was driving the philosopher and he spoke up and said. "It's just not right. You'll earn 30 grand for this same talk and I’ve heard it so much, I could give it myself... but I'm working for peanuts." The philosopher said, "Oh yeah, you think so? Let's trade clothes. They've never seen me. You give the speech and I'll stand in the back. And if you get it right, word for word, I'll give YOU the money!" "Deal." He gave the speech perfectly. It was almost over, and then a lady in the back raised her hand. "Oh, sir." She asked, "Do you feel that a cosmological universe is still valid in the existential world?" He thought for a second and replied, "I'm shocked that you would ask such a trivial question, mam. This one's so easy, I'm gonna let my driver answer it!" I believe the motto there is, Inspiration is not enough without information. We may be blessed but we still must study to show ourselves approved a workman that is prepared and informed. Get ready…
When God brings us to those places when He is ready to give us more, we usually start feeling miserable where we are. What used to be just fine, isn’t just fine any more. What used to fill our cup and make us happy, just doesn’t do it any more! We’re entering the fly zone! When juvenile baby eagles are in the nest, cared for, fed, and just sleeping and eating… days are glorious, the sun is shining, the nights have a cool breeze, and then suddenly Mama goes crazy! She starts tearing pieces out of the nest. She pulls the soft dawn and comfortable materials out of the nest, and she exposes the thorns that are underneath. No matter where the eaglets move and how they adjust, it’s uncomfortable…
Ouch, ouch, Ouch! Mama knows it’s time to fly!! Baby can’t lay around in the nest, fed by mouth, every need supplied. Baby will get so uncomfortable that it is willing to do what it never would have done…. Use those wings now….Fly!! Move to the next level….
God may be making some folks miserable until they’re willing to try, to change, to go ahead and fly! It’s more comfortable where we know and there’s no risk, but is that where God’s called you to be? If we learn the lesson we move on, if we don’t, we keep repeating the lesson, till we get it!
When God wants to drill a man, And thrill a man, And skill a man,
When God wants to mold a man, To play the noblest part;
When He yearns with all His heart. To create so great and bold a man
That all the world shall be amazed, Watch His methods, watch His ways!
How He ruthlessly perfects, Whom He royally elects!
How He hammers him and hurts him, with mighty blows converts him
Into trial shapes of clay which Only God understands;
While his tortured heart is crying, And he lifts beseeching hands!
How He bends but never breaks When his good He undertakes;
How He uses whom He chooses, And with every purpose fuses him;
By every act induces him To try His splendor out—
God knows what He’s about!
If he’s pushing you out of the nest, stop fighting and open to His new way… he’s pushing you out to a world of unlimited possibilities, so embrace it. Don’t fear it, get excited because He’s taking you to the next level! Don’t be miserable, get Supernatural!!! Go Ahead And Fly!!!
This thing will have a domino effect, which will spread through your family, your friendship circle, your job and folks you encounter all around you. Isaiah 40:31 “They that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength, they shall mount up (and fly) with wings as eagles. They shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint.”! Get ready to fly!
Satan meant it for evil, but God intended it for good! What looks likethe end is only a new beginning. It’s the difference in a period and a comma… You may get knocked down but you’re not out, get up and finish the fight! If God is for you, nothing and no one can succeed against you. Neither life or death, angels or principalities, things past, present, or things to come, neither height or depth, or any creature shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. There are far more that are for us than there are against us… So, Fly, child of God, mount up, soar above all that has tried to hold you down…