Preparing to Cross the Jordan – Part 1
By Don MacLafferty
Elijah and young Elisha hiked along the trails and highways of Israel for a number of years together. Elisha watched and learned, as Elijah called the people to the faith of the Lord God. Elijah continued to confront Ahab, and later, King Ahaziah, with the truth of God.
One day, Elijah asked Elisha to stay behind while he traveled to Bethel. But Elisha was a faithful disciple. He wanted to assist, learn, and grow from any and every moment possible with Elijah. Elisha responded, “As the Lord lives and as you yourself live, I will not leave you” (2 Kings 2:2). So they traveled together.
Somehow, Elisha sensed that God intended to take Elijah away that very day. Elisha was determined to savor every last moment with his mentor and friend. At Bethel, Elijah asked Elisha to stay there while he went to Jericho. Again, Elisha said, “I will not leave you.” So they traveled to Jericho together. In Jericho, Elijah asked Elisha to stay there while God sent him to the Jordan. Elisha said, “I will not leave you” (2 Kings 2:6). So they walked to the Jordan.
Fifty young men of the sons of the prophets watched as Elijah and Elisha approached the rushing Jordan River. Elijah could have requested for the young men to get them a boat to cross the river. Elijah could have looked up and down the river for a narrower place to cross.
The Jordan was a barrier to where the Spirit of God was leading Elijah and Elisha. The river was in the way. Elijah wanted to cross the river God’s way, not by his own power. “Elijah took his mantle and folded it together and struck the waters, and they were divided here and there, so that the two of them crossed over on dry ground” (2 Kings 2:8). The fifty young sons of the prophets watched with mouths agape, as Elijah struck the Jordan River with his mantle. He struck the waters by faith in the almighty power of God. He struck the waters with expectation that God would part them. And God did! Elijah walked across calmly. Elisha crossed the river in awe!
Elijah’s mantle was just as much a symbol of God’s power and authority as was Moses’ staff. There was no magic or power in the mantle, but in God alone. The message was undeniable: no river, no challenge that stands in the way of what God calls us to do is ever bigger than the God who called us to cross it! Rivers are for crossing...in God’s way!
Don is a disciple of Jesus, a husband to April for more than 30 years, a dad to Jason, Julie and Jessica and founder/president of In Discipleship. God has moved Don’s heart to call young and old to a daily revival with Jesus. He mobilizes churches and schools to partner in equipping parents to disciple their children and prepare them for mission.
World Church Prayer Requests
March 25 - 31, 2022
- Pray for all our church members in Eastern Europe who are caught up in the casualties of the current conflict. Pray for God to bring a stop to this challenging situation!
- Pray especially for the children of Ukraine whose lives have suddenly been turned upside down. Pray that they would learn to cling to Jesus.
- Pray for protection and provision for those who are working to evacuate people from dangerous zones. Pray for the Ukrainian refugees and displaced citizens throughout Ukraine.
- Pray for all the spiritually hungry who are flocking to churches and seeking Bibles. Pray that more Bibles could be distributed as stores are all out. Pray that many would come to accept Jesus.
- Pray for the Sherpa. The villages of these 107,000 people are mostly located on the southern slopes of the Himalayan range. In Nepal, it is illegal to try to convert someone from one faith to another. Pray for protection for the 4.22% of believers as they courageously share their faith with their neighbors.