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Where the Past Stops Controlling You

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When the Lord was about to take Elijah up to heaven in a whirlwind, Elijah and Elisha were on their way from Gilgal. Elijah said to Elisha, “Stay here; the Lord has sent me to Bethel.” (2 Kings 2)

If you cannot learn from the past, it is meaningless to replay yesterday’s decisions because you cannot change them. (Tom Hinton, 10,000 Days)

Once Elijah determined by the strength of the Lord he would no longer live in fear of Jezebel and her assassins, he anointed three people; two to be kings and one to be a prophet. While he hid in a cave in fear, God showed him that some of his greatest work was still in his future. The prophet he anointed was Elisha who would become his protege.

Elisha begins to follow Elijah and when he does he has one request. He asks for a double portion of Elijah's anointing, which is the power of God to do miracles.

Elijah first takes Elisha to Gilgal, then he tells him to remain there when he leaves. Elisha refuses to stay in Gilgal and follows the prophet to the next town. Before they are done they will travel to four lands. As Benny Hinn shares, each location represents a stage of spiritual growth, each one symbolic of a new level of access in God's kingdom, a greater place of growth.

Again as Benny Hinn shares, Gilgal is a place of turning; the name means ‘to roll away’. It is where we wrestle with the past to escape its negative influences. And because it is the beginning stage of growth it is also where we live by sight instead of by faith. This is best seen in the generation of Israel Moses led out of Egypt.

For Moses' generation, they literally saw God in a fiery cloud and in daily seeing manna fall from heaven to feed the nation. It was watching the Red Sea part at Moses' command and being witness to the divine plagues that brought Pharaoh to his knees. (You can learn more about Moses at Cleveland's Church in the Circle).

It is the early stage of growth as a believer; things are familiar and spelled out more clearly. But maturity is limited here, and many stay here for life, spiritual babies. For the nation of Israel that followed Moses, this stage was detrimental because they stayed there and never grew more intimate in their relationship with God, which requires more faith and less sight.

For those who want to take their faith to the next level, death awaits in the next city Elijah and his protege go to, Bethel. More importantly it is here resurrection takes place, and all things become new. Will you go to the next level?

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