Bill's Blog

Filter By:
Showing items filed under “Faith”
in Faith


main image

       There is a classic story told in the the Old Testament (2 Kings chapter 2) about the elevation of Elisha to be prophet in Israel. His mentor, Elijah, was about to make a spectacular departure from earth and he turned to his apprentice and asked “what shall I do for you before I am taken from you?” Elisha said “I want a double portion of the spirit that is on you to rest on me.”

     This story has been preached and taught by just about every Christian minister, theologian and leader in the world. We all desire and long for that “double portion” experience in our lives as God empowers us to serve with ability that is beyond our own. Some have taught that this “double portion” experience can be obtained through giving or prayer.

     The scripture gives us the best light. When Elisha made his request, Elijah replied “you have asked a hard thing.”  The Hebrew word for hard here simply means tough or severe. In other words, it is not easy. Everything in life that is good is not necessarily easy. It takes discipline, self-control and faithfulness to walk in excellence in life.

     Elisha was promoted to the office of prophet in Israel and received “double” because he was faithful in serving Elijah for over ten years. He was referred to as” the guy who poured water on Elijah’s hands”. Although Elisha had that mantle cast upon his shoulders, which represented the anointing of the Holy Spirit, there was a period of growth and development that had to take place in his life before he stepped into that role as the Prophet of Israel. He was faithful in helping Elijah behind the scenes and out of the spotlight before promotion came.

     There are no shortcuts in the Kingdom of God. If you have a desire to accomplish more and be a person of greater influence, remember the story of Elisha. Be willing to serve where you are and prove yourself faithful. Know that God sees your service and will reward you accordingly.

Posted by Bill Young with
in Faith

A Checkup From the Neck Up

main image

     Have you ever found yourself in a situation where you needed to adjust your thinking? I’ve been there more times than I would like to admit. I had a great pastor when I was a young man who often would use the phrase “you need a check up from the neck up”.

     I certainly knew what he meant, an adjustment in thinking. Such was the case in the gospel of John when in chapter four, a nobleman approached Jesus in Cana to heal his son in Capernaum because he was sick and at the point of death. Capernaum was a good 15 to 20 miles away.

     After this man’s desperate request, Jesus response was “except you see signs and wonders you will not believe”. It almost sounds like Jesus was having a cranky moment considering the seriousness of the request or at best he appears to be quite insensitive to this man’s desperate situation. I assure you that neither were the case.

     Jesus, unlike many people today, had no problem telling the truth and at times said things in such a way that seemed harsh but were necessary in getting people to adjust their thinking. I truly believe Jesus was repeating to this prominent man words that had come out of his own mouth.

     Perhaps while discussing what people had seen, heard and said about Jesus he retorted, as many of us have done, “I’ll believe it when I see it”. Now, in an hour of desperation, he seeks out Jesus for a miracle. Jesus calmly told him to “go home, your son lives. The scriptures tell us he believed the word that was spoken and his son began to improve before he got home.

     This man made the adjustment and learned that seeing is not believing. Seeing knows whereas believing trusts without the benefit of seeing. This man had a life changing encounter with God and learned a very important lesson about real faith. Regardless of the challenges you may face in life, be determined never to become cynical but rather, keep believing.

Posted by Bill Young with
Tags: faith