I Kings 19:19-21 (NLT) So Elijah went and found Elisha son of Shaphat plowing a field. There were twelve teams of oxen in the field, and Elisha was plowing with the twelfth team. Elijah went over to him and threw his cloak across his shoulders and then walked away. Elisha left the oxen standing there, ran after Elijah, and said to him, “First let me go and kiss my father and mother good-bye, and then I will go with you!” Elijah replied, “Go on back, but think about what I have done to you.” So Elisha returned to his oxen and slaughtered them. He used the wood from the plow to build a fire to roast their flesh. He passed around the meat to the townspeople, and they all ate. Then he went with Elijah as his assistant.
Are you all in today? What is keeping you from doing what God has created and called you to do? Are you frustrated with faith? Are you considering letting go of hope? May I pose a question before you run off? Have you burned the past? Are you still on Plan A? Are you following God or your feelings? I have spent a great deal of time studying Elijah but why not Elisha? After all, Elijah did 14 documented miracles but Elisha did 28. To find the missing link between calling and fulfillment, it is important to study Elisha.
Elijah found Elisha.
God will find you. He will call you. He will meet you right where you are today doing exactly what you are doing and offer an invitation. It is simple. It is one that is undeniable destiny bearing a considerable cost. Elijah went and found Elisha. Elijah intended to meet his protégé. He went looking for him on purpose. God has a plan and purpose for you. It doesn’t change according to our choices because it is not consequential but it is our decision to choose destiny.
Elijah went over to him and threw his cloak across his shoulders and then walked away.
Freedom demands a choice. God’s Will His Way or my will my way. God is Sovereign. He does not lie. He is incapable of changing His Mind. His Thoughts are so much higher than our temporal and finite thinking locked on today, stuck in the moment, and ignorant of the Truth. God has called you to do something that no one else can do. Along with the robe of righteousness placed on you by Christ, there is a mantle of authority and power to possess the prize and promise of that calling and do exactly what you have been created to do. The hitch, if you will, is that you must choose to follow God with your own free will.
Elisha left the oxen standing there, ran after Elijah, and said to him, “First let me go and kiss my father and mother good-bye, and then I will go with you!” Elijah replied, “Go on back, but think about what I have done to you.”
There are some things that must be left in the past to embrace the future. You know what that is just as well as I do. We must let go of anything that keeps us from following the Lord according to His Word, Will and Way to find fulfillment and full satisfaction offered by Jesus. It is the purpose and plan for our life that as our soul prospers so will the rest of our life. The trouble is that too often it is too hard to trust God with our future so we hold on to the past. Radical repentance is necessary to achieve God’s Plan and Purpose for our life. Repentance is a change of mind – turning from sin so a change of heart – and all accompanied by a turning to God. It is a change of direction even before there is a change of situation or circumstances that can be seen. Faith is based on the unseen. It is our ability to believe God and take Him at His Word that gives us the courage and strength to be radical in our pursuit of Him and the purpose that He holds near to Him just for us.
Elijah replied, “Go on back, but think about what I have done to you.” So Elisha returned to his oxen and slaughtered them. He used the wood from the plow to build a fire to roast their flesh. He passed around the meat to the townspeople, and they all ate. Then he went with Elijah as his assistant.
The next part of this passage is the make it or break it of true repentance that leads to radical obedience. Elisha did not just go store his equipment and take a leave of absence from the family business. He did not entrust his share, his field and his team to someone else for safekeeping so he could go try this prophet life out. He didn’t just take a chance on a new life while safely maintaining his old one. No. Elisha went home. He tore apart the plow for firewood. He killed the oxen for the farewell dinner. He got up the next day and went with Elijah. His family was not poor. He was not desperate for anything but God. He burned his past to step boldly into his future with God.
Friend, we must learn to burn the bridges in our life that lead us back to the safety and security of self. To give it all away so that there is no Plan B just God’s Plan A. What if we are not seeing fulfillment or Kingdom advancement in our life because we have played it safe? Safe as we see it is a detriment to surrender that will keep us from some of the greatest promises God has given us. Comfort silences calling with layers of cushy compromise. If you want all of Him – it will require all of you. You have to be all in. Look around. If you have been crying out to God to have His Way, you know the things you are wrestling with the Lord about. Elisha sacrificed his certain future for His Kingdom forever. Will you?
Are you all in today? What is keeping you from doing what God has created and called you to do? I asked these questions in the beginning and I am asking them again today. I cleaned out the garage not too long ago. Sold some stuff. Donated more stuff. Threw some stuff away. The garage seemed bigger and had more room. For the last month or so, I am noticing things accumulating in the space created by the big clean out. This is what happens inside of us. We come to Christ with the intention of surrendering all to Him. However, life is hard and it gets messy. There are weights and burdens that must be cleaned out. There are broken pieces discovered under the rubble that must find their place in Christ. The process of faith and hope are lifelong.
It takes a lifetime to become the masterpiece God created you to be and to fulfill His Call on our life. It is a surrender of our whole life that is interrupted by duplicity. We cannot embrace the past and grab hold of the future. We cannot love sin and dwell in His Presence. Light and darkness cannot coexist in the same space. It is important to burn some things. Sacrifice the pathway to the past to commit our feet to the future. Remember the woman with the alabaster jar, she did not just pour the perfume on Jesus but she broke the jar as a declaration just like Elijah. Both decided there was no turning back so they declared it openly by destroying what symbolized such an act. It’s not easy but oh so worth it. It is from such a sacrifice that fuels new passion to pursue Christ in all ways. How will you fuel your fire today? What will you sacrifice to have all of Him?
Mark 14:3 (NLT) Meanwhile, Jesus was in Bethany at the home of Simon, a man who had previously had leprosy. While he was eating, a woman came in with a beautiful alabaster jar of expensive perfume made from essence of nard. She broke open the jar and poured the perfume over his head.