The Faith of Elisha I


1KINGS 19:14-21 ESV

He said, “I have been very jealous for the Lord , the God of hosts. For the people of Israel have forsaken your covenant, thrown down your altars, and killed your prophets with the sword, and I, even I only, am left, and they seek my life, to take it away.” And the Lord said to him, “Go, return on your way to the wilderness of Damascus. And when you arrive, you shall anoint Hazael to be king over Syria. And Jehu the son of Nimshi you shall anoint to be king over Israel, and Elisha the son of Shaphat of Abel-meholah you shall anoint to be prophet in your place. And the one who escapes from the sword of Hazael shall Jehu put to death, and the one who escapes from the sword of Jehu shall Elisha put to death. Yet I will leave seven thousand in Israel, all the knees that have not bowed to Baal, and every mouth that has not kissed him.”  So he departed from there and found Elisha the son of Shaphat, who was plowing with twelve yoke of oxen in front of him, and he was with the twelfth. Elijah passed by him and cast his cloak upon him. And he left the oxen and ran after Elijah and said, “Let me kiss my father and my mother, and then I will follow you.” And he said to him, “Go back again, for what have I done to you?” And he returned from following him and took the yoke of oxen and sacrificed them and boiled their flesh with the yokes of the oxen and gave it to the people, and they ate. Then he arose and went after Elijah and assisted him.

Elisha’s story begins in 1 Kings 19:14-21 as God tells Elijah to anoint Elisha as the prophet to replace him. In this passage we read that Elijah finds Elisha plowing in a field with a pair of oxen and immediately throws his mantle on Elisha as an invitation to follow him. Elisha immediately obeys and burns his plow and cooks the oxen and gives it to his friends to eat. Elisha exhibited ridiculous commitment to Elijah. He wasted no time in obeying. He didn’t go away to take time to think about it. He didn’t write out a list of pros and cons. He didn’t play it safe. He immediately said yes to God’s calling through Elijah.

Elisha’s ridiculous commitment shows that the cost of following God is great, but the cost of not following Him is even greater. Furthermore, Elisha’s commitment was complete. He burned his plows, slaughtered his oxen, and left his family’s inheritance behind. He left everything he knew and loved behind. Elisha shows us that to step toward your destiny, you have to step away from your security. Is your commitment to God immediate and complete like Elisha’s? What security might you need to walk away from in order to walk toward your destiny?

Courtesy of LifeChurch.tv

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