1 Kings 19v19-21
So Elijah went from there and found Elisha son of Shaphat. He was plowing with twelve yoke of oxen, and he himself was driving the twelfth pair. Elijah went up to him and threw his cloak around him. Elisha then left his oxen and ran after Elijah. “Let me kiss my father and mother goodbye,” he said, “and then I will come with you.”
“Go back,” Elijah replied. “What have I done to you?”
So Elisha left him and went back. He took his yoke of oxen and slaughtered them. He burned the plowing equipment to cook the meat and gave it to the people, and they ate. Then he set out to follow Elijah and became his servant.
What an amazing call to the ministry for Elisha. Busy in the field plowing one day and following Elijah the Prophet the very next! I wonder today if some great man of God were to come and knock on the door with the same objective, how many of us would turn from everything and become their armor bearer? Quite a thought.
Here’s the thing though; for a few weeks I have been pondering this passage of scriptural history penned for our benefit. How so? Well…it’s a little more complicated than we think. I firmly believe each one of us has a unique place and calling in this life. Whether we attain, reach or fulfill it remains the mystery. Pondering further…
What if we read the passage with the intent of understanding how it might apply to us individually today?
Let me back this theory up a little here…
When you started serving the Lord, became one of His prized possessions, did you ever wonder what your purpose might be in life, as His child? Did you ever consider why you ended up in the profession you are in? Ever question what your destiny might be before the Lord returns or calls you home? Or…like a multitude of people did you deduce that your purpose in life is to simply ‘survive’ and ‘get by’…?
I am convinced God had an amazing plan for Elisha. He predestined greatness for this farmer plowing the field for the family. Breaking the ground with implements, sweat on his brow daily, early mornings, tending to animals, watching for seed time and harvest. Probably the lifestyle of every kid in Israel at the time. Hard work nonetheless. A few verses prior (16), God gives Elijah specific instructions backing up the claim that God had a plan for Elisha…’Also, anoint Jehu son of Nimshi king over Israel, and anoint Elisha son of Shaphat from Abel Megola to succeed you as prophet.’
Fast forward to you and I today. Living a life that is keeping us busy in a myriad of arenas. We get up every day, go to work, slay the dragon, or kill buffalo and come home at night, only to repeat it all again day after day. Yes the Lord rewards the work of our hands, and reminds us that the sluggard folds his hands and does nothing. Proverbs 13v3 The sluggard craves and gets nothing, but the desires of the diligent are fully satisfied. But what if there was more to this life than the mundane, the plain and ordinary?
Have you ever considered that you have been positioned for greatness? Maybe not the next Billy Graham or Smith-Wigglesworth, but the next YOU! Have you considered how when and where all of this might unfold in your life and that ultimately the Lord will be honored by the fruit and labor of your hand?
Not making any sense yet…? BE FAITHFUL
2 Kings 2v1-6
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.”
But Elisha said, “As surely as the LORD lives and as you live, I will not leave you.” So they went down to Bethel.
The company of the prophets at Bethel came out to Elisha and asked, “Do you know that the LORD is going to take your master from you today?”
“Yes, I know,” Elisha replied, “but do not speak of it.”
Then Elijah said to him, “Stay here, Elisha; the LORD has sent me to Jericho.”
And he replied, “As surely as the LORD lives and as you live, I will not leave you.” So they went to Jericho.
The company of the prophets at Jericho went up to Elisha and asked him, “Do you know that the LORD is going to take your master from you today?”
“Yes, I know,” he replied, “but do not speak of it.”
Then Elijah said to him, “Stay here; the LORD has sent me to the Jordan.”
And he replied, “As surely as the LORD lives and as you live, I will not leave you.” So the two of them walked on.
Elisha’s faithfulness astounds me. He stuck to Elijah like glue! Even when Elijah cautions him to stay, Elisha refuses and goes with him, at all costs. Committed. Given. Amazing display of being faithful to another’s vision! That is the key right there!
Starting to see your positioning for greatness yet? If you are answering ‘I hate my job‘ or ‘I wish something great would happen in my life too‘ or ‘there can’t be an amazing plan for me out there‘…you may have missed the plot.
If you are ready to metaphorically burn the plowing equipment in your life, slay the oxen in your life, kiss your loved ones goodbye, and follow the elect of God, then you are on the right track. Stop spiraling out of control while life passes you by, without seizing the opportunity to do something great for the Lord.
One small step toward unlocking the position God has for you is to be faithful to another’s vision. Elisha did exactly this, and set the model in place for us to redeem God’s call on our lives. Are you serving in your local fellowship? Making coffee, setting up chairs, cleaning toilets, greeting people, setting up equipment, tearing it down. In your job are you walking daily with the same frame of mind and attitude of heart? Serving. Being faithful. In all your doing, as if unto the Lord? Serving the vision of your organization, your boss? If you have the perspective of Elisha you are being positioned for greatness…
2 Kings 2v9-10
When they had crossed, Elijah said to Elisha, “Tell me, what can I do for you before I am taken from you?”
“Let me inherit a double portion of your spirit,” Elisha replied.
“You have asked a difficult thing,” Elijah said, “yet if you see me when I am taken from you, it will be yours—otherwise not.”
Did you know that Elisha could have asked anything, yet he chose the better thing – a double portion of the anointing Elijah had modeled. Elisha got it! He knew it was about making God greater. He saw miracle after miracle, and was faithful in his servant-hood to Elijah.
When we are navigating life, faithful in the small things God has called us to, in ministry, in our workplace, in our families, I believe as we serve the vision of our spiritual leaders, remain faithfully committed in our service to the organizations we work in, that a day will soon approach, where the seed the Lord planted in our hearts will begin to grow, take root, and sprout. A reward for being faithful to another will bring fruit beyond comprehension. Nothing happens until something happens. In this instance, we should stop letting life pass us by, and seize the moment.
Understand that God has a specific call and purpose and plan for each of us, and that though there are times we feel discouraged, defeated, disappointed perhaps abandoned…He remains faithful, and requires us to be faithful in serving those in authority over us. When we have walked this path, He is able to reward us and position us for such greatness.
What a model of servant hood and faithfulness to another’s vision. This leaves us without excuse. For me personally, reading the account of the call of Elisha opened my eyes and has given me a fresh understanding.
Lord teach us to be faithful and committed to the vision of those you have placed over us. Cause growth, and anoint us for your service and work of the ministry both inside the fellowship of the saints and in life itself. We are all positioned for greatness…open the eyes of our understanding, give us wisdom to become what you have called each one of us to be.