My heritage for His honor

(1 Kings 19:19-21)

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.

For the past few weeks, I have been studying different men and women in the bible who were called by the Lord and one thing that I have found is that most made a sacrifice, whether the Lord asked it of them or not.

I was studying 1 Kings 19 the other day and these three verses really stood out to me!

Studying Elisha and his background, he was a farmer by heritage; his father was a farmer and most likely his grandfather before him.  Farming was his source of livelihood and income and so Elisha is first introduced as a man who worked for his father.  Now, unlike in the New Testament, where we read that James and John left their father to follow Jesus, Elisha did something that some would call erratic!

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.

Elisha not only left his father, mother, and job to follow Elijah and the Lord, but he literally cut all ties that he had with his “former life”.  He took his very heritage and income and not only abandoned it, but he slaughtered, burned, and distributed.

Often times, when the Lord calls us to join Him, He also asks of us to lay something down, to die to our carnal desires, to burn bridges, and to give when we are in need.  It does not say that the Lord asked Elisha to take such actions when he was called, but Elisha understood how important his calling was and he feared the Lord.

Think of the rich young ruler mentioned in Mark 10:17, where he asked…

“Good Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?”

And Jesus said that he had to forsake his heritage, livelihood, and wealth to follow Him.  But instead…

He was saddened, and he went away grieving, for he was one who owned much property.

This young ruler did not understand or treasure the gift that Jesus was offering Him, but Elisha did!

The Lord desires that you join Him in what He has called you to do. Of how much value do you place on that beckoning of the Lord? Will you be SORROWFUL, or will you SACRIFICE?

What on Earth are you doing for heaven’s sake?

  • God’s little Pencil

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