Start a Fire

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.
1 Kings 19: 21
I happened to be walking across a bridge over the James River a few weeks ago. As I crossed over, I found myself reading the historical quotes of people during the end of the Civil War that were laid out on the boards on the bridge. In April 1865, the war was coming to an end, the city was burning, and uncertainty loomed ahead. One particular gentleman, Confederate Naval Secretary Stephen Mallory, ordered the men under his command to destroy the naval ships that the confederate government had been building in the shipyard near Richmond. They knew that there was no way to continue moving in the direction that they were going, and so they destroyed the only thing that they had known, so that they might find purpose ahead of them.
That quote (command that he gave) reminded of the story of Elijah and Elisha in 1 Kings 19. Elijah was the prophet of God, and had come to a point in his life where God was setting aside who Elijah’s successor would be. Chaos had erupted among God’s people, and now He was bringing about restoration. Elisha was going to be part of that plan, but it was going to take a willingness on his part to look forward and trust, for that plan to come to fruition in his life.
Elisha was wealthy. He came from a background that was financially very successful. How do we know that? In that chapter, Elijah finds Elisha working the oxen in the field. That might not sound like a big deal, until we recognize that having one set of oxen was exemplified wealth. And Elisha didn’t have just one set of oxen. He had 12. He was very wealth.
While Elisha is working in the field, Elijah simply walks up to him and throws his cloak over him, and begins to walk away. At that moment, Elisha had a choice to make. He had to decide if he would continue to follow down the path of life he was on right now, which no doubt would have seen tremendous wealth and material prosperity, or he would surrender to the path that God was laying out for Him. In a split second he had to make a decision that would alter the course of his life forever.
And He chose the path of complete and total abandonment. He surrendered to God and followed Him. When he had the oxen killed and the plows destroyed, He threw away every possibility of retreat. He knew that He was going to follow God and His plan forever, or die trying. There was a trust that what God had for Him was going to guide him to the purpose for which he was born!
Today, too many of us are unwilling to throw away and destroy every possibility of retreat. God is calling us forward, but we are only willing to go if we see a way of retreat if things don’t go the way that we think they should! I want to encourage you to embrace God’s plan for your life. Live life with a total abandonment to your own ideas and thoughts and embrace the purpose for which you were created–to Glorify God.
Know that I love you and praying for you! God has a great plan for you today! Embrace it! It will change everything!

One Response to “Start a Fire”

  1. Patsy Saville says:


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