May 15th, 2018 || Scripture of the Day

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.    

I Kings19: 19-21

One of my favorite hymns is a song of dedication which I sing on almost a daily basis in my quiet time:

Take my life and let it be consecrated Lord to thee

Take my moments and my days, let them flow in ceaseless praise

Take my silver and my gold; not a mite will I withhold

Take my intellect and use; every moment as thou shalt choose.

Take my will and make it thine; it shall be no longer mine

Take my heart it is thine own; it shall be thy royal throne

I sing it as a reminder that the call to follow Christ demands total abandonment and dedication. Whatever blessings we have must be held with a light rather than a tight fist because it belongs to our Lord Jesus and we must be willing to part with it if He so demands! This is an unfailing principle we see all through Scripture, even in the life of Jesus Himself who left everything in Heaven and made Himself nothing; taking on the form of a servant (slave) Phil. 2:7). Paul and the disciples also left everything to follow Jesus. Abraham left everything for a land which he did not even know!

The call of Elisha was no different. He severed ties with everything that tied him to his farming business and left it all to become Elijah’s servant. To him, and all the others too numerous to recount in this short writing, leaving everything to follow God was well worth it. One notable exception is the rich young ruler who rejected the word of Jesus to give his possessions to the poor and to come and follow Jesus. The Bible says he went away sad because he was not willing to give up his great wealth (Mark 10). He lost the treasures of Heaven.

Frankly, we live in an age where we are unwilling to give up anything of value for the sake of God’s Kingdom agenda. We want to follow Jesus and we want God to use us but we are simply unwilling to divest ourselves of anything that God might demand of us, which in most cases tend to weigh us down in our walk with God anyway. Passing the test of divestiture when it comes to our dearest possessions is an unchanging spiritual principle that God uses to sift the willing from the not so willing. Will you pass that test? Think carefully about it.

Prayer: Father, I confess that there are many things that I am simply unwilling to give up even as I follow you. My cry today is that you will help me to hold every possession very lightly, recognizing that you alone are the true owner of my time, talents and treasures. Amen.