Wow, has anyone ever seen anything like this before? This bald man must have completely lost his mind, loosened any grasp he had on reality. We have suffered drought for years and now we finally have some rain; why in the world would anyone destroy their farming equipment, their livelihood? And thus, the curtain is opened on the life of Elisha, called by God to assist the prophet Elijah during a dark time in Israel’s history. Yesterday we spoke of the importance of holding on to the plow in our service to God, staying focused, moving forward, but there are moments when we need to let go.
Elisha was going about his daily routine, plowing his fields and farming his land, when Elijah shows up unannounced and “casts his mantle” upon the plowman. All who witnessed understood that symbolic action, Elijah was commissioning Elisha to be his assistant, to train with God’s man, to replace an aging Elijah as God’s voice to the people of Israel. Elisha responds dramatically, as he slays his “yoke of oxen,” breaks up his plow to use as fuel for a fire, prepares and cooks the oxen, and gives “unto the people” to eat. In an agricultural society, this would be an unthinkable action, for Elisha was not only destroying his livelihood, but also eliminating any possibility of returning to that way of life. But Elisha was ready to forsake all to answer God’s call. He would release this physical plow to place his hand upon the spiritual plow of God’s work. And he would never look back.
When God saves us and commissions us to do a work for Him, some letting go is involved, for we are no longer “of the world.” This world is full of eye-candy, beckoning us with all the glamour and glitz our media-saturated culture can muster, thus the “lust of the eyes” pulls at us, disrupting our focus, planting seeds of covetousness in our field of contentment. Then there is “the lust of the flesh,” the if-it-feels-good-do-it syndrome that tempts us away from the task at hand. But the most difficult battle we face is the “pride of life,” that temptation to hold ourselves in excess esteem, to puff up our own egos, to be self-focused. Elisha knew that he had to destroy the remnants of his old life in preparation to serve his new Employer, and he wanted to eliminate any temptation to go back.
I have an ultimate goal in this walk with my Father: “That I may know him,” a simple goal, yet impossible to attain if my hands are on too many other plows. To accomplish His goal for my life, I have to strive daily “to lay aside every weight, and the sin” that so easily bogs me down, distracts me, draws me away from Him, and look “unto Jesus the author and finisher of…” my faith. With God’s help, I want to keep my hand on His plow, focused only on Him, pressing forward in His service, knowing Him better.
Philippians 3:14 I press toward the mark of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.
Lord, help me to let go of the past and focus on learning more about You and serving You with more clarity and focus. Help me never to be tempted to look back.<div class='sharedaddy sd-block sd-like jetpack-likes-widget-wrapper jetpack-likes-widget-unloaded' id='like-post-wrapper-164683012-1488-6513c848c8f3d' data-src='https://widgets.wp.com/likes/#blog_id=164683012&post_id=1488&origin=grandmasgleanings.com&obj_id=164683012-1488-6513c848c8f3d' data-name='like-post-frame-164683012-1488-6513c848c8f3d' data-title='Like or Reblog'><h3 class="sd-title">Like this:</h3><div class='likes-widget-placeholder post-likes-widget-placeholder' style='height: 55px;'><span class='button'><span>Like</span></span> <span class="loading">Loading...</span></div><span class='sd-text-color'></span><a class='sd-link-color'></a></div>