Answering the call
So Elijah departed from there and found Elisha the son of Shaphat, who was plowing with twelve yoke of oxen in front of him, and he was with the twelfth. Elijah passed by him and cast his cloak upon him.1 Kings 19:19
Whether you feel insignificant or if you have the burden of the world on your shoulders, God has a plan for you. You may not know what it is right away, but the Lord has called everyone to follow him. Sometimes, this calling might come at a cost.
By the time Elijah meets Elisha, Elijah is already an established prophet. God commanded him to seek out Elisha earlier in the passage. When he sees Elisha for the first time, Elisha is with 12 yokes of his oxen. This indicates that he has plenty of wealth. Not everyone in those days owned that many oxen.
This means that in order for Elisha to become a prophet and become an apprentice under Elijah, he would have to give up his old life to follow God. If you keep reading the chapter, that’s exactly what he did. Elisha obeyed the calling and went on a new path that the Lord determined for him. He even slaughtered the 24 oxen and gave the equipment to other people to demonstrate his complete commitment to following Elijah.
We might be caught in a similar situation. We might have everything we think we need, but when God calls us to do something different, we need to be willing to abandon that life and pursue a walk of holiness. This is what Jesus did with his disciples. He called them to follow him and most of them immediately dropped whatever they were doing and they obeyed.
If you look at the context of the 1 Kings passage, Elijah complained to the Lord that he was alone and desired companionship. Thus, God found Elisha and made him Elijah’s pupil as another prophet. There is always a reason behind God’s calling. We may not understand at the moment, but we can trust that the Lord has a perfect plan for all of us.
Elisha left everything behind to serve the God of the universe. He made a sacrifice that few would take. He surrendered his life to the Lord in order to serve and obey him completely. The twelve disciples became fishers of men by following Jesus and most of them were martyred for their faith. They gave everything they had for Christ as we should.
This week, pray about how you can be on the right path for God. Ask him what you think your calling is. Meditate on scripture and pursue a close relationship with the Lord.