Fauquier Baptist Church
Tuesday, June 18, 2024
   In I kings 19:19-21, we have the story of Elisha who was out plowing fields when Elijah the Prophet passed by and cast his mantle upon Elisha. God had plans for Elisha (I Kings 19:16) that, at the time, Elisha didn't know about. Isn't it amazing how God works? Maybe God has plans for you, don't take the business of serving God as a light thing. That mantle meant something. For one thing, after Elijah would be taken up by chariots of fire, it would then be Elisha the Prophet ( it is easy to confuse the two names).
   Here we find Elisha hard at work plowing with a yoke ( 2 oxen). Probably not many here have ever plowed behind an oxen, mule, or horse. I have on several occasions as Dad kept a pair of mules. I think he kept the mules for old times sake, because we had tractors to do most of the heavy work. Hit a rock, or root with a tractor while plowing and the tractor doesn't flinch, but with a mule it's a big difference. You would feel it through the handles and your shoulders and sometimes the plow would jump clean out of the row. Thank God for tractors! The tractor doesn't quit when noon comes, it will work all day and without complaining or being stubborn!
   Elisha was plowing, wasn't sitting at home like some today who spend little time working and more time watching t/v, playing video games, on the internet, facebook, tweeting, texting, and such, Elisha was working which brings up a good point. Throughout the entire Bible, God has never called the lazy, or the sluggard to HIs service. 
   The story of Elisha is an interesting story. He was the man who killed his cows and cooked them over a fire of burning plows. He could not have known what was ahead for him, he was by faith leaving his old life behind and he didn't want to leave anything behind to come back to (just in case things didn't work out).  Now God does not expect us in this day to burn down our barns, houses, and cook our livestock when we decide to follow Him. Never the less, here is a great lesson for all of God's children. All to often we keep a good grip on our "sacred cows," our pet sins, our worldly things, that really keep us from serving God. For example:
   A lady said, "I want to serve God, but I'm not about to give up my drinking and parties.
   A certain man said, "I want to serve God, but I don't think going to church every Sunday matters much.
   If we are to rightly serve God then some things need to be gotten rid of for good! Elisha killed his cows and burned his plows. That took care of that! No plan B just in case. It was all for God or nothing - a rare commodity today. He was preparing for the future not the past.
   Speaking of the past, there's likely in each of our pasts some things that will drag us down if we let it. The Apostle Paul said, "...But this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before me. I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus" (Phil. 3:13-14.)
   There's dangers in looking back. Personally if I looked back at the attempts to derail me in answering God's calling I would not have amounted to a hill of beans. There has been times of betrayal by some I've trusted, there has been unethical pastors who have said things that God will take care of one day, there has been some who called themselves friends who are no longer, there are kinfolks who have made light of my wife and I following our Lord. There are dangers in looking back and letting it bother to the point of saying "I quit!"
   One major problem today is far too many live in the past. Stuck in a rut. Holding grudges. Pouting over enemies. Can't get over the past! Past mistakes, financial mistakes, marriage mistakes, friend mistakes! All this is making the drug store richer. Depression has become synonmous with eating and sleeping, this diagnosis, that diagnosis, when the real problem 95% of the time is something out of the past that we won't do away with. We all make mistakes and will make mistakes, why?, because we are not perfect. The past brings us to where we are presently. It is the NOW that we need to consider. ELISHA KILLED HIS COWS AND BURNED HIS PLOWS. Put the past in the past. Elisha purposed to go forward. A great lesson for us!
   There are some things we should never forget. 
   1. The day that we were saved (Romans 10:13)
   2. The day that we made promises to God. To love God, to serve God, to Glorify God, to be Faithful. 
   3. That serving God is all about OTHERS. Others who are lost. Others who seek the Truth. Who will go for God???
   Elisha was not perfect but he stood TALL in service to God, and left us with a great example.  Remember, the same God who blessed Elisha is the same One who still blesses men and women today, He has not changed and never will. In following God, you will never be sorry. Setbacks? sure. Testings? sure. But you will never be disappointed in following God.
   May God Bless you!