Ridiculous Faith Part 1 – Ridiculous commitment to faith
1 kings 19:19-21
In v19 we’re told Elisha was ploughing with 12 oxen, he was doing the same job he’d been doing for years. There would have been a monotony in doing the same thing, day in, day out. Some of us may feel like Elisha, we say ‘my life is so monotonous, same job, same people, same thing every day’ or fed up with the monotony of lockdown. And this is also where Elisha was but he was faithful in it and God loves to bless the faithful. Then right in the middle of a faithful routine, God sent Elijah to Elisha. God will meet you in your everyday, in your monotony, as you faithfully go about what God has called you too.
In v19 we also see Elijah throw his cloak over Elisha, and Elijah symbolically put this on him saying that my mantel, authority and calling as a prophet is now transferred to Elisha. And when we become a Christian the authority of Jesus Christ passes to you, his peace, power and his presence is transferred to you.
Two principles of commitment that Elisha demonstrates:
- We don’t have to understand fully to obey immediately
- In v20 Elisha leaves the oxen and asks to say goodbye to his family and then follows Elijah. He doesn’t stop and pray about it, come up with a pros and cons list etc.
- Planning ahead is a good thing, but if 2020 has taught us anything it’s to respond to the here and now, as the plans at the start of the year have been ripped up.
- So what is God’s word for you now? Are you spiritually ready to act in faith? You can’t plan what God will ask you to do, but if you’re ready you can obey immediately, even if you don’t understand.
- God rarely gives us the full details, possibly because we couldn’t cope with all the details and in scripture God often commands with one word.
- We may also be given one word from God for where we are now and we’re to follow and to act. We don’t have to understand completely to obey immediately.
- God uses most, the ones who hold onto the least
- In v21 Elisha does something quite controversial, he kills the livestock and then makes a fire with the yokes. It’s a ridiculous statement of commitment, burning the ploughs is him saying I’m burning my plan B, there’s no turning back from following Elijah.
- Our natural selves want to keep a plan B, but so many times in the bible people show complete commitment to what God tells them to do.
- For many of us the challenge is, has God met us in such a way that we can no longer go back to how we used to be, we’ve got to go forward and step on and follow in faith.
- Sometimes when new Christians come to faith they change their lives, but their old friends draw them back into their old way of life, and they find the only way to move on is to move away and leave those friends, symbolically burning that plough. Is there a symbolic plough that we need to burn?
- To step toward your destiny you have to step away from your security. In this lockdown period God is bringing clarity and bringing to the surface things we need to let go off, it’s a refining time. We’re not to go back, we’re to burn things from the past and step on in faith for all that God has for us.
Our challenge is, if we’re going to live lives of ridiculous faith, it starts with ridiculous commitment. Declaring that nothing’s going to hold us back, we’re going to burn our ploughs and we probably won’t know all the details but we step forward.