Burning Bridges (1 Kings 19)

During an average day of plowing, Elisha had the most extraordinary experience. The prophet Elijah met him in the field and threw his cloak over Elisha’s shoulders.

Elisha knew exactly what that meant. He had been chosen to be the next prophet of Israel.

As Elisha stood there wearing Elijah’s cloak, he had a decision to make. He was a farmer from a family of farmers. He understood that life. He knew what it looked like. Remaining a farmer was a safe option for Elisha.

On the other hand, becoming a prophet at the exact moment in Israel’s history when the queen was putting prophets to death and Elijah himself was currently running for his life from her was far less predictable.

Elisha didn’t hesitate. In fact, just to make sure that everyone understood how committed to God’s plan he was, Elisha butchered his plowing oxen, lit his plow on fire and served all of the onlookers BBQ beef. True story. (1 Kings 19:19-21)

I love that once Elisha had made his decision, he burned the bridge to his passed life (literally!) and did it in public so that others could keep him accountable.

Sometimes when we feel God nudging us in a certain direction, it’s easy to say, “yes” and make plans to follow God. However, down the road of life we may encounter distraction, fear, doubt and any number of roadblocks that may cause us to stop following God’s plan. Elisha may have experienced all that too, but he couldn’t very well quit and go home. People had seen him make a commitment to God. They would rightly call him on his failure if he did. (Also, he no longer had a plow and oxen to go home to.)

By keeping himself accountable, Elisha was able to push past those things and step into his Divine calling.

Like Elisha, we may have to burn some bridges to our past life if we are going to follow God.

One of the ways that we can make sure that we stay on the path of God’s will is to let others keep us accountable by telling them what we know we are supposed to do. Some of us don’t have people that we could trust with that type of information, and if that is the case for you, then at least write down what you feel God telling you and date it. In moments of doubt, you can go back to that note and remember that you can’t quit. You are following God!

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Reading Plan- Week Sixteen

Day One- 1 Kings 17
Day Two- 1 Kings 18
Day Three- 1 Kings 19
Day Four- 1 Kings 20
Day Five- 1 Kings 21