Well, I don’t know if Elijah deliberately tested Elisha but it certainly was a test. If you want to you can read the story in 1Kings 19:19 and 2 Kings 2:8 –
In order to see the same anointing released in his own ministry Elisha had to stick with Elijah wherever he went. At every point along the way Elijah told the younger man to stay where he was. But Elisha would have none of that! He went with Elijah to each place until they came to the River.
And right at the start of their meeting each other the old prophet gave the younger man the CHOICE to follow or to stay on the farm.
The choice is always ours.
God will not force you to follow Jesus in His calling.
You see — coming to Jesus and getting born again is NOT what I am talking about here. But the call of God to minister to His sheep.
You came to Jesus? That is awesome. He drew you to Himself because He is stronger than you are. You did not choose Him but He chose you!
A lot of people take pride in the idea that they came to Jesus–they repented- they accepted Jesus- they said the sinners prayer–etc etc
You were saved ENTIRELY BY GRACE through faith and even that faith was NOT YOURS–but His faith.
There is absolutely no boasting ground for our soul. Jesus drew you to Himself.
John 12:32 And I, if I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all peoples to Myself.”
The word translated as Draw is Helkuo and it means “drag as by one who is stronger”.
The same word is used when Peter dragged the net to shore with the 153 large fish in it. Jn 21:11
The strength of Peter was greater than the strength of the fish…They were caught by one stronger than them.
That is how you got saved my friend. The Fisherman caught you in His net or perhaps on a hook…and He dragged you to shore. There you were flopping around on the beach mouth popping open and shut… hahahaha.
No boasting there.
It is the same as being born. Does the baby boast about coming down the birth canal? Does it say ‘Oh yes, I chose to be born at 4:30am? I chose to push my way down the birth canal until I came out.?? ‘
God DID NOT LEAVE IT UP TO THE BABY to birth itself.,,and He does not leave it up to you or anyone else to be born again.
You were involved of course. But He saved you. He granted you repentance. He granted you faith, He gave you grace/power to turn to Jesus because of your own self you could NOT DO IT!
Back to Elisha…
At every step Elijah gave him the opportunity to choose another path.
“Stay here please…//…As the Lord lives, and as your soul lives, I will not leave you!” Three times this was repeated. And each time Elisha said
‘ No way I am following hard after you ‘!!
Years ago when I was only about 6 months old in the Lord Jesus the career I was in told me that I must relocate to another city 5 hours north. I asked my pastor about it and he said…Do you know what I think? “I think you should resign and serve the Lord here in the church.” He eye balled me with a slight smile at each side of his mouth.
Now get the picture of this….
At that time I was evangelising everything that moved. I was preaching on the street in the city of Perth and on the Fisheries boat I worked on. When back on shore on days off I was visiting Indian and Pakistani students in their lodgings and leading them to Jesus. Some were being healed and delivered from addictions…some got filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke in other tongues. Each week I would bring new Indian men to church. The church as well was experiencing revival –every weekend 20-30 people would get born again. Healings and miracles were common. It was how I started as a Christian.
I looked at Pastor Geoff Woodward and saw in his gaze he was deadly serious about me resigning my Government Fisheries job to serve him in the church.
I had come to Jesus because my marriage fell apart but my wife did not come to Jesus, instead she invited another man to come live in our house after I had been told to move out. He lived there, slept with her, and took the role as dad to our 2 year old daughter. I was heart broken. After 12 months of separation we were divorced. I did not want that, I wanted to stay together…but she had moved on with her other man. It was over. So it was during all of that that Pastor Geoff pinned me.
I chose to stay in the job. That was 1990.
In 1997 whilst living in Israel with my new wife Carmel the Lord put on our hearts to go from there to the UK to Bible Training school at Roffey under Ps. Colin Urquhart. We had been in Israel 6 months and our time to leave and go home had come. But it was at that juncture that the Lord put this CHOICE BEFORE US. There was no pressure. There was excitement about the idea. Carmel had friends there and also family in the UK….But we chose to go back to Perth…We simply did not have the courage to do it. When we were deciding this Carmel was 5 months pregnant with our first baby.
That was twice I had been given a choice.
This story of Elijah and Elisha just wont leave me alone.
Elisha could have at any time chosen to keep on farming. Instead he dived in and burned the plough and killed the oxen making a clear cut with his parents farm. He left all to follow Elijah. But then also along the way before he was ordained if you like…or anointed…same thing…he was given 3 chances to turn aside from the call.
How many times has this happened you?
God says He has this purpose or thing He wants for you and right at the crucial time when you feel that it could be NOW…ANOTHER PATH IS PRESENTED TO YOU….and you meekly go the other way and perhaps MISS WHAT GOD HAD.
Some would say it is impossible to miss God’s will for He orders our steps.
Perhaps that is true. But He always gives us the choice regardless.
I don’t know how many times He gives us another chance to choose.
Consider this passage where Elijah gives Elisha 3 chances….4 if you include the first call at his farm. The number 4 is dalet in Hebrew and means door. God showed him the door…but we can choose to go with Jesus or refuse. Jesus Himself was given the choice to go to the cross or not. He went thank God!!
Also consider another passage -It speaks of how God does all He can to turn us into His pathway –and actually says He does it three times.
“Behold, God works all these things,
Twice, in fact, three times with a man,
30 To bring back his soul from the Pit,
That he may be enlightened with the light of life.
Then of course there is the story of Apostle Peter who denied Jesus 3 times only for Jesus to restore Him by asking Peter 3 times, “Do you love Me?” And three times Jesus said FEED MY SHEEP/TEND MY LAMBS.
Perhaps the Lord has been speaking to you …laying before you a choice to follow Him?
In the movie “The Matrix” Morpheus(a type of prophet)comes and finds Neo(a newb with an inner calling) and gives him a choice to leave his cosy world to go with Morpheus into the unknown… he leans forward towards Neo and says THIS IS YOUR LAST CHANCE.
In my gut I sense that just like Pastor Geoff was eye-balling me with his proposition to serve so the Lord is eye-balling many people in every nation. And I am strangely reminded of this passage in Revelation 9:14
“Release the four angels who are bound at the great river Euphrates.” 15 So the four angels, who had been prepared for the hour and day and month and year, were released to kill a third of mankind.
Those four angels were held back from their calling until the exact time on God’s calendar. The exact time…The SET TIME. They went forth to kill a third of mankind with fire and brimstone and smoke from their mouths. Just remember that when someone turns to Jesus they HAVE DIED as far as the world system is concerned. They have been slain by Jesus!! Now they LIVE UNTO GOD…but are dead to the World.
The Lord is looking to slay a third of mankind with FIRE AND BRIMSTONE AND SMOKE. His word is a fire! Brimstone or Sulphur is a purifying agent just as Fire is also. Smoke speaks of His GLORY WHICH FILLS THE TEMPLE and all the angels cry HOLY HOLY HOLY!!
Isa 6: I saw the Lord sitting on a throne, high and lifted up, and the train of His robe filled the temple. 2 Above it stood seraphim; each one had six wings: with two he covered his face, with two he covered his feet, and with two he flew. 3 And one cried to another and said:
“Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts;
The whole earth is full of His glory!”
4 And the posts of the door were shaken by the voice of him who cried out, and the house was filled with smoke.
8 Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying:
“Whom shall I send,
And who will go for Us?”
Then I said, “Here am I! Send me.”
The harvest is ripe. The labourers are few. Pray the Lord of the Harvest to send labourers into His harvest. But remember if you pray that prayer–be prepared for God to eye ball you!
“Whom shall I send, And who will go for Us?”
Matt 9:35 Then Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every sickness and every disease among the people. 36 But when He saw the multitudes, He was moved with compassion for them, because they were weary and scattered, like sheep having no shepherd. 37 Then He said to His disciples, “The harvest truly is plentiful, but the laborers are few. 38 Therefore pray the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest.”
A prophetic utterance from a few days ago is connected with this post
Be renewed in the spirit of your mind and follow hard after Me, says the Lord and I will show you the favour of the land and good things shall come forth for you and from you.
Say to the rain “fall down!” and to the wind “Blow!” For my rain and My wind shall blow upon this land and you shall be caught up in the midst of it.
Get ready! Hold onto Me for it shall be even like Elijah’s chariot ride coming to take you up in Me and deposit you to another place…
for the things that are about to happen shall happen suddenly and the enemy will not have enough time to react.
Be warned that those who stand against this that I shall do will fire their arrows at you but I shall quench them all…only be strong and very courageous son.
Look not away from what I reveal and show you. Do not be diverted from it for I intend to save and to heal many in this place.
Only believe and you shall see it with your own eyes.“