July 09, 2015

Elijah and Elisha: Commitment

1 Kings 19:19-21

Elisha...took his yoke of oxen and slaughtered them...He set out to follow Elijah and became his servant.

—  1 Kings 19:21

Elijah the prophet placed his cloak over the shoulders of Elisha the farmer. At God’s command, Elijah was summoning Elisha to leave his farm and take on the work of prophet for God’s people. Elisha was to be Elijah’s apprentice. This was not a small request, and it would require a great commitment from Elisha.

Elisha made his commitment clear. He brought an end to his old occupation by killing his oxen, burning the plow to cook the meat, and sharing it with his family and neighbors. They joined in as witnesses recognizing this change in his life. Elisha wanted to show God and everyone that he was fully committed to this new call and mentoring relationship. Trusting God as he went forward, Elisha did not look back.

Discipleship requires a willingness to be taught and redirected. It requires a commitment to letting the Spirit work in our lives. Hesitation and looking back are not going to work. Either God is our only comfort, or we will try in vain to find comfort elsewhere. Discipleship does not always demand a major career change, but it does require placing everything in God’s service. Taking a step of faith requires a full commitment to being discipled.

Like Elisha, do you need to put away things from your past to be committed to being discipled by the Spirit?

Lord, help us to be fully committed to being your disciples. Help us to throw off anything that entangles us and hinders our commitment to you. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

About the author — Steven and Deb Koster

Steven and Deb Koster have a passion for marriages, families, and spiritual growth in the home. Both are ordained ministers in the Christian Reformed Church in North America. Steven formerly served as editor of Today and director of ReFrame's English-language outreach. Deb leads Family Fire, ReFrame’s family ministry at FamilyFire.com and on Facebook. The Kosters have three children.

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