June 24

1 Kings 19:15-16, 19-21

“He returned from following him, took the yoke of oxen, and slaughtered them; using the equipment from the oxen, he boiled their flesh, and gave it to the people, and they ate. Then he set out and followed Elijah, and became his servant.” vs. 21

Elijah needed a successor, someone to follow him for a time and then take over his position as prophet in Israel. Guided by the Spirit he threw his mantle over Elisha as he was out in the field plowing. Thrilled by his nomination Elisha asked only to be able to say good-bye to his parents…and Elijah sent him away. More was required. Elisha had to make a complete break with the past…and he did. He sacrificed his livelihood and became Elijah’s servant. Sometimes that’s how it works when the Spirit blows through our lives. We feel called in a new direction and get excited about the prospects. We forget that pursuing newness will often mean sacrifice and massive change. And we won’t be able to move forward until we’ve broken the yoke of the past and dealt with all the required endings. Our actions may not be as graphic as those required of Elisha but that shouldn’t minimize their importance. The good news is that when the call is truly the work of the Spirit our new life as servants of Christ will be a blessing to the world…and bring satisfaction to our souls.

Thought for the Day: What do I need to give up in order to move ahead?

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