ELISHA: A TALE OF RIDICULOUS FAITH (week one)
· John 14:12
· Jesus isn’t calling us to be greater than Him, but greater WITH Him through the Holy Spirit
· Same God that was born in the manger and died on the cross is the same God that lives in us in the form of the Holy Spirit
· Why do we ignore that or think the HS is only for others?
· Believers aren’t in danger of ruining theirs lives, they face a danger far greater: wasting them.
· That’s what this series is about: developing a faith so ridiculous that you can die knowing nothing was wasted.
· Words w/opposite meanings: Bad, Sick, Ridiculous!
· Ridiculous - worthy of ridicule = Now - unbelievably good
· Life Elisha: OT prophet—ridiculous!
· Prophets were literally voice of God, one main prophet at a time, many others including false
· List includes Moses, Jeremiah, Isaiah, and Elijah
· Lived during 9th c BC.
· Israel divided nation: Full of idolatry: Baal.
· Elijah’s times was coming to an end, needed to find a successor, led by God
· Elisha becomes an incredible prophet
· Ask for a double portion and gets it: More recorded miracles.
· Divided Jordan, Raised dead, Ax head float, Purified poisoned stew, Bones resurrects dead man.
· Favorite: 2 Kings 2:23-24 I LOVE THIS GUY!
· Easy to see ending and assume He was born that way
· 1 Kings 19
19 So Elijah went from there and found Elisha son of Shaphat. He was plowing with twelve yoke of oxen, and he himself was driving the twelfth pair. Elijah went up to him and threw his cloak around him. 20 Elisha then left his oxen and ran after Elijah. “Let me kiss my father and mother goodbye,” he said, “and then I will come with you.” “Go back,” Elijah replied. “What have I done to you?” 21 So Elisha left him and went back. He took his yoke of oxen and slaughtered them. He burned the plowing equipment to cook the meat and gave it to the people, and they ate. Then he set out to follow Elijah and became his servant. 1 Kings 19:19-21
· Wasn’t son of a priest. Seminary. Monk.
· Living at home w/parents working on his dad’s farm.
· God called ordinary man to be a prophet
· Ridiculous responsibility: Counsel kings. Perform miracles. Speak on behalf of God.
· What is the future prophet doing? Staring at the back side of 12 oxen
· Not a great job - Hard, boring, monotonous work. Smell oxen. Staring at oxen rears.
· Every day. Same thing. Day after day.
· Same job, Student study/work, Parent (kids, laundry)
· Lose your passion staring at oxen rears.
· Elijah went up to him and threw his cloak around him.
· Symbolic: Under my care.
· At this moment in time Elisha had a choice...
· Keep doing what he was doing or step out and step away.
· One path was safe, the other would take ridiculous faith and ridiculous commitment.
TWO PRINCIPLES OF RIDICULOUS COMMITMENT
1) YOU DON’T HAVE TO UNDERSTAND FULLY TO OBEY IMMEDIATELY.
20 Elisha then left his oxen and ran after Elijah. “Let me kiss my father and mother goodbye,” he said, “and then I will come with you.” 1 Kings 19:20
· Didn’t have to pray about it. Pros & cons. Therapist. Details. Salary.
· So in tune with God I trust you! I’m in—instantly.
· 13 years ago, first church plant, told I needed a plan. “What are your 5 year plans?” 80% fail before 2 years
· Guess what? Nothing ever turned out how I planned it.
· Why? Life is unpredictable.
· This time, a new approach - Don’t plan for the future—respond in the present.
· Ex. Save money in case something goes wrong.
· Now we save in case something goes right.
· God’s directions are often intentionally vague.
· Moses: Go to the land I’ll show you. Peter: Come.
Marriage: Stay Church: Commit
Health: Trust Children: Adopt
· Some of you today—Ridiculous!
· YOU DON’T HAVE TO UNDERSTAND FULLY TO OBEY IMMEDIATELY.
2) THOSE GOD USES THE MOST ARE THE ONES WHO HOLD ON TO THE LEAST.
21 So Elisha left him and went back. He took his yoke of oxen and slaughtered them. He burned the plowing equipment to cook the meat and gave it to the people, and they ate. Then he set out to follow Elijah and became his servant.
· Slaughtered oxen—ceremonial sacrifice to celebrate.
· Doesn’t just make some steak—Burns the plows.
· Irresponsible. Disciples left everything. (Luke 5)
· Plow burning faith.
· Have to know God is leading you—don’t just walk in—quit my job! Wait a month.
· Step away from your plow and step toward your destiny
Jesus replied, “No one who puts a hand to the plow and looks back is fit for service in the kingdom of God.” Luke 9:62