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  • Writer's pictureJocelyn Moore

Just in Case

Updated: Mar 7, 2021

19 So Elijah went and found Elisha son of Shaphat plowing a field. There were twelve teams of oxen in the field, and Elisha was plowing with the twelfth team. Elijah went over to him and threw his cloak across his shoulders and then walked away. 20 Elisha left the oxen standing there, ran after Elijah, and said to him, “First let me go and kiss my father and mother good-bye, and then I will go with you!”

Elijah replied, “Go on back, but think about what I have done to you.”

21 So Elisha returned to his oxen and slaughtered them. He used the wood from the plow to build a fire to roast their flesh. He passed around the meat to the townspeople, and they all ate. Then he went with Elijah as his assistant.


Elijah was a prophet of God in the Old Testament, called to confront the people of Israel about their sins, and urge them to turn back to God. In this scene, we see the moment when Elijah lets Elisha know that he is to be his assistant and successor. He indicated this by giving Elisha his cloak, which is sort of like knighting him. (something witty) Immediately, Elisha gives his verbal commitment: “let me go and kiss my mother and father good-bye, and then I will go with you!”

But what’s most interesting about this story is not Elisha’s words, but his actions. After departing from Elijah, Elisha decides burn his plow, slaughter all of his oxen and use the meat to feed the people in town.

Maybe you’re thinking, “that’s feels like an dramatic reaction but overall an irrelevant point”. Fair thought. But consider this: the oxen and plow were Elisha’s livelihood; it was his only to bring in money. When he killed them, he essentially removed all possibility of turning back; there was nothing to go back to! There was no fallback plan “just in case” things with Elijah didn’t really work out. It was now or never, do or die, eat or be eaten (okay, maybe not that but you get the point).

It makes me think: when God calls us to Him, what collateral do we hold on to, “just in case”? Just in case God’s plan doesn’t work out, or just in case we want to run back to that sin (you know the one). It looks different for everyone. Some of us have “just in case” relationships. For others, it’s a job or title that we’re clinging to. Others still hang onto that tiny piece of doubt in the back of our minds, that way if things don’t work out we can say “Whatever. I didn’t really think it would happen anyway”. Whatever it is for you, I challenge you to let it go. Commit yourselves fully to God’s call and I guarantee that you will see His power in your life like never before.


 

Questions:

1. What are the things that you are holding on to? The things that might be contradictory to God’s calling, but that you haven’t fully let go?

2. Why do you think you’re still hold on? Challenge yourself to get to the root fear or doubt.

3. What would it take for you to let it go in order to more fully commit to God’s will.


Prayer:

Dear God, thank you for loving me enough to have a calling and a plan for my life. Please forgive me for anything that I am holding onto that reflects lack of faith, or the presence of doubt or fear. Please help me see what you see; show me the things that I need to let go, and give me the courage and strength to do so. In Jesus’ name, Amen.


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