Wholly Devoted

Read 1 Kings 19:19–21.

When I was a senior in high school, I had an experience with the Lord that changed everything for me. On a short-term mission trip to the interior of Jamaica, I felt God calling me into full-time Christian service. At the time, I didn’t know what that would look like, but I knew one thing for certain—I needed to know my Bible better. So, I did the only thing I could do: I told my parents I wasn’t going to college.

I wanted to study Scripture and theology, and I couldn’t do that properly at the state school where I’d been accepted. I thought it was too late to apply anywhere else, so my plan was to work for a year while I studied the Bible on my own. Then, the next year, I’d apply to a Christian university or Bible college. My mind was made up. I wanted to make a clean break with the old and embrace the new calling God had placed on my life.

When I read the account of Elisha’s calling in 1 Kings 19, I can feel Elisha’s passion. After the prophet Elijah placed his cloak on Elisha’s shoulders, symbolizing God’s calling on the young man’s life, nothing else mattered. Elisha came from a wealthy family. (Twelve pairs of oxen don’t come cheap.) But his inheritance didn’t matter. And he didn’t just leave the family farm behind. He burned the farm implements and used the flames to barbecue the oxen. He was done. He was moving on to whatever God had for him. There was no turning back.

God has called each of us to follow Jesus. Like Elisha, we must be willing to give up everything in order to step into that calling.

If a commission by an earthly king is considered an honor, how can a commission by a Heavenly King be considered a sacrifice?

—David Livingstone—

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