Burning Your Plow
“Elijah left there and found Elisha as he was plowing…Elijah walked by him and threw his mantle over him. Elisha then left the oxen and ran to follow Elijah…So Elisha turned back from following Elijah, took his team of oxen, and slaughtered them. With the oxen’s wooden yoke and plow, he cooked the meat and gave it to the people, and they ate. Then he left, followed Elijah and served him.” - 1 Kings 19:19-21
I just want you to picture that passage of Scripture.
As you are plowing, an older man walks by you, throws his mantle on you and walks away. I don’t know about you, but if it were me, I would of probably taken the mantle off, hung it up somewhere, and continued my days work.
Elijah, one of God’s greatest prophets to ever live, walks by Elisha, a soon to become great prophet, and throws his mantle on him. This is God saying, “Okay, Elijah. Your time is about up. Now it’s Elisha’s time.” But, what fascinates me is what Elisha does next. He puts the plow down and takes off running toward Elijah. Elisha asks Elijah if he can go kiss his mother and father good-bye. Elijah gives Elisha the okay and what does Scripture say that Elisha does next? He slaughters his oxen, and burns his plows to use the wood for cooking the oxen meat. Wait a second… That is crazy to believe.
As you see the calling of Elisha, he was just like King David. He was doing his ordinary days work. He was doing the “normal”, but God had other plans. Another thing that fascinates me is that Elisha wasn’t asking God for better. He was simply being obedient to his normal days work. Your greatness is determined by your obedience even in the average.
For Elisha, burning his plow meant burning his old life and walking with God into his new life. What is your “plow” in your life? Is it a past regret? Past pain that someone caused you? Is it a job that you are going into each day half-heartedly? Are you a minister and only want to work 9-4 each day? Is your “plow” your relationships from past?
You cannot and will not step into your new life until you first set fire to whatever is holding you to your old life. God wants to break you of the “ordinary” and give you “extraordinary”.
Now, I am talking about going to sell your 2009 Mercedez Benz and asking God to give you a 2012 Mercedez Benz. I’m not even talking about worldly issues here. I am talking about going to a place with God where you have never been before. I am talking about entering into that “secret place” that we so often talk about, but never experience. I am talking about letting go of the “I always have to argue with everything” attitude. I am talking about taking hold of the “weep with those who weep and rejoice with those who rejoice” concept. Let go of your past, and let God show you your future. Whatever it is that may be hindering you from your victory, give it to God and let Him show off His skills.
For Elisha, burning his plows meant giving up everything he ever knew to be obedient to God. For David, leaving his flock meant taking up the chair as King one day over all of Israel. For Paul, leaving his carnal ways behind meant a greater future for him. For Peter, leaving his boat to follow Jesus meant that his relationship with Jesus was greater.
What does burning your plows mean to you? Is it an attitude? A job? A lifestyle? A past decision you haven’t let go of yet?
Burn your plow…run after Jesus…and never look back. It’s worth it!