12: Free to Follow

Posted: Thursday, May 29th, 2014
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About Our God Reigns Series

Martha's thorough and definitive series on one of the most pivotal spiritual issues, and one of the most misunderstood: Authority.

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The way of true godly authority is this: you are ever free under it.  It’s up to you whether you roast your oxen; no one makes you.  The choices, the degree of submission, the level of commitment to God’s plan . . . all rested entirely in Elisha’s hands.

Elisha could take it or leave it.  It didn’t matter to Elijah either way.  Elijah changed nothing for Elisha.  He offered and went on.  He didn’t pressure.  “For what have I to done to you?” means “It’s not MY problem, I’m going with God. I’m not linked to you.  Come if you like.  But if you don’t, it changes nothing for me, I’m still going with God” (1 Kings 19).

Authority is received not imposed.

Elisha left parental authority for prophetic authority.  He knew he could not sustain two loyalties, serve two masters.  So he destroyed his loves, his personal ties . . . to homeland, to career . . . to family.  His good-bye was a final severing, not a temporary parting.  His departure was a fire of self-destruction, but also a celebration with his community.

So Elisha turned back from him and took a yoke of oxen and slaughtered them and boiled their flesh, using the oxen’s equipment, and gave it to the people and they ate (1 Kings 19:21).

He had been chosen by God to follow the prophet.  The honor of it didn’t escape him.  It was worth destroying his world!

Then he arose and followed Elijah, and became his servant.
I Kings 19:21

Elisha closed all his options, and his relationships, burned all the paths of return and ran to catch up with Elijah.  Elisha was called by God to be “prophet in (Elijah’s) place” (I Kings 19:16).  But to enter that, he had to be trained from the bottom as a very personal servant to the Prophet.

It was later said of Elisha, that “he used to pour water on the hands of Elijah” (2 Kings 3:11).  Elisha was willing to go to school for his authority.  To pay a high price in loss and in humility.  Such was his value of embracing authority, and his later ministry vindicated his choice.

He wanted to know God, to follow Him.  That was the motive of his passionate detachment!  To find God, he would follow one who followed Him . . . and to come under authority was the price to pay.

It was a Divine privilege.

Copyright © 1999 Martha Blaney Kilpatrick, Our God Reigns

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