Elisha’s story suggests that too often we pick the wrong place to begin pursuing a life that makes a difference. When Elijah’s cloak lands on Elisha’s shoulders, Elisha does more than run after him. He makes sure there is nothing to run back to.
In order to follow after what God has for you there are some things in your that you have to kiss goodbye. This isn’t very popular, because a lot of us want to follow Jesus and carry our old life with us.
But following Jesus into a life that makes a difference doesn’t start with drawing up the blueprints for your dream house it starts with burning down your old house. Let me show you what I mean.
Now when I read this it honestly seems a little out of place at first. Did he have a lot of pent up rage so he decides to kill his oxen and have a barbecue? What’s going on All of this seems a little crazy until you understand that Elisha is making a statement. He is making a decisive break from his old life. He is burning down the source of his livelihood, and everything that represents the stale stability of his life behind the plow.
This is where this message deviates from other messages you’ve heard. It’s true that God wanted to use Elisha to make a difference in more ways than what he could imagine. And it’s true that God has bigger plans for you than anything you have known before. But if you want to have the kind of experience Elisha had, you have to do what Elisha did. You have to make a decisive break from your old life.
It could be different things for you. I’m not suggesting you need to quit your job, but maybe you need to quit the passionless approach your taking toward that job and start showing up every day believing God has called you there. Maybe you need to leave behind certain relationships that keep you chained to the past. It could be your attached to a life that’s a little too safe; a lifestyle that’s a little too comfortable and tends to factor out God. Maybe the reason you’ve never fully followed the life God has for you is because it’s always been too easy to run back to the life you’ve always known.
You can’t step into your new life until you first set fire to whatever is tethering you to your old life.
See Elisha isn’t making a barbecue he’s making a sacrifice. The animals were his only means of making a living. He’s letting go of the only life he’s ever known and saying, "I’m not going back there."
Before you can go forward in the life God has for you, you have to offer Him every part of the life you have. It’s really a matter of surrender. Yet simply knowing this won’t change your life. You have to do it.