Currently I am working on a series of messages on the life of Elisha for next year. So far it has been an intriguing study. One thing that I have found to be very interesting – but will not cover it as of now in the series – is Elisha’s call to ministry. It is different than any other call to ministry in the OT.
Moses had a burning bush
Joesph had a few dreams along the way.
Samuel was spoken to directly by God and God spoke directly to Jeremiah
Then there is Ezekiel – well – I’m not even sure how to describe that call.
But Elisha, one of the greatest prophets in the OT is called by Elijah placing his mantel (or cloak) on his shoulders.
No word directly from God – No burning bush – No exciting vision while he slept.
Elisha seems to know exactly what this “cloak on the shoulder thing” means because instantly he says good by to his family, kills his oxen and gives the meat away, joins Elijah and never looks back.
No excitement, no voice from God, just a cloak on his shoulders and off he goes.
Then, for the next little while Elisha is discipled by Elijah until it is time for Elijah to ride the chariot to glory…
So here’s the “rub”…
Could it be that the call for some to go into ministry comes directly from the voice or prompting of God and for others it is the result of a call by “someone” to discipleship?
Could it be that as pastors, missionaries, evangelist, etc… God could want us to seek out a person to call to take our place, throw our cloak around him and disciple him until God calls us home and he takes over?
I think so.
Elijah prayed and God answered his prayer by telling him who his successor should be. God tells Elijah to anoint Elisha to be that person.
What if the call for someone else to be in ministry is suppose to come through us? What if God desires to speak to you and I so that we could be the vessel of His call to someone else?
What if discipleship is a tool for our replacement? What if it is a tool to call other pastors/ministered to full time Christian service? What if the reason “why there aren’t many being called to full time vocational service” is because we are the ones that are suppose to extend the call to the next generation of servants and we haven’t been doing it?
Isn’t it time for us to pray for God to show us that – and see if that is His intent?
For others —–
What if that “crazy person” in your life that keeps telling you – “you need to be in full time ministry” – is actually the vessel God is using to call you? Maybe, that is why you feel uncomfortable when they do it, and its not because they are weird. Maybe your thinking they are weird is your way of running from or dismissing that call.
Maybe, its time to take what they are saying to you seriously.
These are just some thoughts I had today as I was working on this Elisha sermon series, who knows – maybe it will be a message afterall.