A guy in a brown hat and plaid shirt standing in the middle of a cornfield

Word For You

Look ahead (1)

23 July 2018
‘He burned the plowing equipment.’

God told Elijah that Elisha would eventually take his place as prophet. And Elisha’s ministry started like this: ‘He took his yoke of oxen and slaughtered them. He burned the plowing equipment to cook the meat and gave it to the people …Then he set out to follow Elijah.’ It sounds pretty drastic. Destroying his old way of life meant he could never go back to it. But it was actually quite symbolic. It was the end of Elisha the farmer, and the beginning of Elisha the prophet. When we try and change something about ourselves, or start something new, we can find it hard to take that first step. We come up with excuses as to why we can’t do it. Maybe we’re comfortable as we are, we don’t want the risk of change or it’s not the right time. The thing is, we can’t just take a step forward into the future; we also have to remove the things that could lead us backwards into the past. To begin a new chapter, we must end an old chapter. Elisha didn’t need to burn his plowing equipment to follow Elijah, but it made a statement. It was a statement of faith. There was no turning back. Whether it’s in our relationships, lifestyles or something else, we need to end a chapter before we can fully move into the new one. When God told Lot and his family to leave Sodom, the angels warned them not to look back: ‘Don’t look back, and don’t stop anywhere in the plain!’ (Genesis 19:17 NIV). They needed to keep their eyes on what was ahead, not their old life. And we need to do the same.

 

What Now?

What’s been holding you back from moving forwards? Write it on one page of a notebook. Ask God to help you move on. Then turn over the page and write your hopes and dreams for the future.

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