15 And the Lord said to him, “Go, return on your way to the wilderness of Damascus. And when you arrive, you shall anoint Hazael to be king over Syria. 16 And Jehu the son of Nimshi you shall anoint to be king over Israel, and Elisha the son of Shaphat of Abel-meholah you shall anoint to be prophet in your place. 17 And the one who escapes from the sword of Hazael shall Jehu put to death, and the one who escapes from the sword of Jehu shall Elisha put to death. 18 Yet I will leave seven thousand in Israel, all the knees that have not bowed to Baal, and every mouth that has not kissed him.” 19 So he departed from there and found Elisha the son of Shaphat, who was plowing with twelve yoke of oxen in front of him, and he was with the twelfth. Elijah passed by him and cast his cloak upon him. 20 And he left the oxen and ran after Elijah and said, “Let me kiss my father and my mother, and then I will follow you.” And he said to him, “Go back again, for what have I done to you?” 21 And he returned from following him and took the yoke of oxen and sacrificed them and boiled their flesh with the yokes of the oxen and gave it to the people, and they ate. Then he arose and went after Elijah and assisted him. 1 Kings 19:15-21
In the current IT work environment, promotions and pay increases are slow in coming. It’s been my experience if someone wants to improve their financial or professional position, they need to be agile in their skills and willing to move to other organizations. This isn’t how it used to be. Employers ensured career paths were available for those people, and diligently helped them do what they had a desire to do, with both pay and work. The idea of moving from one company to the next requires ‘hitting the ground running’ by contributing quickly to the new organization. But it all begins with a desire to start doing something, anything, right off the bat.
Elijah has been told by God to return the way he came and do three things: anoint Hazael and Jehu king of their region and establish Elisha as his successor. It’s unknown whether this list was arranged geographically along the trip or Elijah still had pangs of fear regarding Jezebel. But Elijah only accomplishes one of the tasks. In 2 Kings 8-9, we find the other two are ultimately accomplished by Elisha. While everything didn’t happen as planned, God’s instructions were accomplished. And, whether Elijah was captivated by fear, or felt he didn’t have enough time, or some other reason, he did something.
God has a path for our lives. It’s a truly wonderful thing when we follow that path. But, as we’ve seen with Elijah, if our path deviates, and we don’t fully do what God has set before us, the Kingdom of God continues through other means. This isn’t to say that we can back off and let others do the work, however. We need to do something.
We’ve experienced another election cycle, and I’m sure the voting percentage is nowhere near where it should be. I’ve talked with so many people who don’t vote “because their vote doesn’t matter.” I couldn’t disagree more, and I absolutely don’t agree with that thinking in the Body of Christ. Just like Elijah, we may not finish our race having done all we’re called to do, but we need to do something. Just as every vote matters, so does every Kingdom life. There are plenty of things we can do for the Kingdom of God. Perhaps seriously contemplate an area where you’re gifted and find a ministry at South or another local ministry where you could use it. Go on and do something. You won’t regret it.
By Rich Obrecht