Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Go Ahead and Ask

When Elijah finds Elisha, the latter is plowing in the field. He goes to Elisha and hands him a cloak as a way of inviting him to be an apprentice. There are a few things that make this difficult for Elijah.

First, it will mean that Elijah is no longer the only prophet. Up until this time, Elijah has been THE man of God; now he will have to be one of the men of God. That takes some humility on his part.

The other thing that makes it a little difficult for Elijah is that Elisha has a lot of money. He's plowing in a field with 24 oxen. Most families at that time would have been lucky to own a chicken. An ox was like driving an SUV. Having 24 oxen was almost unthinkable. He's got money.

Elijah the Tishbite from Tishbe was from the other side of the tracks.

It would have been so easy for him to look at Elisha and say, "God, you must have made a mistake. There's no way he's going to give all that up to pursue the lifestyle of a prophet. People don't like prophets."

Elijah had been dependent upon birds to bring him food. He had relied on a widow with just enough flour and oil to make a loaf of bread. He could have said, "God, he's just going to say no. I'm not even going to ask."

But he didn't. And because the man of God stopped one day to have a conversation with a wealthy farmer about volunteering for a ministry, widows and servants and kings and whole armies were changed forever -- because he simply asked.

We'll talk about this more in the next few days, but for now here's my question: Who is so far out there that you think they'll never say yes to God's call?

And here's the bottom line: Don't you dare say "No" for someone.