“So Elijah went from there and found Elisha son of Shaphat. He was plowing with 12 yoke of oxen, and he himself was driving the twelfth pair. Elijah went up to him and threw his cloak around him. Elisha then left his oxen and ran after Elijah. ‘Let me kiss my father and mother goodbye,’ he said, ‘and then I will come with you.’ ‘Go back,’ Elijah replied. ‘What have I done to you?’ So Elisha left him and went back. He took his yoke of oxen and slaughtered them. He burned the plowing equipment to cook the meat and gave it to the people, and they ate. Then, he set out to follow Elijah and became his servant.” — 1 Kings 19:19-21
Day in, day out, plowing with ox — this was Elisha’s life.
Can you imagine the scenery? Think about it. Elisha is walking behind his yoke of oxen. Do you have the picture yet? His scenery was rear-ends of the ox he plowed with. Is this really the life we were purposed for?
Have you settled for a life with less-than-desirable scenery? What if God had something more — would you be willing to receive it? At what cost are you willing to follow Jesus?
When we look back at the Scriptures, we see where Elijah threw his cloak over Elisha, and in a moment, Elisha’s life would never be the same. He was done with his plan B, ready to give up everything to pursue God. Look at what he does: He slaughters his yoke of oxen, burns his plowing equipment to cook the meat, and then called the neighbors over for a cookout. Just in case anyone was wondering, he was letting everyone know that his plan B was gone and he only had one option: following God.
This is what we call plow-burning faith. It’s concerned only with the Father’s will. This faith not concerned about our comforts or how we are perceived. It’s a faith that goes beyond logic and lives beyond the boundaries of reason. It’s a place where the why becomes simple, yet confusing to those we invite to the cookout. The explanation is grounded in “because God said.”
Imagine what this kind of faith can accomplish. What if we slaughtered the ox of religion, burned our selfish agendas and invited the world to watch as our plans turned to ashes just so we could present Jesus? A pure gospel, not tarnished at the hands of men using God as their back-up plan, but men completely surrendered to the Father.
Darsey is the pastor of Restoration Church and a member of the United Ministerial Alliance.