The story of Elijah and the prophets of Baal is well known (1Ki 18:20ff). It was a classic power encounter. Who was going to be God over Israel? It is a tremendous story of power and victory as God uses Elijah to defeat the prophets of Baal. It was following that victory that Elijah went up to Mt. Carmel to pray for the drought to end and it did. But after all this took place, Jezebel threatened to kill Elijah and he fled. Forty days in the wilderness and Elijah ends up in a cave on the side of Mt. Horeb; this is the mountain where Moses received his call (Ex 3:1), where Moses brought water from the rock (Ex 17:6) and where the people stripped off their ornaments of gold and silver as a token of their repentance from idolatry (Ex 33:6). Mt. Horeb is geographically indistinguishable from Mt. Sinai. The Lord finds Elijah hiding there in a cave, full of self-pity. The Lord asks, What are you doing here, Elijah? After Elijahs initial answer, there is a strong wind, followed by an earthquake which was also followed by fire on the mountain, but it says that God wasnt in any of these. Then after the fire, a sound of gentle blowing (1Ki 19:12), thats when Elijah heard the voice of the Lord speaking. No judgment, no condemnation, just instructions to go back to Israel and be the prophet of God.
Many of us struggle from time to time with our calling as believers. As we try to follow the Lord, we sometimes get confused, hurt, angry or fearful. Sometimes we even try to run away from what God has called us to do. Some of us in this room know what it is like to be in that cave with Elijah, struggling to hear God, full of self-pity and doubt. Others of you may not feel like you have a call to run away from, yet all believers have a calling, a place of service to others, a supernatural gifting which Jesus has given us through His Holy Spirit. The call of Elisha to the prophetic ministry as successor to Elijah shares some common characteristics with the ways in which God calls each of us to serve Him.
1 Kings 19:19-21 The call of God on our lives may be just a gentle whisper or brief touch by the prophetic, but it changes the way you view your life and its priorities.
A. The way God calls us varies but the nature of His calling is the same: leave this, and follow Me.
1. Why Elisha? Why pick any of us?
He anointed Elisha while he was plowing a field.
God called him in the middle of a very ordinary day.
Elisha didnt have the qualifications to be prophet.
2. You and I dont have the qualifications to serve God either, but He has called us.
B. You know when God calls.
1. The call is clear though gentle.
2. The Crisis of Faith: choose to join God or live your life on your terms.
3. The issue usually isnt that we havent heard Gods call, its that we havent responded to it.
4. God invites us to join Him in His work, but there is always a cost.
C. The gentle touch of God will ruin your life.
1. When God touches your life, it will never be the same: Elijah, Elisha, Paul, Jonah, the disciples.
2. When the call of God comes upon you, the field will look different; it cant hold you anymore.
3. Suddenly the things that were important arent anymore.
4. The field in this sense is your values, your worldview, the way you look at others.
We no longer regard others from a worldly point of view (2Co 5:16).
Most are not being called to change jobs or careers, thats not your field.
Your field may be the control over your own life; the pride of what you have accomplished.
5. The question is, are you running from the call God has placed on your life?
What are you doing here?
Will you allow Him to totally ruin your life with a gentle touch and a small whisper that says, Come, follow me.