Summary: Part 3 of the Sermon Series, "God of Elisha"
We have learned an important lesson—the quality of our lives depends on the quality of our heart relationship with God. God looks at our hearts and deals with each of us accordingly. Yet there is the element of divine grace. Even though our heart relationship with God oftentimes falls short of His standard, He deals with us graciously.
We learned how God deals with three kinds of hearts. The first heart is a divided heart—the heart of Jehoram. A divided heart earns the displeasure of God. The second heart is a sensitive heart—the heart of Jehoshaphat. A sensitive heart gets the attention of God.
A Consecrated Heart Gains the Cooperation of God
There is the third heart, the consecrated heart—the heart of Elisha. To consecrate your heart is to offer and set apart your heart to God. A consecrated heart is a heart that is wholeheartedly, totally, and unreservedly committed to God. This kind of heart gains the cooperation of God.
As we look into Elisha’s wholehearted commitment to Yahweh, I would like you also to look into your heart. Which kind of heart do you have today? Do you have a divided heart, a sensitive, but not consecrated heart, or a heart that loves God absolutely? I hope and pray that you will consecrate your heart to God today.
We learn several qualities of a consecrated person. First, a consecrated person is someone people would go to constantly to know God’s answers. "And Jehoshaphat said, ‘Is there no prophet of the LORD here’ . . . Then one of the king of Israel’s servants answered, ‘Elisha the son of Shaphat is here . . .’ And Jehoshaphat said, ‘The word of the LORD is with him’" (2 Ki. 3:11-12).
Jehoshaphat asked for somebody who will tell them God’s Word. The name of Elisha comes up immediately. Jehoshaphat said that the word of the LORD is with Elisha (v. 12). We are not told how Jehoshaphat came to this conclusion. Perhaps the servant told him about Elisha. In any case, Elisha is known to be a man of God’s Word. He is known to speak the word of the LORD. He is known to know the will of God.
There were true prophets in the time of Elisha. There were false prophets of Baal also in the time of Elisha. But Elisha had the reputation to speak the word of the LORD.
There were many intelligent men in the time of Elisha. There were many religious men as well. But when people wanted to know God’s Word, they looked for Elisha.
What do people look for in a pastor or speaker today? They may want somebody who graduated from Bible school. Perhaps they want somebody who holds degrees in theology. They may want somebody who speaks English well. (In the Philippines, perhaps due to colonial mentality, they prefer a white American missionary more than a brown Filipino pastor.)
Yet God operates in a heart that is in love with Him. He works in a heart that is immersed in His Word. He works with a heart that is governed by His Word.
If people would come to you for God’s answers, you will have to develop a reputation of knowing God’s Word. You must have the discipline to live by God’s Word. Then you will be known as somebody people can go to when they want to know God’s Word.
Second, a consecrated person is someone who is known to have a servant attitude consistently. “‘Elisha the son of Shaphat is here, who poured water on the hands of Elijah’” (v. 11). The expression, “poured water,” pictures Elisha as holding a container of water, while Elijah washed his hands.1 This means Elisha was known to serve Elijah’s needs. Elisha was the servant of Elijah.
But did you know that Elisha comes from a rich family (1 Ki. 19:19)? Elisha’s family was rich enough to hire servants to handle twelve pairs of oxen behind twelve plows on a field.2 Nevertheless, Elisha left behind his riches to become a servant of Elijah.
That tells me something about the consecrated life of Elisha. He was willing to leave a comfortable life behind and serve God. How many pastors are willing to leave a comfortable job in order to go into full time ministry? How many wives would like that? Elisha left a comfortable life to serve Elijah full time.
When God calls you to leave a life of comfort for a life of uncomfortable ministry, will you say, “Yes”? I know of a pastor whose email address is “firstname.lastname@example.org.” What is your reaction if God calls your children into the ministry? Would you say, “Yes, Lord”?
Why would the king’s servant remember Elisha as a “waiter”? Apparently, Elisha was known to have a servant attitude. People knew him as a servant of Elijah.