Summary: Mentoring lessons from the life of Elisha
Elisha - Mentoring - July 31, 2005 - 1 Kings 19:15-21
Do you know anyone who likes to carry the past around with them? You know that you are always going to hear the same old stories from them of the hurt and pain that they experienced that has “crippled” them emotionally. Maureen was like that - she could not let go of the way her mother died, and it crippled her emotionally. It constantly resurfaced in a conversation of any length. Tonight, I’d like us to think about what it is that keeps us from embracing the call that God has given us. Let’s realize that sometimes the greatest obstacles we face are not those of the body, but of the mind and of the spirit. Helen Keller was once asked, “What could be worse than being blind?” To which she replied, “being able to see but having no vision.”
About 350 years ago a shipload of travelers landed on the northeast coast of America. The first year they established a town site. The next year they elected a town government. The third year the town government planned to build a road five miles westward into the wilderness. In the fourth year the people tried to impeach their town government because they thought it was a waste of public funds to build a road five miles westward into a wilderness. Who needed to go there anyway? Here were people who had the vision to see three thousand miles across an ocean and overcome great hardships to get there. But in just a few years they were not able to see even five miles out of town. They had lost their pioneering vision. With a clear vision of what we can become with God’s help, no ocean of difficulty is too great. Without it, we rarely move beyond our current boundaries.
How is your vision today of what God can do through you?
In 1829 President Andrew Jackson received the following letter:
To President Jackson:
The canal system of this country is being threatened by the spread of a new form of transportation known as “railroads.” The federal government must preserve the canal for the following reasons: If the canal boats are supplanted by railroads, serious unemployment will result. Captains, cooks, drivers, hostlers, repairmen and lock tenders will be left without means of livelihood, not to mention the numerous farmers now employed in growing hay for horses. Boat builders would suffer. Towline, whip, and harness makers would be left destitute. Canal boats are absolutely essential to the defense of the United States. In the event of the expected trouble with England, the Erie Canal would be the only means by which we could ever move the supplies so vital to modern war. As you may well know, Mr. President, the “railroad carriages” are pulled at the enormous speed of fifteen miles per hour by “engines” which endanger the life and limb of passengers, roar and snort their way through the countryside, setting fire to crops, scaring the livestock and frightening women and children. The Almighty never intended that people should travel at such breakneck speed.
Signed - Martin Van Buren, Governor of New York
Do we embrace vision for the future or do we run from it? Have you ever allowed your imagination to picture what could happen in and through your life if you would commit to following God’s will completely? Most of us have had times when we’ve sensed dreams within us. But many who have had dreams for the future have seen their dreams fade or even die. Some have experienced the pain of a dream that never happened. That pain may have crushed all hope for the future.
We have been going through the OT together, and we looked last week at Elijah - at a point of despair - his dreams were shattered - he was ready to give up - he was ready to die. But God met with Elijah. God gave him hope. God showed his power to Elijah. And God spoke to Elijah in the gentle whisper of hope. God gives Elijah a fresh encounter of the presence of God, reminding Elijah of his ability to guide and provide. God gives Elijah a fresh sense of direction, a support network, and a renewed call. And as we read on through the book of 1 Kings, we see Elijah going back to his ministry with the anointed power of the Holy Spirit upon him.
We saw that when Elijah was running in despair, God asks him “what are you doing here?” because God had already given Elijah a ministry to do. As God renews and reenergizes Elijah for future ministry, God sends Elijah back to the very ministry that Elijah knew he had been called to do.