Summary: We can be consumed with passion for God and serving Him.
Passionate Commitment – A Consuming Fire!
This is the second in a series of messages based around the beginning days of ministry for Elisha the prophet.
In the last sermon we looked at the calling of Elisha found in I Kings 19.
It should be clear to anyone who is attempting to be a Christ-follower that God has called every one of us to be engaged in His service to others.
God is looking for a people full of passion.
Christ followers are passionate people.
Christ followers are people who burn with a passion to serve God and others.
Too often we take the life changing grace that has come to us very lightly.
Too often we allow ourselves to rest in the comfort of the grace of God that provides us salvation and we never allow it to touch others around us.
Serving God is much more than an emotional experience.
Serving God is more than great worship and good music.
Serving God is more than reading our bibles and praying everyday.
Serving God is more than keeping ourselves unspotted from the culture around us.
Serving God is always about others.
God is calling this church to another level of walking with Him.
God is calling you to another level in your spiritual journey.
Maybe you are resting.
Maybe you have taken a break for a little while.
Maybe you have put your time in and just don’t feel it any more.
God has no reserves or weekend warriors.
God is looking for people who will serve Him by serving others.
Let’s look at the scripture reading for today’s sermon.
II Kings 2:1-13 (NIV)
When the Lord was about to take Elijah up to heaven in a whirlwind, Elijah and Elisha were on their way from Gilgal. Elijah said to Elisha, “Stay here; the Lord has sent me to Bethel.” But Elisha said, “As surely as the Lord lives and as you live, I will not leave you.”
So they went down to Bethel. The company of the prophets at Bethel came out to Elisha and asked, “Do you know that the Lord is going to take your master from you today?” “Yes, I know,” Elisha replied, “but do not speak of it.” Then Elijah said to him, “Stay here, Elisha; the Lord has sent me to Jericho.” And he replied, “As surely as the Lord lives and as you live, I will not leave you.”
So they went to Jericho. The company of the prophets at Jericho went up to Elisha and asked him, “Do you know that the Lord is going to take your master from you today?” “Yes, I know,” he replied, “but do not speak of it.” Then Elijah said to him, “Stay here; the Lord has sent me to the Jordan.” And he replied, “As surely as the Lord lives and as you live, I will not leave you.”
So the two of them walked on. Fifty men of the company of the prophets went and stood at a distance, facing the place where Elijah and Elisha had stopped at the Jordan. Elijah took his cloak, rolled it up and struck the water with it. The water divided to the right and to the left, and the two of them crossed over on dry ground. When they had crossed, Elijah said to Elisha, “Tell me, what can I do for you before I am taken from you?” “Let me inherit a double portion of your spirit,” Elisha replied. “You have asked a difficult thing,” Elijah said, “yet if you see me when I am taken from you, it will be yours—otherwise not.” As they were walking along and talking together, suddenly a chariot of fire and horses of fire appeared and separated the two of them, and Elijah went up to heaven in a whirlwind. Elisha saw this and cried out, “My father! My father! The chariots and horsemen of Israel!” And Elisha saw him no more. Then he took hold of his own clothes and tore them apart. He picked up the cloak that had fallen from Elijah and went back and stood on the bank of the Jordan. II Kings 2:1-13 (NIV)
This is an incredibly moving passage of scripture. Let’s ask God to allow the message to wrap itself around our minds and hearts this morning.
We are called to be a people with passion.
This morning we look at some lessons to be learned from the life of Elisha.
These lessons are intended to enable us to keep the fire of passion for God burning in our lives and ministries.
1. Like Elisha we must refuse to be Distracted.
“As surely as the Lord lives and as you live, I will not leave you.” Three times in today’s bible reading this phrase appears. Three times Elijah tried to send Elisha away. The prophets came out and tried to give him a discouraging word but he would not be distracted by any of it.