Summary: God has a direction for all of our lives.
Stepping Out: Just Do It.
This is the third in a series of messages designed to call us to a sense of mission and calling in our lives.
Every one of us who are attempting to follow in Christ’s steps will sooner or later come to a place where we will need to be involved in serving Christ through serving others.
This step in our walk of faith can often be intimidating and cause us to have moments of fear at stepping out into the unknown.
The simple fact is God calls us and commands us to live lives of discipleship.
Over the last fifty to seventy-five years the Western or American church has often become very focused on itself.
Much of what is done around the church seems to be done to serve the internal body of believers instead of the perishing world and people of the culture outside the church.
We have too often been so focused on ourselves and our wants and desires that to serve this present age doesn’t ever become apart of some individual’s lives.
You cannot be a Christ-follower and not live and exist in the spirit of Jesus.
He was always about lost people
Everything Jesus did infuriated the church and reached out to the unchurced.
He made them mad when He went to the temple and made them mad when he went to parties where drunks and prostitutes hung out.
Jesus said, “I came to seek and to save that which was lost.”
When He left this earth, He left us with the charge and the mission to follow His example of reaching and ministering to lost people.
To accomplish this, He has gifted every one of us with gifts and abilities that enable us to engage in ministry to others.
The scriptural background that we have been using for this series revolves around the beginning days of ministry in the life of the prophet Elisha.
He was plowing in a field one day when the old prophet Elijah walked by and through his mantle over him. Elisha immediately began to make preparations to follow and serve Elijah as an attendant. He served God by serving Elijah. I pointed out to you that from the time of his calling until the scripture that we will read in a few moments there is no mention of Elisha in any of the stories of Elijah. He was serving faithfully but not in the limelight.
There came a day when God decided it was time for Elijah’s work to be over. That brings us to today’s Bible reading.
It is found in II Kings 2: 7-13
“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 2:7-13 (NIV)
You and I stand on the brink of our own Jordan. For many of us God has been speaking and we have been trying to listen to what He is calling us to do.
I think probably many of us can relate to what Elisha must have been feeling when he turned around by himself to face the ministry that God was calling him to. Remember he had never been in the public eye before and now there are fifty prophets standing off in the distance watching to see what he is going to do.
In next week’s sermon, which will be the final one in the series, we will look very closely at what Elisha did and more importantly how he did it.
For today I want us to one more time focus on how God wants us to attempt to do something for Him.