Summary: Would Elisha passed the test to be used of God as a channel of Grace?
Dark Times: Test that Tell the Life and times of Elisha
Elisha came on the scene in a day that was an extension of Elijah’s time.
Northern Kingdom living;
1. INDEPENDENT LIVING; As we alluded to last week a time when the God of the Word and the Word of God was held in disrespect. No dependence upon God;
2. A TIME OF DECEPTION: Many of God’s people were deceived and thought the blessing of rain and prosperity and success came from gods they worshiped such as Baal.
3. A TIME WHEN WE SEE GOD INTERVENING; JUDGEMENT AND DISCIPLINE; In Elijah’s day we saw that God intervened in the midst of this. He does not leave His Children alone. He worked through Elijah to get the people’s attention through three and half years of drought. He then revealed Himself as he answered by fire. The people did not repent at least not for any length of time.
This week we see the same people in the same times “northern Kingdom living”. But this time God sends a different message and uses a different man. He uses the message of grace, love and power and uses a man called Elisha as a CHANNEL to deliver that message through;
What will this CHANNEL look like: this is what we are going to look at today and I hope you will be challenged and encouraged to see this channel. Elisha will meet certain test that will tell him something about his walk with the Lord and let him know if he will be used in the dark times of northern kingdom living.
1. Test number 1; the test of SURRENDER; 1 Kings 19:19-21;
a. twelve pairs of oxen; well off a lot to leave
b. “do you know what I have done to you?” ( a serious business, this thing that you are about to enter into, allowing God to flow his grace through you) there are dangers and discouragements; there is also a chance that He will delay; a possibility that he will be rejected and hurt; a possibility that the people will not respond; this is a serious thing to answer the call to be used of God to allow Him to flow His grace through us;
c. v21; he burned his oxen and plow; ( those things he had been using to make his life work) He was not going to go back to this ever again; this is surrender; Totally abandoned to what ever God has in store. I am going to trust Him with life here, no matter how it comes out. when we are called to allow God to use us as a ‘channel’ of grace in a tough circumstance or situation we all have dealt with the ‘oxen’ and ‘plows’ that must be left behind; Will I leave my ‘oxen of pride’, or will I leave my ‘plow’ of fixing this myself and not trust God; Elisha left these behind and not only left them ‘burned’ them up; Will the people respond? THAT SHOULD NEVER BE THE ISSUE IN SURRENDER TO ALLOW HIM TO WORK THOUGH US. THE ISSUE IS US NOT THE RESULTS. WILL BE WILLING TO GIVE UP ON THE WAY WE HAVE MADE LIFE WORK, WILL WE BE WILLING TO SEE THE SERIOUSNESS OF THIS JOURNEY, WILL WE BE WILLING TO BURN OUR PLOWS AND OXEN? That is the issue, surrender to be used as a channel of grace.
d. 2 Kings 2:1-6; he stayed the course; even when ask to stop;
2. Test number 2; the test of whether or not Elisha will allow God to demonstrate His SUPERNATURAL POWERS in the dark times’; 2 Kings 2:1-12;
a. part the waters; “Where is the Lord God of Elijah”? what a great question; but first he was willing to act in faith; he put the mantle in the water, (what he had been given); he had seen God work through this mantle in Elijah and so he was going to trust God with the same thing; the things that God uses we can trust.We have seen Him use His word, we can trust in His word; We have seen Him use anything or anybody that is put at His disposal; Some times we want God to part the waters before we are willing to put in the mantle by faith. We want to walk by sight not faith; There will be times when we will need to put the mantle in the Jordan’s of our lives and then trust God to part them. Ok God here I am I cannot cross this river with out you doing something but I am going to trust you to do through me what I cannot do alone.
b. Purify the waters; 19-22; again a test of God’s supernatural power to purify the waters that have been stagnant; a clay jar and a little salt amazing what God can do if we look for Him to show us the way and then walk in it. If God says to do it this way, then we can not go wrong; ‘thus says the Lord I have purified the water” God is the one who cleans up the water he may use a clay jar and a salt person but he is the only one who can supernaturally do this thing; These people wanted the water pure, God extended his grace through Elisha to clean up the water;