You Don’t Have to Know Fully Before You Obey Immediately

Life Lessons from Elisha:

We first find Elisha in 1 Kings 19:19, out plowing behind twelve yoke of oxen. In the culture of the day, that was a big and prosperous farm! Apparently, Elisha was part of a family that knew what they were doing on the farm and his job, was watching and evaluating everything going on during the plowing. This is the guy who was in charge.

Elisha was just an ordinary man doing his job, and out of nowhere, someone comes up and says, “There’s a call of God on your life!” I don’t know how many times I have read this passage, but what happens next still amazes me because Elijah doesn’t really give Elisha a whole lot to go on. All Elijah says is, “You’ll have my covering”, and then he walks away. But immediately Elisha, “left the oxen and ran after Elijah, and said, ‘Please let me kiss my father and my mother, and then I will follow you.’ And he said to him, ‘Go back again, for what have I done to you?’” (1 Kings 19:20)

All Elisha knows at this point is that a coat got thrown on him… he’s been called. Now Elisha wasn’t in bible school, business college, or seminary. He was out plowing his fields, taking care of business. When he received the call, Elisha dropped it all and said “Okay, I’m going to follow. Just let me say goodbye.” Elijah responds, “Go ahead, but why are you asking me? This isn’t about me, it’s about the One who called you. All I did was obey him.”

Elisha recognized something. He understood that in order to carry this anointing, this covering, and walk as a prophet in this country, he needed to learn from the best. Elisha didn’t receive the call and then go out and start his own ministry. He chose to follow Elijah even though he had no idea what that would look like. At that moment, I don’t think he knew that it meant washing Elijah’s hands before they ate. But Elisha knew that in order to walk in that call, he needed an attitude that said; “I want to walk well, so I’m going to serve you, Elijah. I’m not doing my own thing. I’m going to figure out how you do your thing. Your experience is valuable to me.”

Even before he knew what it would look like, Elisha immediately followed. If we’re going to do miraculous things for God, we must have the faith that says, “Yes Sir, I’ll go where you tell me to go. I’ll do what you tell me to do. I don’t know how it will turn out but I’m going to do it anyway. If you want me to wait, I’ll wait. Whatever it is, I’m just going to obey.”

This kind of obedience is necessary if you want to have a miraculous life. You’re going to have to learn how to follow immediately, even if you don’t know where you’re going. Just like when God told Abraham, “Go to a land that I will show you”, and Abraham just started walking. He may have wondered, “How far God?” but he just kept walking and trusted God to let him know when he got there.

I can relate a bit to Abraham. When the Lord told us to pack up everything and move to Medicine Hat, I’d never even been to Medicine Hat. I had to look it up on a map! I asked God “What are we going to do there? What’s it going to look like? I need a vision!” And all He said was, “Just go and start building a family church. I’ll tell you more when you get there”. So we moved to Medicine Hat and after we got here, God began to tell us what the church was going to look like. You don’t have to know fully in order to obey immediately.

Obeying immediately doesn’t mean you immediately do the end result of your vision, thank God! Elisha’s immediate obedience was “I will follow you”, not, “Awesome, I have this great covering, so let me go prophesy!” When I step out in obedience, I don’t have to try to be like some great end result. I just have to live where I’m at and do what I’m supposed to do today. I just have to obey immediately today’s command. What is today’s command? Simply “Follow Me”. You don’t have to know fully in order to obey immediately.

-Pastor Gary