New on the Menu: Oxen–Freaky Friday

ox

I have to admit oxen would never be the first thing I would choose on a menu. Although I’m sure it’s probably pretty tasty– most recipes call for using it like beef. Since I already like beef, and it’s considerably less expensive, that’s what I’m sticking with for now.

That said, what if all you had was ox meat? Like, say, Elisha did.

In I Kings 19:19-21, we find the account of the prophet Elijah offering a call to follow him to the young man, Elisha. (I always remember which comes first by alphabetizing their names!)

Elijah found Elisha out in the field plowing with 12 yoke of oxen, driving the 12th pair himself. Elijah went up and threw his cloak around Elisha symbolizing that Elisha would succeed Elijah as the next prophet of God.

The Bible tells us that Elisha then ran after Elijah asking to tell his parents goodbye. Elijah grants him permission and then not only does Elisha tell them goodbye, he makes it more than obvious that he understands the call means he is not coming back.

You see, Elisha took that yoke of oxen and prepared them for a meal–and I’m not talkin’ about the oxen eating supper here! It was curtains for the oxen and the plow as well. Elisha burned the yoke and the plow, cooked the oxen on the fire and gave the meat to the people to eat. The he set out to follow Elijah and become his attendant.

O.K.

That’s one extreme going away party. Yet, I’m continually moved by Elisha‘s understanding of what it means to follow God–the willingness, no, it’s more than just being willing–the actual leaving of everything to follow God.

Elisha didn’t just talk about it. Elisha didn’t say, “God, wants us to be willing to leave it all, but He doesn’t really expect us to.” Elisha didn’t say, “See ya at Christmas, mom.” (Well, okay, Christmas didn’t exist yet, but you know what I mean.)

Elisha left it all to follow Elijah which meant Elisha left it all to follow God. No turning back. No turning back.

And as a result, Elisha experienced the power and moving of God like few other men in the history of the world.

Elisha gave it all to God. God gave it all to Elisha. So today, like everyday I read the account of “Grilling Oxen with Elisha,” I find myself asking, “Have I left everything to follow God?” and I’m reminded of that simple yet powerful song:

“I have decided to follow Jesus.
I have decided to follow Jesus.
I have decided to follow Jesus.
No turning back. No turning back.”

And it is my desire to leave everything on the table–so to speak–in order to know, follow and serve God.

How ’bout you? Is today the day you are being called to follow Jesus? If you’d like to know more about what it means to follow Jesus completely, I’d love to help. Feel free to contact me or leave a post.

In the meantime, I have a strong urge to go do some grilling.

oxen1

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