Thursday, December 06, 2012

Responding Responsively

Continuing in my Online Bible Study on the book "Greater", this week we are looking at the life of Elisha. Not Elijah, the one everyone knows, but Elisha, his successor. I knew he was a prophet, and I knew he watched Elijah being taken up to heaven in a chariot, but beyond that, I really didn't remember much of anything about him. In reading about Elisha's calling, there were several other stories that came to mind. Let's start with this passage from 1 Kings about God calling Elisha through Elijah:
"Elijah passed by him and cast his cloak upon him. And he left the oxen and ran after Elijah." (1 Kings 19:19b-20a)
First, I'm wondering if I were Elisha, would I know what that cloak being thrown on me meant? Or would I slink out of it thinking, "Ew. I hope that dude doesn't have lice!" and go back to those plowing oxen. However, I'm forced to notice that whole thing about Elisha running after Elijah.

Check out this passage, from Matthew, about the calling of Simon Peter and Andrew to be Jesus' disciples:
"Immediately they left their nets and followed him." (Matthew 4:20)
There's a speed word there, too -- "immediately." Not once they were done fishing for the day, not after they'd cleaned and sold the fish they were in the process of catching, not this weekend. Immediately.

Then, I was thinking about the night that God called to Samuel, which he mistook for voice of the priest, Eli. Was he speedy about his response, too?
"Then the Lord called Samuel, and he said, 'Here I am!' and ran to Eli." (1 Samuel 3:4-5a)
There's that word "ran" again -- all these people running to the call of God. And then, of course, there's what happens when God's call isn't heeded:
"Now the word of the Lord came to Jonah the son of Amittai, saying, 'Arise, go to Nineveh...'. But Jonah rose to flee to Tarshish from the presence of the Lord." (Jonah 1:1-2a,3a)
He went fast, just in the wrong direction. I feel sad about the amount of time I've spent in my life going the wrong direction. Sometimes, that's because I didn't understand what I needed to do, but sometimes I was just like Jonah and willfully disobedient. It may have taken a while, but I think I'm back on a path closer to what God wants for me. I still have some course correction needed, but at least I don't think I need a 180 anymore. I still need some help discerning what a cloak being thrown on me might mean, but I'm becoming more open to not just dropping it to the ground.

We were given three topics to choose from for the BlogHop for this OBS. I'll tell you, I was planning to write about a time I heard God's voice and how I knew it was Him and what I did in response. However, as I started writing, I kept coming back to this topic about responding at once. Do you think that's God's voice trying to tell me something? I think I better get ready to jump!


Blogger Loves The King said...

Heather I would say that was God. I am experiencing Him trying to start my own blog. I set up a page but haven't gotten the courage or all the words yet. I have a lot of words but it doesn't all fit together yet. I think it will eventually. Thanks for your post. I love it. Keep it up. Debbie W. (OBS Leader)

Anonymous said...

G'day Heather. I love how you've unpacked some awesome scriptures here. I enjoyed reading your blog because I love seeing how other people interpret a verse.
Sounds like you're loving the study - that's awesome!
Bless you
Nicki Edwards (OBS Leader)

Heather said...

Thanks, Debbie and Nicki. I appreciate the encouragement. :)

Lindsey Altermatt said...

Jumping in is scary. Immediacy is scary, because you don't have time to think. God asks us to just go and we have to trust him. That's a scary place, but always remember Jeremiah 29:11 - The Lord has good plans for you. :-)

Sue Molitor said...

Thanks for sharing, Heather. It is amazing how they obeyed "at once". I think I might stall and pray and pray (ya know, just to be sure) and do a few things first. It is neat to see how the Lord lead while writing, isn't it? Great post! -Sue (OBS Leader)

Anonymous said...

I'm glad you followed your heart on that post Heather!