Have you ever taken a leap of faith and then thought to yourself, If this doesn’t work out, I need to come up with a Plan B? Plan B’s are OK some of the time, but not all of the time.
Sometimes when I’m reading the Bible, one little sentence jumps out and grabs me by the heart. That’s what happened when I was reading 1 Kings 19:19-21. This is about the day when Elijah the prophet called Elisha the farmer to take his place. It was about a Plan B, or I should say, the lack of one.
See, Elijah was a great prophet to whom God had given the power to speak a drought into existence, keep a widow’s pantry mysteriously stocked, raise a widow’s dead son, and eliminate 850 false prophets in one day. But Elijah, this mighty man of God, got tired and depressed. Yes, he did. I get it. Don’t you?
So, God decided it was time for Elijah to pass the baton to the younger Elisha. (This is for free. I used to get them mixed up all the time, but “j” comes before “s” so Elijah comes first.)
Elisha was just minding his own business and doing his job plowing the field when Elijah walked up and threw his cloak over him. I’m sure it seemed very “out of the blue” to this young man. But I’ve learned that oftentimes what seems “out of the blue, is right “out of God’s playbook.”
We don’t know much about Elisha. He was just a workingman. Every day, he got up out of bed, hooked up the oxen, and looked at their backsides. Nothing special. Nothing extraordinary. Just a workingman.
But God had a plan; God chose a man.
Now, here’s what grabbed my heart. After Elijah threw his mantle over Elisha, which was a sign that he was passing his prophetic anointing to the younger man, Elisha went back to tell his family goodbye. He also had a giant barbeque celebration and sacrificed his oxen. He didn’t keep a few just in case this prophet gig didn’t work out.
The Bible says: “He burned the plowing equipment…” 1 Kings 19:21
That’s not one of those power verses that people memorize, put on their refrigerator door, or paint on a crafty plaque to post on Pinterest or Etsy. No, it’s not one of those. But perhaps it should be.
He burned the symbol of his former life.
He burned the source of his former livelihood.
There was no turning back.
There was no plan B.
There was no safety net.
It made me stop and think about my own commitment to Christ. Sure, I sing, “I have decided to follow Jesus. No turning back. No turning back.” But are there parts of my old life that I hang on to? Old habits? Old desires? Old grudges?
Are there parts of your old life that you are hanging on to?
Is there something from your pre-Christ days that you have dragged into your present-Christ days that you need to leave behind? Maybe it’s not even a pre-Christ habit, relationship, or a way of thinking, but something you’ve picked up along the way that clings to you like spiritual chiggers. If so, let’s burn the plow. Let’s leave it behind and move forward into God’s call on our lives with a whole heart.
Heavenly Father, thank You for choosing me to be Your child. I am “all in.” I have no plan B. You are my life. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Sharon Jaynes has been encouraging women through ministry for over twenty-five years. From the time she met Christ as a teenager, she fell in love with God’s Word and has had a passion to equip women to live fully and free (John 8:32; John 10:10).