o you want to know how to activate the call of God in your life? Before Elisha performed (through God) a miracle in Moab (see 2 Kings 3:13), supernaturally provide oil for the poor widow (2 Kings 4:1), raise a son back to life (2 Kings 4:32), and many other amazing things, Elisha was just a field plower. This fact is something you and I can relate to, given many of us were not born into a "prophetic" calling.
Years before Elisha's ministry was realized, Elisha had to follow a man that was given the task to steward his calling. That man was Elijah. Now, Elijah was one of the greatest prophets in the Old Testament. His ministry was, of course, famous as he called "fire down from heaven" on the worshipers of Baal.
This Elijah would be the man in charge of stewarding Gods gifting in Elisha. This would not happen overnight, but would only be realized when Elisha took the yoke of a prophetic calling from Elijah.
The Call of Elisha
"So he [Elijah] departed from there and found Elisha the son of Shaphat, who was plowing with twelve yoke of oxen in front of him, and he was with the twelfth. Elijah passed by him and cast his cloak upon him. And he left the oxen and ran after Elijah and said, "Let me kiss my father and mother, and then I will follow you." And he said to him, "Go back again, for what have I done to you?" And he returned from following him and took the yoke of oxen and sacrificed them and boiled their flesh with the yokes of the oxen and gave it to the people, and they ate. Then he arose and went after Elijah and assisted him" (1 King 19:19-21)
The cloak or garments of Elijah called Elisha. This was a unique process of anointment. I find this interesting today because when the garments of Elijah was being tossed onto Elisha, he was leaving Elisha with a choice. Grab my garments or hold onto the plow. This choice sheds light on how God chooses to activate His calling in our own lives. Elisha was living his life, plowing fields with oxen, and what does Elijah do to invite him into his calling? He throws his garments onto him.
Jesus is no different. How does he foster us into our calling? By throwing his flesh onto a cross on Calvary to die a criminal's death so that we will find our purpose through his garments of sacrifice. The point is, Jesus paid the ultimate price so that we would find our purpose. Like Elisha, our purpose will only come into fruition when we make a choice to grab onto the garments of our anointing and leave our "plows" behind.
Elisha's calling began when he burned the plowing equipment, and our begins when we let go of all other options in our lives besides Jesus.
Jesus echo's this sentiment by saying in Luke 9:62, "No one who puts a hand to the plow and looks back is fit for service in the kingdom of God."
What did Elisha have to do to grab ahold onto Elijah's garments? He had to lay his plow down! This brings up such an amazing truth on how we can active God's calling in our own lives. We have to lay down our own personal plows. Many of us can't receive the calling of God on our lives because both of our hands are still on our own personal plows of problems. We have a hard time stepping into our destiny because our hands are still tied to plows of control, worry, stress, anxiety, and pain, to name a few.
What Elisha teaches us is groundbreaking. If we are ever to step into our purpose, we have to take our hands off of the plow and grab hold of Jesus. Our divine purpose is in his garments.
In the same way that Elisha had to grab hold of Elijah's garments for breakthrough in the Old Testament, a woman who suffered from a severe disease for twelve year's had to do the same thing in the New Testament.
"And a great crowd followed him and thronged about him. And there was a woman who had had a discharge of blood for twelve years, and who had suffered much under many physicians, and had spent all that she had, and was no better but rather grew worse. She had heard the reports about Jesus and came up behind him" in the crowd and touched his garment. For she said, "If I touch even his garments, I will be made well." And immediately the flow of blood dried up, and she felt in her body that she was healed of her disease. (Mark 5:24-29)
The woman understood the power of the garments of Jesus. Her breakthrough came when she touched his garments. In the same way, our breakthrough into the realm of our divine purpose is realized only when we spiritual touch the garments of Jesus.
Not only is our purpose found in garments of the flesh of Jesus, but also our deliverance. Christ's atonement brought forth deliverance from all types of bondage: sickness, disease, pain, addiction. Our purpose and deliverance is through the broken body of Jesus.
"But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his wounds we are healed." (Isaiah 53:5)
God's Calling is Refined In the Valley
After Elijah called Elisha through the act of throwing his garments onto him, he called him to follow him through 4 geographical locations. Not only did Elijah want Elisha to receive his new garments of purpose and anointing, but he also wanted to show Elisha what it was like to wear them.
I have been around many people that have unfulfilled callings of the past. Meaning, they have, at one time or another in their life, felt like they had a calling of God on their life. Sadly, after going through the initial "calling", or garment throwing ceremony, they left the new garment of their calling and returned back to their personal "plows". This saddens me because of what we have read in Scripture today. The true measure of your calling is not just the initial buzz feeling; it's the realization that your calling is strong enough to take you through the journey of life without doubting or losing heart.
After calling Elisha, Elijah would begin the "counting the cost" process for Elisha. One of the locations Elijah took Elisha is through a place called Gilgal. Gilgal, in the Bible, means "rolling away." It was a valley. So, in a way, Elijah was telling Elisha, "you want to follow me… follow me through the valley!" Elijah was testing Elisha on if he would keep the prophetic calling in his life "through the valley" or if he would return back to the fields.
This illustrates that many of us are strong enough to take our calling's into the valley, but not strong enough to take it out of it. It is the valley that the anointing of God showers our garments of purpose.
It is the valley that the anointing of God showers our garments of purpose.
"Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me." (Psalms 23:4)
Elisha's Calling Began at Gilgal
It is in the valley that God prunes all the negative fruit in our lives. The valley is the ground of preparation for our calling. I find it no mistake that one of the first places Elijah takes Elisha after his calling was into the valley. The call of Elisha started at Gilgal, not the plow. This reminds me of how the ministry of Jesus was started.
"And when Jesus was baptized, immediately he went up from the water, and behold, the heavens were opened to him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and coming to rest on him; and behold, a voice from heaven said, "This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased." Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness…" (Matthew 3:16-17;4:1)
After Jesus was anointed by the Father to begin his ministry, the spirit of God brought him into the wilderness. This is amazing! There is something about the valley or the wilderness that prepares us for our God-given purpose. The wilderness was something that God used to prepare Jesus for his own purpose! The same is true for us today. Our calling and purpose is refined in the valley.
The Valley is Preparation for The Mountain
After Gilgal, the next place that Elijah took Elisha after Gilgal was Bethel, which means "house of God." Elijah was showing Elisha that both the valley and the mountain are both used to steward God's calling in our lives.
Know this today; the valley is the preparation ground for the mountain top. Elijah brought Elisha to Gilgal first, so that he would know how to spiritually stay on the mountain top once he got there. This is where God's true purpose and calling brings us into. This is where Moses laid before the Lord for 40 days and nights. This is where intimacy begins with our Heavenly Father and the place where purpose is fully reached.
Take it from Elisha, God has a purpose for your life. He has anointed you for good works. Are you ready to follow him? Leave your plow behind today and grab ahold of the garments of Jesus.