In I Kings 19, God told the prophet Elijah to anoint Elisha to take his place, and Elijah departed from the Lord and threw his mantle over Elisha, who was plowing with some oxen, calling him to be his disciple. :21 says “So (Elisha) took the pair of oxen and sacrificed them and boiled their flesh with the implements of the oxen, and gave it to the people and they ate. Then he arose and followed Elijah and ministered to him.” While Elisha’s actions may seem strange, they actually reveal a lot about the commitment he was making:
When he killed the oxen he had been working with, Elisha was in a sense, “burning his bridges.” This journey with Elijah wasn’t something that he was “going to try”, all the while keeping the thought in the back of his mind that he might go back to plowing with the oxen again some day! No, for him there was no turning back; no “Plan B”; no “fallback plan” in case the ministry didn’t work out. Elisha was “all in.” He demonstrated that when he sacrificed his animals. There was no going back.
This models for us the kind of commitment we are to have when God calls us. When we follow Jesus as our Lord & Savior, we are to be “all in” as His disciples like Elisha was to his new mentor Elijah. No turning back. Jesus made it clear in Luke 9:62 that “No one, after putting his hand to the plow and looking back, is fit for the Kingdom of God.” He demands total commitment, no looking back.
And when He gives us as His followers clear instructions for service or ministry or direction today, we are similarly to be “all in.” Don’t take one step out in His direction while trying to keep one foot where you are “just in case.” Don’t make “backup plans” in case it “doesn’t work” or have “Plan B” in mind. Wherever He leads, He wants you to be like Elisha: “all in.”