Menial Training For Ministry

In II Kings 3:11, when Jehoshaphat asked for a prophet of Yahweh, someone responded: “Elisha the son of Shaphat is here, who used to pour water on the hands of Elijah.” This is a revealing statement, with some telling implications for those who would go into ministry:

It is obvious from this verse that when Elisha first began to follow Elijah, he basically became his servant: “poured water on his hands”, etc. Elisha did not start off as a “big gun” in ministry; he began as a servant, and in due time God elevated him to the position that Elijah had held before him.

There is a lesson here for those of us who would serve the Lord today. We ought not go into ministry expecting to be a “big deal”, but rather to serve in insignificant ways, and allow God to elevate us — if He ever does — in His time. This is, unfortunately, what many are unwilling to do. They do not want to submit themselves to others for virtually any length of time, or serve in menial ways if they do not have the spotlight. But we must ask ourselves if this is not a vital missing link in the ministry training of many. If it was good enough for Elisha …

About Shawn Thomas

My blog,, provides brief devotions from own personal daily Bible reading, as well as some of my sermons, book reviews, and family life experiences.
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