Author | Josephine Ngatia
Elisha was a prophet, and his story starts in the book of 1 Kings 19:19, when Elijah went to see him. He was Elijah’s servant and later succeeded him as a prophet. Elisha was minding his own business when Elijah came and put his mantle (cloak) on him. This was a divine encounter that would transform his life. He left what he was doing, followed Elijah, and stepped into a new season in his life. The prophet Elisha had found his purpose and was off to fulfil it.
Elisha’s story is one of a man who left everything behind to fulfil God’s purpose for His life. He knew it was the right thing to do and never looked back. We can learn a thing or two about Elisha’s journey of purpose.
This article will kick start a series of articles that focus on the journey of purpose of men and women in the Bible. It’s enlightening to read Bible stories about purpose because we get to see how others interpreted and fulfilled their God-given assignment.
What can we learn from the Prophet Elisha’s story?
Elisha’s season changed suddenly
Elisha was ploughing land when Elijah came and put his mantle around him. He immediately left everything to follow Elijah. His season changed suddenly, and he was staring at a new life. It was time to fulfil his purpose, and God sent Elijah to anoint him. This marked the beginning of his journey of purpose. He was done with ploughing and was ready to get into his prophetic ministry.
Elisha’s season changed again when it was time for Elijah to go to heaven. He was there when God took Elijah to heaven by a whirlwind. Being by Elijah’s side at that divine moment earned Elisha a double portion of Elijah’s spirit. Elisha took over from Elijah and performed many miracles, and was the head of the company of prophets.
When God wants you to enter your season of purpose, He will orchestrate the events of your life. He will make a way for you to get into your purpose, and this can happen suddenly. Many people will tell you how they got into their purpose after job loss, divorce, death of a loved one, an illness, a trip, a conference, etc. Some events are not pleasant and do not come from God, but He uses them to birth your purpose. Romans 8:28 says that in all things, God works for the good of those who love Him, and are called according to His purpose.
Elisha was ready for the new season
Elisha may not have known that things would change as soon as they did, but he embraced the new season. God must have prepared him for the moment his master (Elijah) would leave such that he did not hesitate to step into his new role. He knew he had to follow Elijah if he wanted a double portion of his spirit. He had embraced his calling because he knew it was God’s will.
God prepares us in the same way for the new seasons in our lives. We may not understand the preparation He does in our hearts, but we are ready for the changes ahead. God’s Spirit is at work in us, strengthening our inner being. We have an anointing from Him, and we know the truth (1 John 2:20). We have an inner knowing or conviction about any situation or change that will happen in our lives.
Elisha left everything behind
Elisha had to leave everything behind to fulfil his purpose. He left his work and family to follow the prophet of the Lord. He knew it was the right thing to do after his encounter with Elijah.
Elisha slaughtered a pair of oxen, boiled the meat, and gave the people to eat. He used the oxen’s equipment to light a fire to boil the meat. This signified that he was leaving everything behind to do the work of the Lord. He didn’t fear that if the new plan failed, he would have to come back and continue from where he left off. He had no plan B, only God’s plan, and he believed in it.
The question we need to ask ourselves is: are we ready to leave all behind and fulfil God’s purpose for our lives? God called us for a purpose, and He has prepared us for it. Are we ready to fulfil it? Are we ready to follow Him and not turn back?
Jesus once said, “When you put your hand to the plough and look back, then you are not fit for the Kingdom of God” (Luke 9:62). He expects us to follow Him with no plan B in our hearts. If you have a Plan B, maybe it is time to drop it here. Trust in God’s plan for your life and follow Him single-hearted. I know it is difficult because of the things in the world that seem to have our names on them. But we have to turn to God daily to help us keep moving ahead.
Elisha was loyal to his purpose
We see little about Elisha until Elijah is taken up to heaven in a whirlwind. Elisha was loyal to Elijah and stuck with him until Elijah went to heaven. He patiently served Elijah as he waited for God to launch him into his public ministry. He never gave up along the way because he knew he was in God’s will for his life. When Elijah went to heaven, Elisha took over and began performing miracles and prophesying. He was a prophet to the people of Israel until his dying day. Elisha was loyal to his master and purpose, unlike his servant Gehazi, whose greed made him fall under a curse (2 Kings 5:26-27).
Like the prophet Elisha, we can be loyal to God’s purpose for our lives. It is not a straightforward journey, but we can trust that God will guide our steps daily. When we embrace our purpose, we can be loyal to it until our dying day.
Elisha was patient as he waited to fulfil his purpose
It was a while from the time God anointed Elisha and when he took over as prophet from Elijah. Elisha waited for the right time to prophesy and perform miracles in public. Many people jump into their purpose the moment they know it. They forget there is a time of preparation. God has to equip us to fulfil our purpose, and we may find ourselves behind the scenes for a while. Like the prophet Elisha, we can patiently wait for the time God wants to launch us into our divine purpose.
People did not know Jesus until John baptized Him, and He began His public ministry. At the appointed time, Jesus began His ministry and completed it successfully when He died on the cross for our sins and rose again. Jesus was patient until the right time in His adult life to step into His purpose. How is God preparing you for your purpose? How can you exercise patience during your time of waiting?
Elisha stepped into his purpose boldly
After Elijah was gone, Elisha took over and began his prophetic work. He did not wait for anyone to give him permission to start. He already knew in his spirit that it was the right time to start. After all, he asked for a double portion of Elijah’s spirit.
Elisha did not seek anyone’s approval before leaving his family and friends behind to follow Elijah. Once we know what God is calling us to do and sense that it is the right time to do it, we can go ahead without waiting for someone else’s permission or approval. God has already given it. If you have prayed and sense it is time, proceed and begin the work.
Not everyone is to launch their own ministry or business. Some people will have to work for someone first or serve in a ministry under God’s guidance. Elisha was Elijah’s servant before he became a renowned prophet in Israel.
Elisha was a man of faith
Elisha had great faith in God and it was clear when he boldly performed miracles and prophesied. He once asked God to strike the Syrian army with blindness and had faith that God would do it (2 Kings 6:18). Elisha prayed that God would open his servant’s eyes, and He did (2 Kings 6:17). He told a woman to borrow jars and pour her little oil into them and the oil filled all the jars (2 Kings 4:3). He believed he would see answers to his prayers because they aligned with God’s will.
Elisha fulfilled his purpose by faith when he followed Elijah to do the work of the Lord. Sometimes we lose faith because we do not see our prayers answered. Yet, many of them are not in line with God’s will. Sometimes it is not the right season. We can build our faith by reading His Word and seeing the kinds of prayers He answers. We can only please Him if we have faith.
Elisha was not from a family of prophets. He became one because of the calling of God in his life. God used the prophet Elisha mightily, and he can use us in the same way. If we fulfil our purpose and maintain our relationship with God, then we will touch the lives of many.
When it is time for you to fulfil your purpose, God will make it happen. You do not have to strive to do it in your strength. In the meantime, keep doing the work you currently do as you pray for God to lead you towards the pathway of your purpose.
If you would like to know more about purpose, please get a copy of my eBook titled Life Purpose: A Beginner’s Guide.
Download a list of 20 questions that people ask about purpose.
Josephine Ngatia is a Digital Content Writer & Strategist. She works with Christian ministers and business owners to plan, develop, and manage digital content for them. She develops digital content for their websites, blogs, and other channels. Josephine mostly works with new authors, business startups, and small businesses.