When the Lord asks, do you think He already knows how we’ll respond? Photo credit: GraphicStock
The Lord is so gracious that when we say “yes” to His requests, He gives us credit as though we’ve already completed what He asked.
What a loving God we serve! God’s grace towards us, however, is not something new.
When we first read about Abraham in Genesis 12, he’s called Abram. The Lord told Abram to get out of his country, leave his family and depart from his father’s house to a place God would later reveal. In return, the Lord promised Abram many things, including an extraordinary legacy that in Abram all the families on earth would be blessed.
There’s no record of Abram waiting for years for further confirmation, nor mention of him seeking approval from friends, family, and neighbors. Instead, “Abram departed as the Lord had spoken to him” (Gen. 12:4).
Abram left the security of everything he knew based on his trust in a God he could not see.
Without the modern conveniences of today’s travel, Abram embarked on an epic journey. His destination: the unknown. Abram was seventy-five years old.
Abram believed God
The Bible says God gave Abram credit for no other reason than because Abram believed God. “Abraham believed God and it was accounted to him for righteousness” (Gal. 3:6). The word “accounted,” is the Greek word, logizomai. It means inventory, impute or to take into account.
In Romans 3:28, logizomai is the word, conclude: “Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law” (emphasis added). In other words, it’s settled, there’s nothing left to consider. Faith (trust in God alone), is the only measure by which we are counted innocent, holy, and in right standing with God.
Do you think when God asks He already knows how we’ll respond? I do. He is, after all, the searcher of all hearts. God also looks beyond our mistakes; it’s the motive behind what we do which interests Him.
Then came Elisha…
In fact, that may have been what God saw when He looked at Elisha, the prophet who would replace Elijah. When the Lord sent Elijah to search for Elisha, he found Elisha plowing with twelve yoke of oxen before him; Elisha was with the twelfth (see 1 Kings 19:19).
Commentaries suggest it was customary in Egypt, Assyria, and Palestine to plow using a single pair of oxen. So Elisha was plowing behind eleven other plow men. The number twelve appears many times in Scripture, particularly about the nation of Israel. Twelve is a perfect number symbolizing God’s power and authority and represents the number of government.
It’s likely Elisha came from an affluent family and yet he labored in a field behind the dust of eleven other plow men who may very well have worked for his father. This description gives some indication of Elisha’s character. We see more confirmation of his qualities when Elijah passed by Elisha.
The Bible says Elijah threw his mantle on Elisha. Elisha ran after Elijah and asked permission to kiss his father and mother goodbye. Next, Elisha slaughtered his oxen and used the plow equipment to cook the meat. He prepared a meal for others then left his former life and family behind for a new assignment—Elisha was all in!
When the Lord asks
Like Abram, when the Lord asked, Elisha left the familiar and committed to what God was doing next. He knew nothing about the assignment nor where the journey would lead.
Abram and Elisha were not only willing but also obedient. They dropped everything, exchanged the known for the unknown, and answered God with a resounding, “yes!”
As New Testament believers, we are divinely equipped to know God’s will; considerably more than Abraham and Elisha were.
- God speaks directly to you (constantly and all the time)
- God’s promises are plenteous and beyond compare
- The will of God is good, to help you and not to harm you
The next time God asks, how will you respond?
To read more about faith in God, click here.
- What has God asked that you haven’t done?
- How might your life look if you were willing and obedient to God?