Steven Furtick, Senior Pastor of Elevation Church, recently came out with a book called “Greater.” In his book and also in his sermon series also called “Greater,” he gives a message about Elijah’s first encounter with Elisha that he entitles “Burn the Plows.” The story is found in I Kings 19 and this is what it says:
“So he departed from there, and found Elisha the son of Shaphat, who was plowing with twelve yoke of oxen before him, and he was with the twelfth. Then Elijah passed by him and threw his mantle on him. And he left the oxen and ran after Elijah, and said, “Please let me kiss my father and my mother, and then I will follow you.” And he said to him, “Go back again, for what have I done to you?” So Elisha turned back from him, and took a yoke of oxen and slaughtered them and boiled their flesh, using the oxen’s equipment, and gave it to the people, and they ate. Then he arose and followed Elijah, and became his servant.” (1 Kings 19:19-21 NKJV)
Now fast forward to John 15 with me where Jesus says this:
“I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser. Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit He prunes, that it may bear more fruit.” (John 15:1, 2 NKJV)
In both cases, we see where a good thing had to be cut away in order for something greater to be received. Now what Elisha was doing, plowing the fields, before Elijah called him was not a bad thing but it wasn’t the greater thing that God had for him. If he was not willing to give up the good, he would have never obtained the greater.
Jesus is telling us the same thing in John 15. In order for the branch to bear greater fruit it must have the good cut away. If the branch does not allow itself to be pruned, it will never reach it’s full potential.
I don’t know about you, but I have experienced this first hand in my life. There were things in my life, this one thing in particular, that I had to be willing to let go to make room for God to bless me with the greater things that He had in store for me. Now is it going to be hard? Of course it is. Will it be painful? Yes it will be tough. But believe me, in the end it will be worth it to allow God to cut you in order that He may produce in you something so much greater. I heard Perry Noble, Senior Pastor of NewSpring Church, say “God will never ask you to give something up if He is not going to replace it with something greater.”
So what is it in your life that you got to burn? What is it that you got to let God cut away? What is that one thing that you are holding onto? Let go of the good, don’t settle any longer, and see if God doesn’t replace it with something greater.