Then he arose and followed Elijah, and became his servant. 1 Kings 19:21.
During the three years and a half of barrenness and famine, the family of Shaphat had become familiar with the mission of Elijah the prophet, and the Spirit of God impressed the heart of Elisha in regard to the meaning of this action [Elijah’s placing his mantle on him]. This was the signal that God had called him to be the successor of Elijah. He hastened after the prophet and, overtaking him, asked permission to take leave of his parents and bid farewell to his family.
The answer of Elijah was, “Go back again: for what have I done to thee?” This was not a repulse, but a test. If Elisha’s heart clung to his home and its advantages, he was at liberty to remain there. But Elisha was prepared to hear the call of God….
Had Elisha asked Elijah what was expected of him, what would be his work, he would have been answered, God knows; He will make it known to you. If you wait upon the Lord, He will answer your every question. You may come with me if you have evidence that God has called you; if not, forbear. Come not simply because I have called you. Know for yourself that God stands back of you, and that it is His voice you hear. If you can count everything but dross that you may win Christ, come….
The call of Elijah [to Elisha] was similar to the commission of Christ to the young ruler. The ruler was commanded to leave all—houses, lands, friends, riches, comforts, and ease—and follow Jesus…. But with the call of Christ comes the question, Are we ready to advance? Are we willing? Shall we, like Moses, cheerfully deem the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt?
The Lord will not accept halfhearted service. Those alone who love to do the will of God can do perfect service…. If we follow on to know the Lord, willingly, gladly, we shall know that “his going forth is prepared as the morning.” If we have decided to obey Christ, we shall respond to His call, “If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.” …
The work of God is a perfect whole, … and it is important that the worker for Christ shall take his Master with him in every department of labor. Whatever is done should be done with an exactness and dispatch that will bear inspection. The heart should be in the work.—Youth’s Instructor, April 21, 1898.