I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God. Philippians 3:14.
Elisha immediately left all to begin his ministry. His leave-taking was not with mourning and bitter regrets. They made a feast in his home in commemoration of the honor conferred upon one of the family. And what was the first work of Elisha? It was to take up the little things and do them with heartiness. He was the prophet’s personal attendant. He is spoken of as pouring water on the hands of Elijah his master.
After Elisha had been some time in the service of the prophet, he was called to take his place in the first rank. No one in that time was to be greater than he. He had worked under Elijah as a learner, and the time came when the head manager was removed, and the one under him came to the front. And as Elijah was prepared to be translated, so Elisha was prepared to become his successor as a prophet….
There was a school of the prophets at Gilgal, and also at Bethel and at Jericho. Elijah wished to visit these important places before he was parted from them. His spirit was cheered as, by the direction of God, he was permitted to see the schools of the prophets and the work that was going on in those institutions—an education which was to keep the wonderful works of God continually before the students, and which magnified the law of God and made it honorable….
At every place where Elisha tarried with Elijah, he was given opportunity to separate from him. “Tarry here, I pray thee,” said Elijah. Thus Elisha’s faith was tried at every point. But by plowing in the field, Elisha had learned not to yield to discouragement. He had now set his hand to the plow in another work, and he would not fail nor be discouraged. Every time the invitation to turn back was given, he declared, “As the Lord liveth, and as thy soul liveth, I will not leave thee.” …
Henceforth Elisha stood in the place of Elijah…. The greatest qualification for anyone in a position of trust is to obey implicitly the word of the Lord…. Elisha had put his hand to the plow, and he would not look back. He revealed his determination and firm reliance upon God.
This lesson is for us to study carefully. We are in no case to swerve from our allegiance…. The Word of God is to be our counselor. It is only those who render perfect and thorough obedience to God that He will choose.—Youth’s Instructor, April 28, 1898.