Ellen G. White Writings

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Christ Triumphant, Page 167

When God Calls, How Do We Respond? June 9

So he ... found Elisha the son of Shaphat, who was plowing with twelve yoke of oxen before him ... and Elijah passed by him, and cast his mantle upon him. 1 Kings 19:19.

When Elijah saw Elisha in the field with the servants, plowing with his twelve yoke of oxen, he went to the field of labor, and while passing by he unfastened his mantle and threw it upon the shoulders of Elisha. During the three and a half years of barrenness and famine, the family of Shaphat became familiar with the work and mission of Elijah the prophet. The Spirit of God impressed the heart of Elisha in regard to the meaning of this action. This was his signal that God had called him to be the successor of Elijah. It was similar to the commission of Christ to the young ruler to leave all—houses, lands, friends, riches, comforts, and ease, “and come and follow me.”

Elijah passed on as if that were the end of the matter. But he knew that Elisha had understood the significance of the action, and he left him, without speaking a word, to decide whether he would accept the call or reject it. Elisha 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 unto thee?” This was not a repulse, but a test, a trial. If his 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. He had not been disorderly, running before the call had come, and when he was called he revealed that he would not hesitate, nor relent, nor draw back....

Had Elisha asked Elijah what was expected of him, what would be his work, he would have 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 called you. Know for yourself that God stands back of me, and that it is His voice you hear. If you can count everything but dross that you may win the favor of God, Come.

Let all bear in mind that the Lord will not accept halfhearted service. Those 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.” ...

Elisha immediately left all to commence his ministry.—Letter 12, 1897.

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