A Survey (continued)
Elisha's Preparation in His Natural Vocation (continued)
On the other side, when the Lord sees a man or a woman who, like Elisha, is putting all his energy, all his resources into his ordinary vocation, and doing it with all his might, the Lord marks that man or that woman, and the time will come when that life will be drawn into association with the Lord in something of peculiar value to Him.
You see this in the first phase, before any thought or suggestion had come to Elisha of prophetic ministry. It is not as if he were as one of the sons of the prophets preparing for his ministry. No suggestion whatever is made that he is to be a prophet. We do not know that he had any such idea. What we do know is that he was doing farm work, and that he was putting all his might into it, and the Lord took account of it. Before ever there was a thought of, what many people would call, spiritual work, this man was seen by God as one who would go a long way with Him. Of course Elisha was a godly man, not just a man of the world diligent in his business.
You may say: That is reckoning on the natural. Well, the Lord does take men into account as to their spirit, and although a man may be very often mistaken as to the method, and as to the way, the Lord looks on the heart. We are thinking of Paul himself. He was certainly very blind, and very mistaken in the way that he took, but he took it with all his might, and there was no question that what he did was with every ounce of his being, and we are not to say that the Lord did not take that into account. The Lord takes account of diligence and devotion and wholeheartedness, in whatever realm it is. When the Lord gets hold of men and women of that kind, He may have deep and mighty lessons to teach them, but He knows that He has a vessel that will be suitable to Him, and that will go on with Him.
That is a simple word, almost in the nature of a homily, but it is an important one, and we must never expect the Lord to say: "Come up higher," until we have given ourselves to the very last measure in the place where we are. We rejoice that there are men and women like Elisha, who just put themselves into the menial things, the ordinary things, the things which men would not call specifically spiritual service, until the Lord says, "That is enough." This is preparation; and remember the Lord is taking account!
(continued with # 5 - "Everything In Spirit")