The Inertia Of ChangeSeries: You In Five Years. James Dewhurst January 12, 2020
You in Five Years
The Inertia Of Change
Today, we are excited to be continuing in a new series we started for the New Year, called – You In Five Years! Instead of embracing the same approach of starting New Year’s resolutions that fail at an 80% clip after the first month, what if we took a long-term view? Where do I want to be 5 years from now in 2025? What do I want to accomplish 60 months from now?
Last week we were challenged to ask ourselves if we liked where the current course of our lives is actually taking us. Why? Because future you will look just like current you, just with more miles on the odometer, unless we start making needed changes today!
Little changes over time, lead to big changes in time – Daily decisions compounded!
Today, as we jump into week 2 of our series, I want to share a message that parallels the life of Elijah, called – The Inertia of Change!
Change is super hard, that’s why most people stay the same. But in times of crisis, we can change. Some of us need to get to the point where we generate an internal crisis!
Tony Robbins – “Change happens when the pain of staying the same is greater than the pain of change.”
Max Dupree – “We cannot become what we want by remaining what we are.”
Another person said – “Great things never rise out of comfort zones.”
Someone else – “Change is hard at first, messy in the middle, but beautiful in the end!”
Change isn’t hard forever, it’s just hard in the beginning!
When we finally realize we have to change, what seemed impossible becomes possible!
The Bible tells us a story about a man who had a huge opportunity for change in his life, and what he had to do in order to walk into that change. The Bible tells us that after the Lord visited Elijah, who was an Israeli prophet, at the cave he was hiding in, God gave him some specific instructions about the future:
1 Kings 19:19-21
19 So he departed from there and found Elisha the son of Shaphat, who was plowing with twelve yoke of oxen in front of him, and he was with the twelfth. Elijah passed by him and cast his cloak upon him. 20 And he left the oxen and ran after Elijah and said, “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?” 21 And he returned from following him and took the yoke of oxen and sacrificed them and boiled their flesh with the yokes of the oxen and gave it to the people, and they ate. Then he arose and went after Elijah and assisted him. (ESV)
-Elijah was a legendary prophet to the Northern Kingdom Israel, who once prophesied a drought because of Baal worship, and later challenged 450 prophets of Baal to an altar showdown, where they were embarrassed by Elijahs God! Elijah was a beast!
-One day, out of the clear blue, Elijah showed up and threw his cloak over Elisha and invited him to become his replacement.
-The crazy part is, Elisha was out in a field farming for his father Shaphat, overseeing 12 yokes of oxen. It doesn’t sound like much until you understand that 1 ox was equivalent to a combination in today’s economy. Elisha’s daddy owned 24 combines!
-Can you imagine their net worth? Elisha, he made it! He was working the field, learning the trade, and preparing to take over for Shaphat farms, and live a 24 tractor life!
-But Elisha understood the gravity of Elijah’s invitation, kissed his parents, and left!
Roughly 18 years pass, Elijah was about to be taken up to heaven, and it was time to finally have over his prophetic ministry to Elisha:
2 Kings 2:5-12
5 The sons of the prophets who were at Jericho drew near to Elisha and said to him, “Do you know that today the LORD will take away your master from over you?” And he answered, “Yes, I know it; keep quiet.” 6 Then Elijah said to him, “Please stay here, for the LORD has sent me to the Jordan.” But he said, “As the LORD lives, and as you yourself live, I will not leave you.” So the two of them went on. 7 Fifty men of the sons of the prophets also went and stood at some distance from them, as they both were standing by the Jordan. 8 Then Elijah took his cloak and rolled it up and struck the water, and the water was parted to the one side and to the other, till the two of them could go over on dry ground. 9 When they had crossed, Elijah said to Elisha, “Ask what I shall do for you, before I am taken from you.” And Elisha said, “Please let there be a double portion of your spirit on me.” 10 And he said, “You have asked a hard thing; yet, if you see me as I am being taken from you, it shall be so for you, but if you do not see me, it shall not be so.” 11 And as they still went on and talked, behold, chariots of fire and horses of fire separated the two of them. And Elijah went up by a whirlwind into heaven. 12 And Elisha saw it and he cried, “My father, my father! The chariots of Israel and its horsemen!” And he saw him no more. Then he took hold of his own clothes and tore them in two pieces. (ESV)
-First of all, I just want to put in a request to God. When I go someday, I want to be picked up like Elijah, by a chariot with horses on fire. That’s going out in a blaze of glory!
-In their last conversation together after they crossed the Jordan, Elijah asked what he could do for Elisha, and Elisha asked for a double portion of his spirit! (More of God!)
-Ironically, Elisha performed exactly twice as many miracles as Elijah did in his lifetime!
I want to share 3 things Elisha did in this story that allowed Change to happen:
(1) Elisha took Drastic Action!
1 Kings 19:21
21 And he returned from following him and took the yoke of oxen and sacrificed them and boiled their flesh with the yokes of the oxen and gave it to the people, and they ate. Then he arose and went after Elijah and assisted him. (ESV)
For Elisha to embrace the change in front of him, he had to burn the life behind him!
It’s hard to turn back when you have nothing to turn back to!
(Cut off your old life!)
Some things won’t ever change in our lives without taking drastic measures!
(2) Elisha Kept Progressing!
There’s a big part of Elisha’s story that is missing! What happened during the 18 years between the time Elisha was called to follow Elijah and when he finally took over? The Bible only gives us one detail. 18 years of life and we get one detail. Here it is…
2 Kings 3:1
1 In the eighteenth year of Jehoshaphat king of Judah, Jehoram the son of Ahab became king over Israel in Samaria, and he reigned twelve years. (ESV)
Luke 16:10 “Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much…”
Elisha walked through 18 years of obscurity, just doing the right thing over and over!
(3) Elisha Created Momentum!
2 Kings 2:9-10
9 When they had crossed, Elijah said to Elisha, “Ask what I shall do for you, before I am taken from you.” And Elisha said, “Please let there be a double portion of your spirit on me.” 10 And he said, “You have asked a hard thing; yet, if you see me as I am being taken from you, it shall be so for you, but if you do not see me, it shall not be so.” (ESV)
Elisha picked up Elijah’s cloak, and performed 28 miracles as a prophet in his lifetime!
Why? Because he took drastic action, kept progressing, and reaped his momentum!
There is no reaping without sowing! Elisha got the cloak because he kept serving!
We will never see the blessings of change if we quit on the process!