The One God Uses – Gospel in Life

The One God Uses

Tim Keller |  October 24, 1999

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  • Purpose and Calling
1 Kings 19:15-21; 2 Kings 2:8-14
RS 107-4


We need a calling in life greater than the selfishness of our own hearts. When Elijah takes Elisha as his successor,we see an example of the call of God. Elisha did not call himself, but was called by God. Though he was rich, he gave up his wealth in order to answer God’s call. Likewise, every Christian must follow the specific call that God has laid out for them, and must fall back upon the grace of God when we inevitably fail to measure up to all that God has called us to do and to be.

1 Kings 19:15–21; 2 Kings 2:8–14

The story of Elisha becoming a prophet after Elijah is like a guidebook for understanding God’s call and finding our own purpose. Elisha left a life of comfort and power to live in poverty and danger, asking for twice as much of Elijah’s spirit. This shows us how real and powerful God’s call can be. The story also gives us practical advice on the importance of feeling God’s call to live a purposeful life.

1. The need

Elisha, even with all his riches and power, changed completely when he heard God’s call. This shows us how important God’s purpose is. Many people today feel empty and selfish, even with lots of stuff. Elisha’s story shows us that we need to feel God’s call to feel truly satisfied. It challenges our idea of who we are and makes us choose between freedom without limits and purpose within limits.

2. The reality

The story of Elijah and Elisha shows that God’s call has two parts – a general call to show certain qualities and a specific call to do something special. Elisha’s journey, from 18 years of learning to becoming a prophet, is an example of the hard work and devotion needed to respond to these calls. In the end, we all have a special mission. By following our general call to show love and fairness, we can find and fulfill our special call to do something unique, reaching our full potential and making a difference in the world.

3. The power

It’s important to understand that the chariot in the story represents God’s fairness and judgement. Jesus Christ’s death shows his deep connection with God’s fairness, suggesting that if we connect with Christ, we are on the side of God’s fairness too. Understanding this gives us the courage to live confidently, answer God’s call, and live a life with purpose.



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