I once had a pastor tell me not to burn my bridges. The strange thing is that in a relationship with people, he didn't always follow that advice. I haven't seen or heard from him much since I left that church.
It was an odd situation, where my church didn't have evening services but this church did. When my church started evening services again, I felt called back to my home church. At that point, he couldn't understand why and in his own way burned a bridge that linked me to him and his church.
Fast forward 10 years and I'm still at my home church. Our lovely grace-filled pastor gave a sermon that caught my attention. It starts with God using Elijah to defeat the Baal prophets and bring his people back to him. Elijah won that battle but immediately came under attack. He feared for his life, so he ran.
God revealed himself to Elijah as that tiny soft voice, and I know that is the voice I need to listen to. See I have been going back and forth on this normal desire for community in a specific way. Yet God seems to have failed me in this area and so I run to what I believe to be safe.
The only difference is I am still standing there listening for God to be the earthquake or wind. But God has chosen to speak to me in a still small voice, and I can't hear him. Why can't I hear him? It is because I'm still looking for the earthquake and the wind.
The Lord said, “Go out and stand on the mountain in the presence of the Lord, for the Lord is about to pass by.” Then a great and powerful wind tore the mountains apart and shattered the rocks before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake. After the earthquake came a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire came a gentle whisper. When Elijah heard it, he pulled his cloak over his face and went out and stood at the mouth of the cave. - 1 Kings 19:11-13
God told Elijah to go anoint Elisha to take his place as the prophet of Israel. Elijah found Elisha plowing the fields, and he went and laid his cloak on Elisha's shoulders. Elisha knew what this meant, andran after Elijah. He ran to get permission to say his goodbyes, and this request was granted.
Elisha went back to his plow, killed his oxen and burned his plow to cook the meat. He gave this as food to for the people.
Elisha burned his bridges so to say. He didn't just burn the bridge. He made sure he couldn't cross that bridge anymore by slaughtering and cooking his oxen. Wow, that is some great faith. I'm am not sure if I am Elijah in this story or if I am Elisha. I want to have the faith of Elisha but fear takes over.
God has called me to live fearlessly, and for me, burning that bridge doesn't seem to be what I wish it was. I have been living the safe life. So for me, God says to stay where I am, don't burn the bridge until he guides me to.
You may be in a different spot, maybe it is time for you to burn that bridge. Well if that is the case, and God has been calling you to burn a bridge, then here is a song that speaks to me.
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