“Inauguration” is defined as “an introduction into office,” “a ceremonial opening,” and “putting something into operation.” A new USA President is being inaugurated today, January 20, ’17. It’s a time when the country expects her chosen leader to say, in Paul’s words, “forgetting those things that are behind, I press on to lay hold of that for Christ took hold of me” (Phil. 3:12).
A man and women are inaugurated at their wedding. They pledge to serve their spouse and “leave father and mother.” They give their new calling top priority. A faithful pastor told a group of us sensing a call to pastoral ministry, “Don’t prepare for anything else. Burn the bridges behind you and be fully devoted to your calling.”
I think of many Biblical persons such as Abraham, Ruth, and Matthew when I think of leaving to accept a new calling. Elisha’s inauguration is dramatic –and instructive! Elisha was involved in a large farming operation. As he was driving the 12 th team of oxen, the prophet Elijah came and threw his cloak around him. Elisha ran after the prophet asking for permission to say goodbye to his parents. Then he returned to his farming operation for a remarkable event.
He butchered his oxen. Then Elisha chopped up his plow into firewood and roasted the animals to host a feast for his neighbors! I consider that “burning one’s bridges behind them!” (Read more in 1 Kings 19:19f.)
Governmental ethics committees investigate our leaders’ possible conflict of interests. I wonder if we are as single-minded (devoted) in our service to Jesus Christ as we ask our leaders to burn bridges behind them and give full attention to governing. Do we understand that we are Christ’s bride?
I ask you to pray our Hillcrest seniors will whole-heartedly accept the calling to which the Lord is leading each of them. And, let’s us ask the Lord if it’s time for us to set fire to some of the things we’ve come to depend upon to fulfill the calling the Lord Jesus has wrapped around our shoulders.