Elisha- Ridiculous Faith

Photo by: Josh Strickland; Baptism at CSM Luau, pictured left to right
Pastor Josh Strickland, Pastor Shane Tarpley, Black Carter, Will Thompson
2 Kings 2:1-18

In 2 Kings 2:1-18 we see that Elisha's ridiculous commitment to God was continual. 

Before Elijah is taken up into Heaven, he is called by God to visit Bethel and asks Elisha to stay behind. Elisha is so committed to God, he refuses Elijah's request and goes with him to visit Bethel. 

This was not a one-time incident as Elisha served God faithfully until the day he died. He was the pure definition of what it means to be completely devoted to God. 

How committed are you to God? Are you fully committed or just committed when it's convenient for you? 

July 20, 2013 is a day that will be etched in my heart and mind for as long as my memory will serve me. The CSM Luau started out as any other youth group luau had organized before. BUSY! I started out early that morning with a huge check list of things I had to either pickup or setup before 5pm. 

As the day progressed, I was ahead of scheduled and feeling very accomplished. The band arrived on time, the food was in order, decorations were going up and things began to tick like clock work. As students and parents began to arrive, we fired up the grill. 

Dreamawake  cranked up the worship around 6:30pm. Wow! It was loud and powerful. The layout of the beach provides for a perfect camping experience- and there were quite a few campers. Anyone within a 5-8 mile radius of the camp could have more than likely heard us. As the worship intensified, a father from a nearby campsite approached us and ask if they could have a few burgers. We were elated to serve them. 

One of our adult leaders noticed that his family seemed a bit bigger than the amount of food he asked for. She and a couple of our students took a bit more food over to them and discovered their true condition. Homeless. They had been living in a makeshift tent for several days and were completely out of food. They invited the family to join us for the worship and fellowship to which they all obliged, except for their 17 year old son "Nick".

Several minutes passed as worship continued. The two students were not quite satisfied with only 3 of the 4 family members joining us. They decided they were continue their persistence. They walked over to "Nick" once more and instead of casually inviting him for food and fun, their intentions this time were bigger. From a distance I watched them at the campsite. Then, what I saw next filled my heart with pride and un-explainable joy. The two students were laying their hands on him and praying for him. As they concluded their prayer, both the students and "Nick" were walking towards the pavilion. 

They introduced me to "Nick" who was now a changed person- "Nicholas". Nicholas received Christ that evening, but it didn't stop their. As they introduced me to Nicholas and explained that he had received Christ, they also explained that Nicholas wanted to be baptized... the same night. 

I quickly recruited Pastor Josh Strickland (middle school youth pastor at Covenant Life) and we waded out into the lake. 

We are still in contact with the family continue to help them get back on their feet. Nicholas' mom is a school teacher looking forward to starting a new teaching year after a year or unexpected double tragedies. 

I was amazed and the persistence of Blake Carter and Will Thompson. Much like Elisha, they refused to back down and didn't let a simple "no thank you" from Nick hinder them from delivering the Gospel and leading a young man to an eternal promise. Wow!! As a student pastor- I still, to this day, have an overwhelming sense of pride and love for the students of Chosen Student Ministries at Covenant Life Church

This night was also a huge milestone in my ministry as a student pastor. In nearly 6 years of ministry- this was the first time I had been given the privilege of baptizing someone.  God is more incredible and amazing than I could ever describe. He continues to open doors and bless me each and every day. I am incredibly thankful for the opportunities to serve Him and the people/ students at Covenant Life Church
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