F

Jamaica Gleaner - - FAMILY & RELIGION -

OR MANY of us, dream­ing big can make us un­com­fort­able, so we like to play it safe and set­tle for con­sid­er­ably less than what God has in mind for us. But the truth is that as Chris­tians, we serve a God whose King­dom is al­ways ad­vanc­ing, and He wants to do “ex­ceed­ingly abun­dantly above all that we ask or think, ac­cord­ing to the power that works in us.” Eph­e­sians 3:20 NKJV.

In the book of 2 Kings, chap­ter 13, King Je­hoash was pre­sented with a golden op­por­tu­nity to do some­thing big for God, but he set­tled for much less. He had the chance to com­pletely de­feat Is­rael’s en­e­mies, the Syr­i­ans, but he missed it. What does God want to do through you but you have set­tled for less? What is the golden op­por­tu­nity that God has placed be­fore you at this time? I en­cour­age you to pre­pare for it and get your mind in tune with God.

Je­hoash’s golden op­por­tu­nity quickly dwin­dled to a lost op­por­tu­nity based on his re­sponse to God and his sit­u­a­tion. We find this ac­count in 2 Kings 13:14-19. On a visit to Elisha the prophet of God, God de­clared to King Je­hoash that vic­tory was within his grasp. Elisha, on the in­struc­tion of God, fired an ini­tial ar­row sym­bol­is­ing vic­tory, through an open win­dow. He gave Je­hoash the re­main­ing arrows and in­structed him to “strike the ground with them” (verse 18 ESV). This was a test to see just how much Je­hoash de­sired the com­plete vic­tory the Lord was of­fer­ing. If he shot many arrows, this would mean he was com­mit­ted to the process but if not, he would not ac­com­plish all God wanted. Je­hoash shot only a few of the arrows and stopped. Why would he do such a thing? Let me make some sug­ges­tions:

COM­PLA­CENCY

Je­hoash was prob­a­bly sat­is­fied with just get­ting by. He was not think­ing of leav­ing a legacy for those who would come af­ter him. But the ac­tions you take to­day can set up the lives of fu­ture gen­er­a­tions.

When you are small in your own eyes, it lim­its how much you can achieve. Je­hoash had in­her­ited a weak­ened king­dom from his fa­ther. Maybe he thought “not much is go­ing to come of this. If my fa­ther could not do it, then I def­i­nitely can­not do it”. And he was right. He couldn’t do it, but God could.

UNBELIEF

It takes faith to be­lieve God. When we show a lack of faith, as Je­hoash did, we miss out on what God de­sires to do in us and through us. Je­sus went to his own home town and Mark 6:5, 6 ESV says, “And he could do no mighty work there ... And he mar­velled be­cause of their unbelief.” Why was this so? Be­cause more of­ten than not, God works in ac­cor­dance with our faith.

In 2 Kings 13:25, we see that Je­hoash de­feated Syria three times, just like Elisha said. But Elisha’s re­buke stated that if he’d struck the ground five or six times, he would have “de­feated Aram and com­pletely de­stroyed it.” 2 Kings 13:19 NIV.

We some­times mis­tak­enly think that if God plans for some­thing to hap­pen that it al­ways will. But for God’s will to oc­cur, we of­ten have to en­gage our wills. This means that we have to agree with God and act ac­cord­ingly. Don’t squan­der God’s op­por­tu­nity. Give it your all for “the peo­ple who know their God shall be strong, and carry out great ex­ploits.” Daniel 11:32 NKJV.

In Jeremiah 29:11-13 God states: “For I know the plans I have for you,” de­clares the LORD, “plans to pros­per you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a fu­ture. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will lis­ten to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.” In essence, God is say­ing: “I don’t want to harm you. I want to bless you and pro­vide ev­ery­thing you need to en­joy this life I’ve given you ... to be all that you can be. But the bless­ings I have for you can only be re­ceived when you come close to Me and talk to Me. When you talk to Me, I will lis­ten to you. I’m not hid­ing from you. I want you to find Me, and you will, when you put your whole heart into look­ing for Me.” God is say­ing, “Give it your all!”

God wants to down­load on us the plans He has for us, our fam­i­lies, our church, and our na­tion. But to get them, we have to seek Him with all our hearts. If we seek Him half-heart­edly, we get only half-hearted re­sults. To find Him, we need to make pray­ing and read­ing the Bi­ble a top pri­or­ity.

Take an­other look at plans for your life, but look at them with­out your lim­i­ta­tions. Maybe you are al­ready liv­ing the dream God has given you. Won­der­ful! But if not, don’t set­tle for good when God has some­thing bet­ter in mind. Give it your all!

SMALL IN HIS OWN EYES

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Jamaica

© PressReader. All rights reserved.