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:
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.
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