Thursday, July 2, 2009

Stopping Short

Israel. God revealed His word to them. His laws. His decrees. Israel's king, Jehoash, inherited the throne from his father. He got Israel's army also. Or what was left of it. The king of Aram, one of Israel's enemies, had reduced her armed forces to a mere fifty horsemen--ten chariots--ten thousand foot soldiers. Not much of a military. Not much hope of a victory over the enemy. Israel's prophet, Elisha, inherited a double portion of Elijah's spirit. Mighty in power. Moves as God mandates. Jehoash. Sinful. Scared of Aram. Seeks help from Elisha. Elisha informs him that God will give Israel a victory over the Armeans at the up-coming battle of Aphek. Then Elisha instructs Jehoash to strike the ground with some arrows. Jehoash takes the arrows. He struck it [the ground] three times and stopped. The man of God was angry with him and said, "You should have struck the ground five or six times; then you would have defeated Aram and completely destroyed it. But now you will defeat it only three times" (2 Kings 13: 18b-19). Jehoash made a major mistake. He stopped short in asking God for what he wanted. He obeyed, but not with his whole heart. The result? Only three successful battles for Israel and Jehoash when God was prepared to give complete victory. God wanted to give victory in this situation over Israel's enemy. How sad for Jehoash. How sad for me. Because I am like Jehoash. I've shortchanged God by stopping short. In supplication. In submission. In steps of faith. I think that maybe God doesn't really want to give me all that I ask Him or that He doesn't want to do all that I ask. How sad for God. Because He's prepared to give us victory--not just in a few skirmishes with the evil one--but total victory. He desires that we triumph in every situation. No matter how insurmountable it seems to us. He wants us to ask Him for help and for victory. And ask again. And again. Never stopping short. Never thinking that God would withhold any good thing from us. Never thinking that God has anything for us other than complete victory in Christ. Are we willing to go the distance? Sweet dreams, Deb


  1. Deb,
    I have to confess to stopping short, attributing my human thoughts to God. I have too may times believed.."this is it.." when nothing seemed to 'move' as I longed for...

    What a sober reminder for me..thank you...
    Blessings to you,

  2. I AM willing to go the distance, Deb. My fervent prayer is that I will run my race...the ENTIRE race...with joy.

    By His grace, we can do it!

    Have a wonderful 4th of July weekend!

  3. Deb, awesome words!!! I just read this story a few days ago. How beautifully and powerfully you have brought out its reality for our today!

    Thank you for prayer and your encouraging words. Thank you, also, for sharing the scripture from Psalm 141. Yes, how I have called upon Him and still do as we wait for drs. visits and tests.

    Many, many blessings to you. I hope your holiday weekend is and will be filled with joy and peace.

    In God's Love,


  4. A good reminder that I need to continue to ask for victory, Deb. Thanks.

  5. This is so well said, Deb. How often have I stopped short of what God wanted for me. It is a timely reminder. God is committed to keep His part of the covenant, but there are times when it is up to us to enable us to receive what God intended.

    Thank you for listening to God in writing these words today.

  6. I've got some arrows to strike against the ground this week. I'm after a full victory!

    Great teaching.