Epic Fail?

 

Archer by Vaximilian2 Kings 13:14-18 “Now Elisha was fallen sick of his sickness whereof he died. And Joash the king of Israel came down unto him, and wept over his face, and said, O my father, my father, the chariot of Israel, and the horsemen thereof. And Elisha said unto him, Take bow and arrows. And he took unto him bow and arrows. And he said to the king of Israel, Put thine hand upon the bow. And he put his hand upon it: and Elisha put his hands upon the king’s hands. And he said, Open the window eastward. And he opened it. Then Elisha said, Shoot. And he shot. And he said, The arrow of the LORD’s deliverance, and the arrow of deliverance from Syria: for thou shalt smite the Syrians in Aphek, till thou have consumed them. And he said, Take the arrows. And he took them. And he said unto the king of Israel, Smite upon the ground. And he smote thrice, and stayed.”

If you have problems and you trusted the man of God to give you an answer, you would do whatever he told you to do. If he said to put something into the offering, you’d empty your wallet. 

What if we didn’t empty our wallets? 

This king had seven shots in his quiver, but he only took 3. He gave a half-hearted effort. He didn’t fully trust the man of God or God, Himself. Blessings don’t necessarily come easily. Our loophole is ‘it’s not by works.’ 

The man of God told the man what to do, just like our pastor gets up week after week telling us what to do. Do we actually follow it? Do we actually do it? Or are we half-hearted? 

There were people in the Bible who had an opportunity to get blessings. The king in the passage above was lazy. 

King Saul’s son, Jonathan, was David’s dear friend. Jonathan knew that Saul wanted to kill David. He had a choice, he could have completely joined with David, knowing that King Saul was no longer God’s chosen. Jonathan fought with his father and died. He followed his obligation. Jonathan could have followed his friend, but he didn’t. 

Mark 10:17-22 “And when he was gone forth into the way, there came one running, and kneeled to him, and asked him, Good Master, what shall I do that I may inherit eternal life? And Jesus said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God. Thou knowest the commandments, Do not commit adultery, Do not kill, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Defraud not, Honour thy father and mother. And he answered and said unto him, Master, all these have I observed from my youth. Then Jesus beholding him loved him, and said unto him, One thing thou lackest: go thy way, sell whatsoever thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, take up the cross, and follow me. And he was sad at that saying, and went away grieved: for he had great possessions.”

Jesus loved him. He lacked only one thing. What was more important his stuff or eternal life? 

The biggest epic fail in the Bible was a man named Judas. He was already an apostle, witnessing miracles, called and chosen. He sold out the king of glory for a few coins. 

If you have already been filled with God’s Spirit with the evidence of speaking in tongues, you’ve been spiritually raised from the dead. You’ve been with Him. He is in you. Do not sell that out for a few coins. Don’t walk away from that because of a fleshly obligation. Do not fail at that because of status or position or possessions. Don’t be too lazy to try it out and give it your best! 

The king shot off only 3 arrows. Yes, it was hard, seventy pounds pressure to shoot. It was hard work, sacrifice, and no credit (humility). We don’t want to do those things. We want credit for stuff we do. We don’t like hard work. We especially don’t like sacrifice. 

God will honor our hard work, sacrifice, and humility with blessings and miracles, but it’s all to His glory. 

I Sam 1:1-2 “Now there was a certain man of Ramathaimzophim, of mount Ephraim, and his name was Elkanah, the son of Jeroham, the son of Elihu, the son of Tohu, the son of Zuph, an Ephrathite: And he had two wives; the name of the one was Hannah, and the name of the other Peninnah: and Peninnah had children, but Hannah had no children.”

Back then, a woman’s whole job was to be a wife and a mother. She needed to give her husband heirs. Hannah felt worthless. Her husband loved her more than children, but she wanted to leave something behind. 

I Sam 1:9-11 “So Hannah rose up after they had eaten in Shiloh, and after they had drunk. Now Eli the priest sat upon a seat by a post of the temple of the LORD. And she was in bitterness of soul, and prayed unto the LORD, and wept sore. And she vowed a vow, and said, O LORD of hosts, if thou wilt indeed look on the affliction of thine handmaid, and remember me, and not forget thine handmaid, but wilt give unto thine handmaid a man-child, then I will give him unto the LORD all the days of his life, and there shall no razor come upon his head.”

We can understand her sorrow, her desperation. Yet, the next part of her prayer was to give it all right back to God. ‘Give me this child and I won’t watch him grow up, but I’ll give him back to You, God.’ 

She turns around and surrenders him to Eli, the priest. As soon as he was weaned, around 5 years old, she gave him to Eli. She got her answer and then gave him up. 

I Sam 2:21 “And the LORD visited Hannah, so that she conceived, and bare three sons and two daughters. And the child Samuel grew before the LORD.”

She gave a sacrifice and God gave her back three more boys and two little girls. 

When we refuse to give all to God, the only one we’re hurting is ourselves. The king smote Syria only 3 times, but never got rid of them completely. Hannah received back more than she had given. 

Mat 13:45-46 “Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto a merchant man, seeking goodly pearls: Who, when he had found one pearl of great price, went and sold all that he had, and bought it.”

The Lord is offering us so very much more, a life beyond our understanding, and success far beyond our dreams. 

Mat 16:24-26 “Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it. For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?”

Don’t hold anything back from God. Walk in His Spirit, follow after His Spirit, leaving everything else behind. It isn’t enough to be filled with His Spirit, walk in His Spirit, live after His will and His way. 

What holds you back from giving everything to God? What keeps you from His blessings? What lies are you believing? God always gives back more than we sacrifice to Him. He is exceedingly, abundantly above all that you could ask or think.  

Give it all!

Excerpted from a sermon preached by: Skip Christo.

If you are in the Chicagoland area, come to The Life Church located at 3030 Central Road in Glenview, IL. Services are Sundays at 1pm and Wednesdays at 7pm.

www.thelifechurchofdesplaines.com

 

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About ChristinaLi

Christina Li, BA, MA, is a wife, mother of five, journalist, and author. She believes life is an adventure and has seen first hand the miraculous that happens when you say 'yes' to God. Besides writing, she loves tea, black, green, or white, and coffee, fresh roasted by her wonderful husband. Check out her books at: amazon.com/author/christinali
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