“For we walk by faith, not by sight.” 2 Corinthians 5:7
In 2 Kings 13:18-20 is the story of Elisha and Israel’s King Jehoash. Jehoash was not a king devoted to God, however, one commentary I read said that Jehoash could be having a moment of realization that Israel’s only chance is the power of God and not military force. Elisha has Jehoash shoot an arrow through the window in the direction of their enemy the Arameans. He passes this “test” so to speak. Then Elisha tells Jehoash to, “Strike the ground!” Notice that Elisha did not speak how many times. When Jehoash struck the ground only three times, Elisha was incredibly angry with him. Then Elisha tells him he should have struck the ground “five or six times”, for then he would have struck down Aram until they were destroyed.
Why was Elisha so angry with Jehoash? Because Jehoash revealed his level of faith and zeal by the extent of his obedience in doing something he did not understand. He lacked faith in God and lacked zeal in committing himself to the task that lay ahead. Since his spiritual senses had been dulled by habitually defying the law of God (2 Kings 13:11), the king failed to garner complete victory over Aram, but God would not fail to keep the promise to strike down Aram three times.[Women’s Evangelical Commentary OT]
This passage got me to thinking about my own faith in God. How strong is my faith and trust? Do I give up too quickly and miss what God has for me? What do my actions show about my faith in and zeal for God? It is so easy to tell someone else to pray about a hard situation and to be patient, but what about when I’m the one in the hard situation? Do I have the faith to “strike the ground” believing that God will come through for me, or do I “strike the ground” a few times and quit? God does not prove His faithfulness by what I consider enough faith. He is about my heart and soul. Do I have a faith and zeal for God in my deepest soul to keep on keeping on until He says enough. I wonder, do I not seek or ask often because I do not believe God will truly come through for me. Of course, I believe this in my head and hold onto it outwardly. It’s the internal heart battle that I’m talking about.
Jesus tells me in the Gospels to “ask….believing”. Sometimes I ask, sometimes I do not. When I do ask though, do I truly believe or am I “believing” with my breath held? Often times I find myself praying and then thinking, “I really hope God comes through on this one!” What?? I’m pretty sure God sees through this! Jesus wants me to trust and believe and to not be anxious for anything. Holding my breath (so to speak) and waiting to see when the next shoe falls is not trust, belief, or faith. Jesus, forgive my lack of faith and trust in You. Your faith and love for God sent You to the cross. Jesus, I want my faith to count. Help me to not be like Jehoash and to only “strike the ground 3 times” and be done. Help me to be fearless and courageous and to “strike the ground” as many times as is needed to accomplish Your purpose.