May 12, 2014 Posted by admin in Books

Limited Obedience = Limited Results


2 Kings 13:14-19 - 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. And the man of God was wroth with him, and said, Thou shouldest have smitten five or six times; then hadst thou smitten Syria till thou hadst consumed it: whereas now thou shalt smite Syria but thrice.

King Joash was given a simple instruction by the prophet Elisha to hit the ground with his arrows. It was quite an unusual request but he obliged. He had no idea what the prophet was doing so he didn’t have much enthusiasm in his obedience. For that reason, he limited the miraculous ability of God to bring him victory over the Syrians. This is a perfect example of the problem with many naturally brilliant Christians in the Western Church. Many of us won’t completely disobey God’s Word but that doesn’t mean we’ll enthusiastically obey it with all of our hearts.

There is a new brand of religious Christianity that no longer demands total devotion to the Word of God. It’s alright to obey God in some areas and disregard Him in others. As long as the commandment is convenient, the average Western Christian is willing to obey. The problem only arises when God’s Word forces an individual out of his comfort zone. A lack of passion for God has resulted in a nonchalant group of fruitless people pretending to operate in the power of God.

How many times have you received instructions and didn’t follow them earnestly? The Bible says to pray without ceasing but how much prayer time do you really get in a week? The Bible says to give and it will come back to you so how much do you give? The Bible says to forsake not the assembling of yourselves together but do you care if you regularly miss church? The Bible says to flee fornication but how many people grow up in church and don’t keep their virginity until marriage. The Bible says that wine is a mocker but some Christian people are reading this book right now with a glass of wine in their hands.

Revelation 3:14-22 - And unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write; These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God; I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spew thee out of my mouth. Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked: I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see. As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent. Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me. To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne. He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.

Jesus knew that the day would come when certain groups within the church community would lose their passion. He also knew that when that day came, the possibility of miracles would decrease. You can’t straddle the fence and experience the fullness of God. You’re either in God’s Kingdom or you’re out. When Christian people get complacent they undo what God has done for them. Accordingly, the assumption of wealth and security turns into despair once God’s grace is lifted.

The Western Church is famous for talking about power. We know what the Bible says and can claim it for our lives but unless we are willing to pay the price of dedication to God’s Kingdom we’ll remain powerless. Something changes in a ministry when people become passionate about God. What once seemed difficult becomes easy. Where there once were obstacles, the favor of God becomes prevalent. The impossible becomes possible where God locates total obedience.

2 Kings 4:1-7 - Now there cried a certain woman of the wives of the sons of the prophets unto Elisha, saying, Thy servant my husband is dead; and thou knowest that thy servant did fear the Lord: and the creditor is come to take unto him my two sons to be bondmen. And Elisha said unto her, What shall I do for thee? tell me, what hast thou in the house? And she said, Thine handmaid hath not any thing in the house, save a pot of oil. Then he said, Go, borrow thee vessels abroad of all thy neighbours, even empty vessels; borrow not a few. And when thou art come in, thou shalt shut the door upon thee and upon thy sons, and shalt pour out into all those vessels, and thou shalt set aside that which is full. So she went from him, and shut the door upon her and upon her sons, who brought the vessels to her; and she poured out. And it came to pass, when the vessels were full, that she said unto her son, Bring me yet a vessel. And he said unto her, There is not a vessel more. And the oil stayed. Then she came and told the man of God. And he said, Go, sell the oil, and pay thy debt, and live thou and thy children of the rest.

Elisha told the woman to borrow as many vessels as possible, close the door and fill them with oil. The point I want to make is that the miracle extended to the number of available vessels. As long as there were vessels available, there was a miracle to fill them. Accordingly, if King Joash in 2 Kings 13 had any idea of this miracle he would have known the importance of enthusiastic obedience. As many times as he would have hit the ground with arrows in obedience to the prophet, God would have shown him favor.

The woman could have borrowed two vessels and God would have given her a miracle fit for two. She could have borrowed fifty vessels and her miracle would have been fit for fifty. The oil only stopped when the capacity to receive it was exhausted. Now relate that to your own life. If God says He will increase your life in a particular area, how have you set up the infrastructure to receive it? Do you know that even if He does more than you can handle, you can only benefit from what you can handle?

The possible miracles in your life end when you can’t receive any more. God loves you enough to know when to stop doing something that could possibly destroy your life. Your inability to handle money limits God’s ability to give more to you. Your inability to handle relationships limits the people God can bring into your life. Your inability to be an effective leader puts a glass ceiling over your own advancement. Your need for character development can slow down the time of your progress. It’s not God holding you back from anything, it’s your inability to receive.

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