Thursday, November 20, 2014

Is my faith 'active'?

In 2 Kings 3 we read a story of 3 kings, only 1 of which was actually serving God. However, when they found themselves in need, they turned to God for direction and help because of the godly king.

This is a story of faith. When the armies of these kings were in need of water they cried out to God for help and they hoped they would get a direct answer from God, so they turned to God's prophet, Elisha. Elisha looked straight at the king of Israel who was NOT serving God or following God and told him that if it were NOT for his regard for the king of Judah that he would not even look at him. The faith of the king of Judah led them to seek out the prophet and the faith of the king of Judah was the spurring reason for the Prophet to help these kings and their armies.

The underlying issue was a desperate need for water and I can only presume that these kings (and the men of the armies) had hoped that God would lead them to a natural water source or make it rain. But what God said through the Prophet was probably hard to hear... I really love the KJV translation here as God instructs Elisha to tell the kings and their armies to "dig ditches" and God was going to fill them with water. Can you imagine the disappointment in the hearts of those who were not followers of God? They were looking for the flash-bang miracle and God told them to dig ditches... I can hear the grumbling and complaining now.

How often do we call on God for a miracle and God instructs to get ready for the miracle by doing something to get ready... We think, "God I just want the miracle, why must I do this?"

In the movie "Facing the Giants" the Headmaster of the school/pastor of the church was prayer walking one day when the coach approached him in the hallway. The coach was at his wits end, he had prayed and believed he had given it to God but was not seeing God move. The wise pastor told a story of 2 farmers who were praying for rain. One sat on his porch crying out to God for rain, while the other went out into his fields and got them ready for the rain... "Which farmer do you think was ready FOR the rain when it came?" is the question the pastor asked of the coach.

The point here is that faith is not a passive activity but it is a matter of action. When we cry out to God for revival, we must not sit back and wait for that 'rushing mighty wind' to blow through our fellowship! The Apostles were not inactive when told to go to Jerusalem and wait on the Holy Spirit... they began a prayer vigil that ended on the great day of Pentecost when the 'rushing mighty wind' came roaring thru and the church was born! When we cry out for a miracle from God we must listen for His instruction on what He wants us to do... it may seem trivial or disconnected in our minds, but it is for a reason.

These kings submitted to the requirement God gave them and they dug ditches all over the valley where they were encamped and in the morning God's miracle was evident as water filled every ditch that was dug... this provides us with both joy and disappointment!

It provides us with JOY because God has delivered and the miracle has come through... but we are disappointed in the matter that we did not dig MORE ditches... when God calls us to work for Him we should do it with gusto and vigor and then we won't be disappointed!

These kings, because of God's intervention were victorious... but what we learn from this is that faith is not inactivity until God comes thru... faith is moving ahead in God's timing direction until we experience the miracle...

Do you have faith today? Are you listening to God for what He is instructing you to do? As a church we are searching for and asking for a miracle from God for our fellowship... but let me ask you, what are you doing about it? God has set the path and direction, but what are you doing? Well Pastor I don't know what to do... you haven't told us what to do. Let me answer that by pointing out an illustration from Scripture. When Peter was arrested and the church was frightened and afraid for Peter and themselves, they had NO plan of action, no clear cut 'thing' to do. So what did they do? They gathered together and prayed!

My dear brothers and sisters, we must gather together and pray for what God desires of us. We meet on Sat mornings at 8am and Sun mornings at 8:45am in addition to our Wed evening prayer time. We should be meeting with one another to pray? Has your SS class set up a time to gather and pray? Until we have clear direction for action from God our 'job' here is to pray and be ready when God does answer. Let us begin to pray like we have never prayed before! Our fervent prayer will be the vehicle through which God will open the gates of heaven and flood us with the miracle we are seeking! Let us pray!

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