measuring the distanceThis past weekend my pastor, Dr. Dennis Brunet, preached from 2 Kings 13:14-21 and titled his message, “The Danger of A Small Commitment.” While commenting on King Joash’s actions, Brother Dennis said, “God let us measure the distance of your victory.” That stunned me for a number of reasons that I’ll share in a moment, but I want to first look at two verses:

    “Then he said, ‘Take the arrows’; so he took them. And he said to the king of Israel, ‘Strike the ground’; so he struck three times, and stopped. And the man of God was angry with him, and said, ‘You should have struck five or six times; then you would have struck Syria till you had destroyed it! But now you will strike Syria only three times.’” (2 Kings 14:18-19)

When the Prophet Elisha told King Joash to strike the ground with his arrows, he meant for him to shoot them, which Joash did. However, he only shot three arrows instead of what was in his quiver. Elisha was angry with Joash because he had lost an opportunity for total victory because this king was not sold out to God. He was riding the fence of a comfortable Christianity.

When I get to heaven I will no doubt be saddened to learn of all my lost opportunities. How often do we limit the lengths of our Christian maturity? Do I miss the harvest because I was too busy enjoying “the good life” instead of being about my father’s work?

    “The harvest is past, the summer is ended, and we are not saved!” (Jeremiah 8:20)

God has given me spiritual gifts and natural talents to help further His kingdom here on earth and too often I bury it in the ground so as not to squander it. Instead of investing my talents and time in helping spread the gospel of Jesus Christ, I waste it on petty actions that might bring attention to myself or make a point in a debate, and yet when the day is done I still have only one talent:

    “Then he who had received the one talent came and said, ‘Lord, I knew you to be a hard man, reaping where you have not sown, and gathering where you have not scattered seed. And I was afraid, and went and hid your talent in the ground. Look, there you have what is yours.’” (Matthew 25:24-25)

How many people have not come to Christ because you and I did not take the opportunity to witness to them about Jesus? We come up with convenient excuses such as afraid I’d come across to preachy or I didn’t want to upset the family. Or how about my favorite one I hear Christians use? I let my life be a witness for Christ. Really? Let me ask you a question: how many Christians have ever come up to you and said, “I gave my life to Christ because of the way you live your life”? What’s that? Yeah, me neither.

How many of our Jerusalems has Jesus wept over because we refused to take two to three minutes and share the gospel?

    “Now as He drew near, He saw the city and wept over it, saying, ‘If you had known, even you, especially in this your day, the things that make for your peace! But now they are hidden from your eyes.’” (Luke 19:41-42)

Lord Jesus forgive me for all those whose eyes have been hidden from your peace because I refused to share You with them!

Beloved, we have a responsibility to be salt and light in our homes, our churches, our communities, and in civic affairs. We have not because we ask not and when we do we ask amiss (see James 1). When we turn our backs on the opportunities that God orchestrates for each of our lives, then we reject the hand of God and it is to our demise we do so:

    “Because I have called and you refused, I have stretched out my hand and no one regarded, because you disdained all my counsel, and would have none of my rebuke, I also will laugh at your calamity; I will mock when your terror comes, when your terror comes like a storm, and your destruction comes like a whirlwind, when distress and anguish come upon you.” (Proverbs 1:24-27)

So how far have you gone in your victory in Christ? The answer lies in the distance you’ve measure out for yourself. Do you want to go far? Then set your sights beyond your horizons, allow Jesus to be the grace in your feet and the faith in your eyes.

In Christ
Ps. 37:4

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    Copyright © 2014 David Jeffers


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