I’m a details kind of girl. In fact, the more details I get, the safer I feel. Especially if you ask me to do something for you. I’m not a mind reader, after all, so the more information the better. And you can’t expect me to do it the way you want it unless you tell me exactly how you want me to do it.
Details are the only way I can really know we’re on the same page. That I’m totally understanding what you’re thinking.
Details are lovely, aren’t they?
In 2 Kings 13:14-18, we see that Elisha was ready to move to heaven, and King Jehoash went to see him. Elisha gives him one last prophecy. A prophecy that required a response. And it was kind of bizarre.
“Get a bow and some arrows. Open the Eastern window. Shoot! Now pick up the other arrows and strike the ground with them.”
Hmmm….I wonder what was going through Jehoash’s mind. “Shoot? Well, it’s weird, but okay! Strike the ground? Here goes nothing.”
Elisha didn’t give him details. Shoot and strike the ground. There was no reason why until after he shot the arrow. There was no detail listed of how many times to strike the ground. Just shoot and strike.
So Jehoash did it 3 times. ONLY three times. And I say “ONLY three times” because I’ve already read the rest of the story, and I know he gets in trouble for ONLY doing it three times.
“You should have done it 5 or 6 times, and then God would have completely destroyed your enemy. But….now you’ll only have a little victory.”
What? How was I supposed to know? That’s what I would have been thinking.
The whole thing seems a kind of bizarre, don’t you think?
Then I think to myself, “Is that really fair? I mean honestly, there weren’t any detailed instructions. How can he expect Jehoash to know how many times to strike the ground if he doesn’t tell him? I thought 3 times was pretty good. Would I have done it three times? Not likely. I’d have probably only done it once. Boy would I have REALLY been in trouble.”
Why only once? Why only three times? Were they alone? Did he feel funny doing something so bizarre? Was it pride? “Okay – enough. I probably look really stupid. What if someone sees me? Do I look crazy to you? I am the king, after all. I need to remain dignified.”
Two thoughts to wrap this up:
- Go above and beyond
If God says to do something, don’t do just enough to get by. Go crazy. Do it big. Be extravagant with your obedience. Jehoash wasn’t extravagant in his, and he didn’t get an extravagant answer. He had victory, yes, but not complete and utter annihilation of his enemies. God is an extravagant God….so we need to be extravagant obey-ers. Go big or go home. Selah —
- Be okay with looking crazy
He’s going to ask you to do things that seem bizarre. Don’t give in to, “Do I look crazy to you?” Who cares what anyone thinks anyway. And…..if you read through the Bible, you’ll notice that almost all of the miracles had some strange obedience tied to it. But the reward was worth looking crazy.
Gideon: Attack this giant army with 300 people. And oh, by the way, take lanterns and trumpets and make lots of noise so they can see you and will know just how few of you there are. Bizarre, right? But he had victory.
Moses: Hold up this stick and the Red Sea will part. What? But he did and it parted.
Naaman: Dip in the river 7 times and my leprosy will be gone? Do I look crazy to you?
Paul. Go to the Street called Straight and you’ll get more direction. “Why? I’m right here. We’re already having a conversation. Can’t You just tell me now? That doesn’t make any sense.”
I could go on and on and on.
Most times, extravagant blessing will require an extravagant obedience. And almost always that obedience will look bizarre to you and those around you.
Tithe? I don’t get it. You give how much of your income away? 10% and more? What? Why? Weird!
You sing and lift your hands and dance and shout? In church? Cray-cray!
You’re spending how many thousands of dollars to go on a mission trip? Why would you do that?
Now, understand this. Salvation is NOT dependent on this obedience. Salvation is through grace and grace alone. But extravagant blessings? Miracles? The pattern all throughout the Word is that they’re preceded by extravagant obedience.
What if Moses hadn’t held up the staff over the Red Sea? Ummm….it wouldn’t have split. If Noah hadn’t built the ark? He and his family would have drowned. What if Naaman hadn’t dipped 7 times? He would never have been healed.
You get the picture.
So how many times would you have struck the ground with the arrows? Before today, I would have said one. But now…….I think I’d go crazy with it. I would strike and strike and strike until the prophet said, “Okay! That’s enough! You can stop now!”
And then I would do it one more time just for good measure.
What bizarre thing is He asking you to do? Give? Speak? Pray?
Do it and do it bigger than you first thought. Go crazy with it. Don’t worry about looking bizarre. Obey extravagantly. Trust Him extravagantly. And see what He does.