Wednesday, June 30, 2010

As Much As Necessary


How are we to deal with repetitive sin? What are we to do with that one sin we keep committing? Are we to just sum it up as human nature and give into it every time, or is there a way to finally overcome it and get on with life free of the pressures?

"Oh, come on!!" you may say, "Ive dealt with this my whole life and I cant do it!! You have no idea what it is like. You dont deal with the things I do!"

That may be so, but this will work in all situations that deal with whatever sin you may give in to.

Read: II Kings 13:14-19

14 Now Elisha was suffering from the illness from which he died. Jehoash king of Israel went down to see him and wept over him. "My father! My father!" he cried. "The chariots and horsemen of Israel!"

15 Elisha said, "Get a bow and some arrows," and he did so. 16 "Take the bow in your hands," he said to the king of Israel. When he had taken it, Elisha put his hands on the king's hands.

17 "Open the east window," he said, and he opened it. "Shoot!" Elisha said, and he shot. "The LORD's arrow of victory, the arrow of victory over Aram!" Elisha declared. "You will completely destroy the Arameans at Aphek."

18 Then he said, "Take the arrows," and the king took them. Elisha told him, "Strike the ground." He struck it three times and stopped. 19 The man of God was angry with him and said, "You should have struck the ground five or six times; then you would have defeated Aram and completely destroyed it. But now you will defeat it only three times."

Elisha was a prophet of the Lord. He had succeeded Elijah and was the "prophet in Israel". God used him to perform many miracles and to help Israel keep close to the Lord. Kings sought his counsel, especially in time of war, or when war was approaching. Elisha was nearing the end of his life as we enter II Kings 13. On his death bed he still was giving instructions and help to Jehoash.

Jehoash is concened about his enemies. Now that Elisha was dieing, his fears of not having him around are becoming evident. Elisha gets up the strength to give his king one final instruction. Telling him to get a bow and arrow and fire a shot out the window. Signifying Gods sure and true victory in that battle at Aphek.

Okay, lets understand something about shooting a bow and arrow. When an archer shoots an arrow, as he pulls back the string, he must aim at his target. He marks the spot he wants to hit, completely focuses on it, never take his eyes off of it, and then releases his arrow. If he loses focus he may miss the target. And complete focus hits his mark, and victory.

Elishas next instruction was not to fire an arrow but to strike the ground with the arrow. I suppose in his confusion, or perhaps his haste he only hits the ground three times. Elisha points this out and tells Jehoash that he should have hit the ground five or six times. Thus only giving him partial victory against Aram.

First we need to identify what the battle is. In Jehoash's case it was the Arameans. Constant battles with one enemy. Aphek was just one of them. But he identified his enemy as Aram. He grabbed the bow and arrow and fired out the window to the east. Jehoash identified his problem. As we must do. We must identify the problem and focus on it. If you do not concentrate on the issue you do not want in your life, your heart will not be in it completely. And if you attempt to try and defeat it without total focus, you will not succeed. Isnt it ironic that sinning in its original form means missing the mark.

Once we identify our sin, which is the easy part, we must then figure out what needs to be done to battle it. Jehoash did not understand. Thus he did not strike the ground wholeheartedly. If he had, then he would have hit the ground more than the three times he did. When we identify our sin, we then need to strike the ground to give us victory over it. We may need to strike it more than once, more than three times. We may need to even strike it down five or six times. Deal with it till its defeated. To do what is needed as much as necessary.

Remember, satan wants us to fail. He wants us to stay where we are at. He wants us to put up with that sin and to allow it to remain in our life. Its his way of keeping that control over us, by giving himself a foothold into your subconscious with the guilt and shame. Telling you, "You will never be good enough. You will never overcome your sin. Who are you anyway, you worthless sinner. God could never love you, he could never help you. Your stuck. Just live with it. Remember Paul, he had a tormentor, God allowed it. How are you better than Paul?" His idea is for us to take our eyes off of the target by distracting us with his lies. He wants to knock us down and keep us down. Wallowing in self pity and regret.

Toby Mac has an awesome song out right now. "Get Back Up". Thats what we need to do. Get back up. No matter what, no matter how many times. Pick yourself up off the floor, dust yourself off, and continue on. Strike the ground as many times and we need to. Dont go about it half halfheartedly. You may be need to defeat it once, it may take more than that...twice, three times, maybe five or six....maybe ten or twelve. Point is what you need to do as many times as you need to.

The best part is we can do it!! God has given us the strength to deal with it.

Read I Corinthians 10:13

13.No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it.

When you are tempted to commit that sin, there is a way out. Each sin has its own out. Each person has their own out. God places the way there for you to take. Its your job to recognize it and use it. See the way out, take it, and resist the devils temptations. Know that it is not impossible for your to resist.

Read James 4:7

7.Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.

It does not say he may flee, or he could consider fleeing...HE WILL FLEE!!

Keep in mind that this is not a one time thing. It is a process. And God will be there every step of the way. To keep you standing, or to help you up again if you do give in. Every time.

9.If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.

Just as we need to keep on striking it down, God is there for us when do give in. He loves us an will forgive us. Just keep on going and keep on striking it down .

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