A Surprise Test of Our Faith
If only our test of faithfulness were preceded by a loud warning buzzer and a bright flashing neon sign, we'd always be faithful. But our faithfulness is tested when we least expect it, just as it was for King Jehoash in 2 Kings 13.
Elisha was on his deathbed when the king came to him weeping. Would Israel still be victorious with the prophet gone? Elisha wanted to assure the king of Israel that he could still win victories with the Lord's help. Together they shot an arrow out the window. "You will completely destroy the Arameans at Apheck," promised Elisha.
Elisha had offered the king a promise, but the king had to claim it through an act of his own. Elisha asked the king to take some arrows and strike the ground. Just how zealous was the king? Was it a do-or-die situation? The king half-heartedly struck the ground three times and stopped.
Elisha was angry. "You should have struck the ground five or six times; then you would have completely destroyed Aram." His lack of effort told Elisha of his lack of faith.
Faithfulness is being able to say with Paul, "I was not disobedient to the heavenly vision." We first must receive a vision-a flash of insight, a God-given desire-then we must be faithful to that.
Our zeal, perseverance, and faithfulness are often shown by small actions we don't see as important.
Perhaps we are too much like the king. We fail to strike out unbelief because of a nonchalant, "Oh, it really doesn't matter if I skip devotions today." But faithfulness does matter.
Dear Lord, teach me your definition of faithfulness for my prayer life.
"To the faithful you show yourself faithful" (Ps. 18:25).