We all know that three strikes = an out.
In 2 Kings 13:1-19, we find a fascinating story in the Bible
in which three strikes are used.
King Joash began his reign as a godly little 7-year-old who had been raised by the priest Jehoida. For most of Joash’s life, he did what was pleasing in the Lord’s sight. It wasn’t hard, because he had his very own priest guiding him.
But the end of Joash’s reign didn’t end so well.
Joash (also known as Jehoash) visited the prophet Elisha to inquire about Israel’s future. Elisha told him to shoot an arrow to the east indicating victory over the Syrians.
Then Elisha told him to take his arrows and strike the ground.
King Joash struck the ground three times, then he stopped.
Elisha rebuked him: “You should have struck the ground five or six times!” he exclaimed. “Then you would have beaten Aram until it was entirely destroyed. Now you will be victorious only three times.”
King Joash limited himself.
When we make the same mistake—by stopping too soon—two things happen:
1. Our Spiritual Growth Is Stunted
We settle for less than God desires.
It’s easy to become complacent and indifferent in our relationship with the Lord. We aim too low spiritually.
It becomes easy to place our spiritual lives in survival mode
instead of moving in dynamic spiritual growth.
2. The Mission of Christ Is Limited Through Us
The enemies of God (Moabites) would soon invade Israel after this event. When we stop too soon, we can cause the church (God’s people) to move backward instead of forward.
Israel would now begin to worship idols again.
God’s people would spiritually deteriorate.
Guess who NEVER stops too soon?
He is relentless.
He is always working overtime to thwart God’s people
and God’s plans.
Though Joash had been mentored spiritually by godly Jehoida,
after the priest’s death, Joash turned to idol worship.
When Jehoida’s son tried to get King Joash back on the right path, Joash sentenced him to death by stoning him.
Without God’s support, Joash didn’t have the military success he once had, and he was seriously wounded in battle when defeated by Syria. Not long afterward, King Joash was assassinated in his own bed by three of his officials.
Let’s not make the mistake of taking a wrong turn off of the narrow road that Jesus describes in Matthew 7:14.
Let’s determine together to be diligent!
God is looking for disciples who refuse to give up,
who will go the extra mile,
and who will live with a faith that moves mountains.
Will you join me in answering this call?
This weekend (in Temple, TX) is my last time to speak this year—
not by choice . . . but simply because churches don’t tend to
schedule extra events during the Thanksgiving and Christmas season.
Though I’m looking forward to a much-needed break,
I’m not excited about no income coming in during the next month.
The Christmas season can be a tough time for evangelists.
Will you pray for me?
If God prompts you to donate to the ministry He had entrusted me,
I can send you a tax-donation receipt, because I’m a 501 C-3.
Susie Shellenberger Ministries
3128 N. Timber Avenue
Bethany, OK 73008