“Take the arrows. . . . Strike the ground.” He struck it three times and stopped. The man of God was angry with him and said, “You should have struck the ground five or six times.” (2 Kings 13: 18– 19)
How striking and powerful is the message of these words! Jehoash, king of Israel, thought he had done quite well when he struck the ground “three times and stopped.” To him, it seemed to be an extraordinary act of his faith, but the Lord and the prophet Elisha were deeply disappointed, because he had stopped halfway.
Yes, he did receive something; in fact, he received a great deal— exactly what he had believed God for, in the final analysis. Yet Jehoash did not receive everything that Elisha meant for him to have or that the Lord wanted to bestow on him. He missed much of the meaning of the promise, and the fullness of the blessing. He did receive more than any human could have offered, but he did not receive God’s best.
Dear believer, how sobering is the truth of this story! How important it is for us to learn to pray through our circumstances and to fully examine our hearts with God’s message to us! Otherwise, we will never claim all the fullness of His promise or all the possibilities that believing prayer offers.
~A. B. Simpson
To him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory. Ephesians 3: 20– 21
In no other place does the apostle Paul use these seemingly redundant words: “immeasurably more than all.” Each word is packed with God’s infinite love and power “to do” for His praying believers. Yet there is the following limitation: “according to his power that is at work within us.” He will only do as much for us as we will allow Him to do in us. The same power that saved us, washed us with His blood, filled us with the power of His Holy Spirit, and protected us through numerous temptations will work for us to meet every emergency, every crisis, every circumstance, and every adversary.
Cowman, L. B. E.; Reimann, Jim (2008-09-09). Streams in the Desert: 366 Daily Devotional Readings (pp. 439-440). Zondervan. Kindle Edition.