Has this Coronavirus chaos changed your prayer life any? Do you find yourself praying before you go into a store? My parents are both 77 years old and I pray for them to stay healthy. Often our needs drive us to pray more and that’s a good thing. Our needs become a blessing when it makes us depend on God. Often God will allow us to have needs that cannot be met in anyone but Him so that we will seek Him.
In our story of 2 Kings 3: 16-17, we see three kings with their armies in the desert without water. They go to Elisha who hears from the Lord this message: “Make this valley full of ditches.”
Do you really think that the God of the universe needed these guys out there digging a ditch? No! God could provide water in any way He wants. God could say: “Lake! River! Pond!” and water was there. He didn’t need them to do that. But instead, he is saying, “You show me your faith and I’ll show you my faithfulness. God loves to see our faith! All through the New Testament we’ll see “When Jesus saw their faith.” How do we see faith? We see faith in action. When Peter was in a boat in a storm and said, “Jesus, if that’s you, tell me to come and I’ll come.” And Jesus said, “Come,” what did Peter do? He got out of boat! That’s when you see faith. For the other 11 guys, you didn’t see any faith. I believe there are many times when God wants to see us participate in his miracle.
In the New Testament, there’s a guy with a withered hand. What does Jesus say to him? “Stretch out your hand.” Jesus could have healed the man on the spot, but instead he said, “I’m going to heal you but I want to see your faith to stretch out your hand.” Another time there man paralyzed his whole life. Jesus looks at him and says, “get up, pick up your bed and walk.” I’m going to heal you but I’m not going to pick you or your bed up. I want to see you have the faith to believe that what I said was true. Get up. Only God can send the water but sometimes he wants you to dig a ditch.
There was a guy who was blind from birth and Jesus goes up and picks up some dirt and he spits in it, then he rubs it, makes mud and puts it on the guy’s eyes. Jesus says, “Go wash your eyes in the pool of Siloam. In other words, “I’m going to do my part, I want to see you do yours. You show me your faith, I’ll show you my faithfulness.” “Without faith, it is impossible to please God.”
I believe there are too many people waiting for God to show them His faithfulness but they’re not showing God any faith. We must take a step of faith. If we want to heal a relationship that’s gone bad, we will have to forgive before someone else even asked for forgiveness. Treat someone with love when they are being a jerk. What’s that? You’re digging a ditch.
If we say, “I want my kids to serve Jesus and be strong Christians.” Open up the bible in your own home. Share God’s word with your kids. Pray with your kids. Be a godly parent. That’s digging a ditch.
People say, “I want more money; church people say this and yet, they do not tithe. God gives us crazy principal to the human mind. If we give him our first and our best, he will bless the rest. And those of us who are tithers, we know that with the supernatural power of God: 90 percent with his blessings goes further than the 100 percent without! It is crazy, but it is true. What are we doing? We’re digging a ditch. When you feel like you need more, you’re actually giving unto God and you watch as he proves himself faithful. Only God can send the water but he wants us to dig a ditch.
Someone may be praying, “send me the ideal spouse.” That’s a great prayer! But maybe before God sends you the ideal spouse, He wants you to Be the ideal spouse. Start digging by growing spiritually, working out, eating right, get a good job, comb your hair. Only God can send the water but sometimes he wants you to dig a ditch.
The second principal in this story is this: Real faith believes big but is willing to start small. I know too many people who call themselves Christ followers that are not thinking big enough. We serve a God who can do exceedingly and abundantly more than all you can ask, think or imagine. It’s time to think big. We serve that big of a god.
I know just as many who won’t think big and yet at the same time, they are not willing to start small. Think about this: How do you dig a ditch? If you’re in the 9th century BC, how do you dig a ditch? You take a shovel one load of dirt at a time. What do you do? You start small. Zechariah 4:10 says, “Do not despise these small beginnings for the Lord rejoices to see the work begin.” We have to start small with a big vision.
I love the faith of a member of our church named Leilani. She wanted to feed the homeless people in Austin. She started with a few sandwiches just her and her husband going to downtown Austin. Then she opened it up as a Ministry Team called “Blessing Bags” at our church and people from all locations come and they pack over 450 sack lunches, bags of toiletries, clothes, and bibles bags for the homeless in Austin twice a month. She started small but it grew!
Our church started small, no land, no building, no members just 8 people in our living room. Now we have three pieces of property for ministry in three cities with hundreds that call us their church.
Let’s think big but be willing to start small because only God can send the water but he wants you to dig the ditches. Say, “God, I believe you can.” And then you start where you are.
God loves when we participate in his miracles when he can see our faith because faith without works is dead. 2 Kings 3:20 says this: “The next morning about the time for the offering of the sacrifice” — After they faithfully dug the ditches, the bible says, “… the land was filled with water.” Only God can send the water but sometimes he wants you to dig a ditch.
Some of you, right now, you’ve got a significant need in your life, and you think, “If only, If only God would meet that. Our biggest need can become our biggest blessing when it drives us to depend on God. I pray for us to think big, but start small. I pray that we will dig the ditch believing that God will send the water.
Excellent message! Thank you for such good word pictures and practical explanations. You have made a scripture and scripture principles come alive.
And I hadn’t even been aware that particular scripture. I am now! Thank you.
Thanks! I appreciate your encouraging words. I’m glad you enjoyed it.