Steven Furtick takes a puzzling passage of Scripture and offers a surprising application. The passage is 2 Kings 13:17b-19, when Elisha is speaking to King Joash of Israel:
“For you shall fight the Syrians in Aphek until you have made an end of them.” And he said, “Take the arrows,” and he took them. And he struck three times and stopped. Then the man of God was angry with him and said, “You should have struck five or six times; then you would have struck down Syria until you had made an end of it, but now you will strike down Syria only three times.”
Often we look at this passage and wonder what in the world was going on. Why does it seem Joash is being punished for information he didn’t have? Furtick proposes that perhaps Joash did know the significance of what he was being instructed to do. In fact, what if Joash knew every victory he would win meant another battle he would have to fight? Could this explain his timidity?
This is where Furtick turns to practical application: “God didn’t raise you up to survive the world. He raised you up to change the world through the power of the movement of his church.” Furtick implies that simply surviving the world would be squeezing by with a win in battle. But what if God intended to let us play a role in totally demolishing the enemy?
“Most of you want to do the will of God, but how much victory do you want? How much legacy do you want to leave?”
“I know you’re doing pretty good. I know you’re doing all right in your ministry. I know you’re going to heaven when you die.” He leaves us with this question: What if God is asking us how much victory we want?