Summary: Elisha put his hands on the King's and said "Shoot!" Then the King banged the arrows, but only 3X. God gave him the opportunity for complete spiritual victory, but the King was only halfway committed. We must make a 100% dedication if we want God's best!
“STRIKE THE IRON WHILE IT’S HOT!”
2 Kgs. 13:15-19
A. HUMOR: MISTAKEN FOR GOD
1. A nurse wrote in Reader’s Digest that she works in a hospital’s children’s ward. “One night I was at the nurse’s station when I heard a little boy in his room talking to himself.
2. He kept the chatter up for some time. Finally, I got on the intercom and said softly but firmly, “All right Johnny, it’s time to go to sleep now!”
3. There was quiet in the room and then he said, “Ok, God, I will.” I didn’t hear a peep from him until morning.” [J.C.] Sometimes God can use a little human help!
Elisha said, “Get a bow and some arrows,” and he did so. 16 “Take the bow in your hands,” he said to the king of Israel. When he had taken it, Elisha put his hands on the king's hands. 17 “Open the east window,” he said, and he opened it. “Shoot!” Elisha said, and he shot. “The LORD's arrow of victory, the arrow of victory over Aram!”....18 Then he said, “Take the arrows,” and the king took them. Elisha told him, “Strike the ground.” He struck it three times and stopped. 19 The man of God was angry with him and said, “You should have struck the ground five or six times; then you would have defeated Aram and completely destroyed it. But now you will defeat it only three times” 2 Kgs. 13:15-19.
1. The title of this message is “Strike the Iron While it’s Hot!” Iron can only be bent or molded when it’s been heated to extreme temperatures. This alludes to the fact that change isn’t possible in every season, so we must be spiritually prepared, watch carefully, and take action as soon as we see the signs of opportunity.
2. In today’s text, Elisha undertakes 4 actions in the spiritual realm that lead to victory:
I. CALLS FOR WARFARE WITH THE ENEMY
Taking the BOWS & ARROWS signifies WARFARE WITH THE ENEMY. We’re at war with the kingdom of darkness. At least this King knew there was a war going on!
A. WHO THE ENEMY IS
1. You might think the enemy is your boss, your mother-in-law, your parents, your teenager, your spouse, or the police. But Paul tells us who the real enemy is; “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms” Eph. 6:12.
2. Billy Graham once said, “Much of church warfare is fought by blind-folded soldiers, who can’t see the forces against them, who are buffeted by invisible opponents so they respond by striking at each other.”
3. Kind of like the guy who had too much to drink and he was driving – and he turned onto a one-way street going the wrong direction. A policeman pulled him over and said, “Hey, what are you doing? You could’ve killed yourself and someone else. Didn’t you see the one-way arrows back there?” The man responded, “Arrows? I didn’t even see the Indians!”
4. Church, it’s high time we stop sounding the retreat and start shouting “charge”! Instead of the devil taking it to us, we should be taking it to the devil!
B. 3 DIFF. LEVELS OF SPIRITUAL WARFARE
1. THE BATTLE WITHIN
a. Rom. 7:23; “…but I see another law at work in the members of my body, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within my members.”
b. The first battle that we must win is the Battle within. A house divided against itself cannot stand. Nor can we be effective as Christians if we haven’t conquered our fallen human nature inside – our tendency to sin.
2. OUTWARD BATTLE WITH OTHER HUMANS. Many times our friends, loved ones, or people we’re associated with will stand in opposition to the gospel, or truth, and we must recognize they may be tools of the enemy.
3. INVISIBLE SPIRITUAL FORCES. Lastly, are the invisible spiritual forces allied with Satan. Our greatest weapon against them is prayer. God promises, “No weapon formed against you shall prosper!” Jesus said, “All power is given to ME in heaven and in earth!” Praise God! We’re on the winning side!
II. THE ANOINTING OF THE SPIRIT
A. Notice ELISHA’S HANDS ON THE KING’S HANDS
1. This symbolizes God’s miraculous assistance made available to us; the anointing of God coming on humans.
2. Ezekiel said, “The hand of the Lord was upon me!” (3:22). This is a reference to God’s presence. God wants to put His hands on you and empower you to go to a new level you couldn’t possibly reach in your own power.