Summary: Break out of the rut that is sapping you of your hope and life. Learn the powerful principle of digging ditches in the middle of your dry place.
“WHEN YOU FIND YOURSELF IN A RUT, DIG A DITCH”
INTRO:1.Let’s first take a look at the background of this event.
a)Israel had become a divided nation.
b)King Jehosaphat ruled Judah - a righteous King.
c)King Joram ruled Israel - Son of Ahab and Jezebel, an idolatrous king.
d)Together they had made an alliance to strike their enemy the Moabites and recruit the King of Edom in their venture.
2.After wandering in the desert for seven days they discovered that they were in a rut.
3.A RUT is a condition where we find ourselves in a fixed routine or pattern that is difficult to break out of.
a)Usually developed over time. (Seven days, maybe didn’t at first see as a crises)
b)Can develop even in our most honorable endeavors.
c)Cannot be prevented even with the most clever plan. (Jehosaphat’s plan)
d)Will drain us of our energies, enthusiasm and our hope.
e)Will bind us to an ineffective lifestyle and eventually bring destruction.
4.No area of our lives are safe from ruts.
a)Our marriage, our finances, our careers, and especially our spiritual life.
5.Notice some reasons why these Kings had fallen into a rut.
a)Because of their own foolishness.
b)Because they had exhausted all of their physical resources.
(Relied on the physical to refresh and restore them)
c)Because they had failed to ask God’s counsel before now.
6.But Elisha the prophet of God was there to bring the answer - God likes to plant the answer in our lives before the problem ever comes our way - His answer was “Make this valley full of ditches.”
7.The principle of digging ditches in our lives is simply making room for God’s provision in our circumstances.
I.WE MUST KNOW HOW TO DIG THESE DITCHES
a.When the Kings approached Elisha he didn’t mince words.
b.Elisha let Joram know that God has no obligation to provide for those who have made no room for God in their lives - "Go to your prophets!"
c.God was specific in his conditions for provision.
A.FILL OUR LIVES FULL OF DITCHES.
1.Elisha prophesied in the power of the Spirit, fill this valley full of ditches.
2.God didn’t lead them to a dried river bank and said wait— he said “Dig!”
3.Not just one ditch, but fill this valley with ditches.
4.We need to provide a place for God in every area of our lives.
5.We’re digging ditches when we clear a space for him in the details of our lives.
a.Marriages, Home, Time, Finances, Future, Religion.
6.We’re digging ditches when we open an opportunity for Him to move.
7.We’re digging ditches when we make sacrifices in our lives for him.
a.This project would expend what these soldiers needed most - their strength.
8.We’re digging ditches when we empty ourselves to be filled.
B.DIG AS DEEP AS YOU WANT TO RECEIVE.
1.God fills the empty vessels we offer him to the brim.
2.These ditches would be full and overflowing in the morning.
3.ILL. Ask the Widow with the empty jars, the oil kept flowing until all the empty jars were filled.
4.ILL. Ask the servants at the Wedding Feast in Cana, they were instructed to fill all of the water pots to the brim.
5.The more we allow God in our lives, the fuller our lives will become.
II.WE MUST KNOW WHERE TO DIG OUR DITCHES
a.Elisha was clear in his prophesy of where these ditches where to be dug.
b.The children of Israel wasn’t to wait until times got better they where to dig right where they were.
c.When we find ourselves in the ruts of life it’s there we need to dig God a place a place to fill.
A.DIG IN THE MIDST OF YOUR VALLEY.
1.This was definitely a valley experience for them - dark and discouraging.
2.When things are too dark to see, make room for Jesus.
3.ILL. Paul and Silas, in the darkness of a jail cell with bleeding whipped backs, decided to make God a place in that cell, by singing and praising him.
4.David said that in the “valley of the shadow of death”, I’ve made a place for him.
5.We can be like Joam and blame God for our valley experience, or we can invite God into our valley experiences.
B.DIG IN THE MIDST OF YOUR DESERT.
1.These soldiers were hot, tired, their lips were parched by the desert sun - not exactly the perfect conditions to feel spiritual.
2.There are desert times in our lives, when spiritually God seems so far away, and your soul seems so dry and lifeless - it’s time to dig a ditch.
3.It’s such times that we need a ditch in our schedule, room for God to restore our soul.
4.Dig a ditch in your personal time for time with God, He’s waiting to feel that time with His presence.