Do You Want a Cure

Do you want a cure for instability?
The cure is… don’t be double-minded.

Such a person is double-minded and unstable in all they do.
[James 1:8]

Allow me to explain my theory by using an Old Testament story.
This story is in 2 Kings chapter 13.
In this story Elisha the prophet is visited by the king of Israel.
Elisha is not feeling the best because he is suffering from an illness that proves to be terminal.
But that does not stop him from activating his prophetic gift.
This is what he tells the king to do.

Elisha said, “Get a bow and some arrows,” and he did so.
[2 Kings 13:15]

“Open the east window,” he said, and he opened it.
[2 Kings 13:17a]

“Shoot!” Elisha said, and he shot.
[2 Kings 13:17b]

Up to this point the king had followed Elisha’s instructions perfectly.
It was a simple thing for the king to complete.
Because the king had followed Elisha’s command….Elisha promised him a complete victory over his enemies.

Elisha declared. “You will completely destroy the Arameans at Aphek.”
[2 Kings 13:17c]

There is no uncertainty in Elisha’s statement.
He said the king would have complete victory.
He even called the arrow, an arrow of victory.

“The Lord’s arrow of victory!” Elisha declared.
[2 Kings 13:17]

You will notice this has all happened quickly and efficiently.
No-one is doubting.
No-one is double-minded.
The victory is certain and it will be complete.

Now the problems begin.
Elisha decides to add a little extra.
Isn’t it always tempting to add a bit more to the pot?
This is his new idea.
He tells the king to take the bow and arrows.
He tells the king to shoot the ground.
But Elisha does not give the king a vital bit of information.
Elisha does not explain how many times the king needs to shoot.
Now the king is uncertain.
He would have been sweating on the results of this new test.
He has just been assured of a great victory.
He doesn’t know that victory… is about to slip away.
Here is how the story goes.

Then he said, “Take the arrows,” and the king took them.
Elisha told him, “Strike the ground.”
[2 Kings 13:18a]

So far…so good.

He struck it three times and stopped.
[2 Kings 13:18b]

NOOOOO!
He stopped!
But how was he to know how many times to strike the ground?
He couldn’t have known.
[Elisha had not told him how many times].
Elisha was not happy.

The man of God was angry with him and said, “You should have struck the ground five or six times.”
[2 Kings 13:19]

One minute the king is having a big win and the next minute he is getting told off.
When someone asks you to do something, they need to give you very clear instructions.
If you have a boss who is always changing your job description… you will know what I mean.
This king went from hero to zero in a few minutes.
His promise of victory has now shrunk.
He was promised a complete victory and now he is only promised a partial victory.

“But now you will defeat it only three times.”
[2 Kings 13:19]

The context of this story is… this was Elisha’s last recorded prophetic word.

Elisha died and was buried.
[2 Kings 13:20]

But it was not his last miracle.
Yes, he had something up his sleeve.
This old prophet didn’t pass his anointing on.
He did not have a successor.
So the anointing was still in his bones…here is his final miracle.

When the body touched Elisha’s bones, the man came to life and stood up on his feet.
[2 Kings 13:21]

Not bad, raising a man from the dead while you are dead.
Here is a scripture that encourages us to be men and women of faith.

And by faith Abel still speaks, even though he is dead.
[Hebrews 11:4]

To leave a good legacy…it does matter how we live our Christian life.
It is essential that we live by faith.
But what do we mean by the statement, “Live by faith”.
Most people would understand that statement to mean the faith that they have right now…in the present.
But how would you know how much faith you have right now?
Some of us would feel that our faith is small and others would feel that their faith is large.
Most people…would not know how much faith they had at this moment in time.
So here is the problem…how much faith is enough faith?
We all want mountain moving faith.
I do not want to sound ungracious, but most of the Christians I know still have their mountain where it has always been…in their backyard.
It hasn’t moved at all.
They have huffed and puffed, but the mountain has not moved an inch.
It actually looks a bit bigger; I would not say that to their face.
It is supposed to be getting smaller.

The only time that most of us have had complete faith is when we had salvation faith.
God gave us the ability to believe and we used that ability to accept God’s generous offer of salvation.
These days the temptation to shoot arrows in all directions is strong.
We want to throw everything we have at the problem.
Paul the apostle had some good advice.

So, I run straight to the goal with purpose in every step.
[1 Corinthians 9:26]

Peter the apostle also had some good advice.
When he was at the end of his life, he kept writing about his experience on the Mount of Transfiguration.

Peter was so affected by that experience.
He was still talking about it years later.

I was there on the holy mountain when he shone out with honour given him by God his Father;
I heard that glorious, majestic voice calling down from heaven, saying,
“This is my much-loved Son; I am well pleased with him.”
[2 Peter 1:17,18]

Everyone had been hearing Peter tell this story time and time again.
But that did not worry Peter.
He was going to refresh their memories, whether they wanted them refreshed or not.

As long as I am still here, I intend to keep sending these reminders to you, hoping to impress them so clearly upon you that you will remember them long after I have gone.
[2 Peter 1:14,15]

This was an old man focusing on the past.
He knew something special had happened to him.
He was worried that the next generation would lose their focus.
That they would not value their salvation experience.
Peter was a voice of stability speaking to a generation rocked by the uncertainty of their times.
He wanted to pass the anointing on to the young people.
He didn’t want to take it with him.

Here is the final point of my theory.
When we are blown around and being double-minded we need an anchor for the soul.
An anchor of faith that is attached to Jesus.
Instead of huffing and puffing in many different directions.
We need to fix our eyes onto Jesus.

Looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith.
[Hebrews 12:2]

We can learn from Peter.
He was not writing about a recent spiritual experience.
He was writing about his mountain experience, it was a highlight for him.
Peter did not have a salvation experience like Paul did.
Peter got to know Jesus in a progressive way.
Today most of us have the best of both worlds.
We met Jesus in a salvation moment and then we get to know him over a period of time.
But when the storm comes we need to hold on to the anchor with all our strength.
We may not feel the presence of God in the storm.
So we have to go back to our salvation decision.
That is when we shot one arrow once.
That is when our faith had a perfect result.
That was when the instruction was perfectly clear.

Believe in Jesus!
Make your decision.
YES OR NO.
It could not be clearer.
And you said yes!
From that day till now you have been a single-minded person, regards that decision.
You know you said “yes”.
It cannot be denied.
You may have been double-minded about a thousand other things.
But it is completely impossible for you to doubt what happened on that day.
Did you notice the words I used?

“COMPLETELY IMPOSSIBLE.”

Now that is a secure and certain place to find yourself in.
The cure for instability is to focus on the immovable fact of your salvation decision.
That is what people do in a storm.
They look for the safety and certainty that comes from standing on a rock.
When you refresh your memory about a fact:
[That you made a salvation decision], you have just given yourself a rock to hold onto.
You are also remembering your perfect score because it is the one thing you got perfectly right!
Therefore God promised you complete victory!

Everyone born of God overcomes the world.
This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our[salvation] faith.
Who is it that overcomes the world?
Only the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God.
[1 John 5:4,5]

Complete victory is promised to the person who has believed in Jesus.
That means you.
YOU SHOT AN ARROW OF VICTORY.
Because you made your salvation decision!

How do you like my theory?

Written by Tony Egar

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