Recently the Lord has been speaking to me from the story of Elisha and King Jehoash in 2 Kings 13:16. In the story, Elisha was sick and would soon die from the illness, but he had one more prophetic assignment or act to be a part of before leaving the earth. This was not just any act, but a very strategic, prophetic act that carries significance for us even today.
In reading through the stories of the Bible, it becomes clear that God uses people who are willing to engage with him in seemingly “foolish” acts to accomplish His purposes and will. In this story we find a king and an old prophet shooting arrows out a window, but their faith, along with their obedience to perform the prophetic acts had the potential to shift things in the spiritual atmosphere over a nation.
Strike the Ground!
In 2 Kings 13:15-19 the story unfolds: “Elisha said, ‘Get a bow and some arrows,’ and he did so. ‘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. ‘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!’ Elisha declared. ‘You will completely destroy the Arameans at Aphek.’ Then he said, ‘Take the arrows,’ and the king took them. Elisha told him, ‘Strike the ground.’ He struck it three times and stopped. 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.'”
As I have meditated on this story, the Lord highlighted to me that we have entered a season where following the prophetic directives He gives us will be extremely important. It is time to STRIKE THE GROUND with the declarations of Heaven that will bring change and shift atmospheres. (Photo via Flickr)
Notice that Elisha placed his hands on the king’s hands before he released the first arrow. Then, after the king shot the arrow, Elisha released his powerful declaration of victory. I believe Elisha was releasing a prophetic grace and impartation at that time so that the arrow would hit the mark. This is a valuable insight for our prayers and declarations as well. As we hear from Heaven, operating under a prophetic grace, our words will release that same grace as they go forward like arrows to hit the mark.
We also have to notice the second part of the story, where Elisha instructs King Jehoash to strike the ground with the arrows. The king had just heard Elisha make the declaration of victory over Aram as he shot the first arrow into the air. Then, as the prophet instructed him to strike the ground with the arrows, he struck three arrows towards the ground and then stopped. We now know that he should have discerned and sensed what the prophet had asked him to do, and the significance of the act.
It was, in fact, an ancient custom to shoot an arrow or spear into the country or area that an army was planning to attack. It was really a declaration of intent of battle. It was a declaration of intent to take new territory. In light of this, it is even more surprising then that the king failed to follow through on the prophetic act with faith and discernment.
Faith That Obeys and Does Not Delay
I feel God is wanting to speak through this story to encourage us to go the distance in this new era with hearing His voice and following through to the full extent without excuses or delay. It also stood out to me that the king didn’t go back and try to shoot the arrows later after receiving the rebuke from Elisha. He had lost the moment, evidently, and there would be no gaining that back. Though we are now under a covenant of grace, we are not to take advantage of that grace by delaying obedience, but instead we are to quickly obey the promptings of His voice.
As we have transitioned into a new era it is imperative that our thinking and mode of operation shifts with what God is shifting. Many times, in the past few months, I have felt the Holy Spirit reminding me to not believe with a preconceived mindset or see with the lenses of the past season. He is calling us to step into a new realm of faith, and authority; seeing and believing Him for the impossible to be accomplished. We must raise our expectations to believe and partner with Him for more! He is doing a BRAND NEW thing!
“Truly I tell you, if anyone says to this mountain ‘Go throw yourself into the sea,’ and does not doubt in their heart but believes that what they say will happen, it will be done for them. Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.” (Mark 11:23-24) (Photo via Unsplash)
Be Silent No More!
I also hear the Lord saying, “I am adding weight to your words. Your words carry the power of life or death, so choose wisely what you speak and release. As you come into agreement with My plans and strategies, there will be power and momentum released as you declare in rhythm with Heaven.
“Be silent no more! Strike the ground! Believe that you are powerful and step into the fulfillment of prophetic promises spoken long ago. Sanctify your tongue unto Me so that only praises flow from your mouth and not curses. Walk in forgiveness, daily, so that your arrows remain sharp and none will fall to the ground. I am advancing in the earth and together we will take new territory for the Kingdom of Light.
“Open wide your mouth and I will fill it (Psalm 81:10)! Yes, I will fill it with My prophetic arrows to tear down injustice, release peace, and establish truth and righteousness in the nations.”
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