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Digging Ditches

Christian, God has given you authority over your circumstances.

2 Kings 3:15-20 tells an amazing story of the authority given to God’s people.

The country of Moab, which was supposed to be paying an annual tribute to Israel because of a treaty, rebelled and cut off the supply. In the ancient world, the breaking of a treaty in this manner was ample cause for war, so Joram the king of Israel enlisted the help of Jehoshaphat king of Judah and the king of Edom, and went off to attack Moab. They believed that God had called them together to fight this battle, but after marching in circles for a week they were out of water, and both they and their animals were in danger of dying from thirst.

Have you ever found yourself in a position like that – believing that God has called you to something, but getting nowhere fast and soon feeling like you are at the end of your resources? This is exactly the point where many people give up. They decide that God hasn’t really called them to whatever it was, so they pack their bags and go home. If you’re in that place, don’t give up yet. Deliverance was just round the corner for the three kings, even though two of them were not walking with God. How much more might deliverance be just around the corner for you, who have set your heart to serve God faithfully?

These three kings had a really good idea. They decided that they really needed to hear from God, so the went to the prophet Elisha. When we are struggling, the best thing we can possibly do is to put ourselves in a position to hear from God. Unlike these men in Old Testament times, if we have been born again through faith in Jesus Christ as our personal Lord and Saviour, we have the Spirit of the Living God living within us. We do not need to go to a prophet, but to listen to the voice of the Spirit. We also need to be prepared to respond to whatever the Spirit says. If He tells us we were wrong, that He has not called us to this, then we must be prepared to quit. But if He tells us we are on the right track, then we must be prepared to keep going in faith, no matter how difficult the circumstances may seem.

Because of the involvement of Joram and the king of Edom, Elisha was none too happy about seeking God for this group, nonetheless he made himself available to God and received a surprising word for them. “This is what the Lord says: Make this valley full of ditches. For this is what the Lord says: You will see neither wind nor rain, yet this valley will be filled with water, and you, your cattle and other animals will drink. This is an easy thing in the eyes of the Lord; he will also hand Moab over to you.” (2 Kings 3:16-18, NIV)

At first reading, this seems that they were being told to go and dig ditches, but when we read on we find that the water came the very next morning – hardly giving time to dig very many holes in the ground! It seems, then, that “Make this valley full of ditches” was a prophetic declaration rather than a command to the kings. Not they, but the Lord, would make the valley full of ditches, and He would do it by nothing other than the power of His declared word.

Sometimes we struggle and strive, putting programs in place, networking, looking for every way known to man (and inventing a few that have not been known before) in order to make the thing to which we are called happen. Perhaps it is time to lay aside our shovels and instead take up the Word of God. The Church is called to be a prophetic people. Yes, there are those within her who have the anointing of prophecy, and even who stand in the prophetic office. More than that, though, all of God’s New Covenant people have access to the same Holy Spirit as did Elisha. What’s more, the Lord Jesus Christ has given us authority to speak in His Name. Look at your barren situation, the place where you have been marching in circles (or even on the spot) with no refreshing. Declare over it that it will be full of ditches, ready to receive the outpouring of God’s Spirit. Take encouragement from the truth that this is an easy thing for God. Then wait for the waters to begin to flow.

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