Three Who Shortchanged Themselves

Many times people miss the blessings of God by the choices they make. This message looks at three who made such a mistake, and one man who did not.
Three Who Shortchanged Themselves
Source - Image owned, uploaded and copyrighted 2017 by the author, Peter P. Macinta (BrotherPete).

God desires to bless everyone, especially if they have truly surrendered to Him through Jesus Christ.  While the Holy Bible notes many times when people were blessed, it also points out a number of times when someone missed a blessing. Let us look at three that had missed blessings, but add a fourth person that was determined to be blessed. That way we will conclude on a happy point!

I. King David Shortchanged Himself From God’s Protection

2 Samuel 11:1

“Then it happened in the spring, at the time when kings go out to battle, that David sent Joab and

his servants with him and all Israel, and they destroyed the sons of Ammon and besieged Rabbah. But David stayed at Jerusalem.”

In case you are not familiar with what happened next, David takes a walk on a roof and notices very much a lady named Bathsheba somewhere down below taking a bath (remember this was millennia before our time and most people had to bathe outdoors). Her husband was in the Israeli army fighting against the Ammonites. David had her summoned to his palace and had sex with her. When she got pregnant he summoned her husband Uriah back from the war and tried twice to make him go home and be with his wife. Uriah felt he could not do that because his fellow soldiers were still in battle. David then wrote a note to Joab with instructions to get Uriah killed in battle and Uriah was killed.

Where David began to go wrong was when he presumptuously decided to stay home from battle. Before he became King he did seek guidance from God, but most times only when in trouble or when he did not know what to do. The entirety of the written Word of God points to the fact that we are to be constantly listening to the Holy Spirit as we go about His given will (household chores, going to work, etc.). In a way this is part of praying continuously, because prayer includes listening to God as well as speaking with Him.

Wrong step one led to wrong step two as he looked downward. One would know in those days that if they would look in the right location from a rooftop they might see people bathing. This underscores the point that we are to set, keep, fixate our mind on heavenly things and not on things of earth.

If we are truly saved, redeemed from this world by the grace and mercy of God, we need to keep our mind off of worldly things and remember spiritual warfare. It is written in 2 Corinthians 10:3-5, “For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh,4 for the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh, but divinely powerful for the destruction of fortresses.5 We are destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ.”

II. Thomas Shortchanged Himself From The Presence Of The Risen Savior

John 20:24-25

“But Thomas, one of the twelve, called Didymus, was not with them when Jesus came.”25 So the other disciples were saying to him, "We have seen the Lord!" But he said to them, "Unless I see in His hands the imprint of the nails, and put my finger into the place of the nails, and put my hand into His side, I will not believe."”

While God is certainly everywhere, it could be said that things are so arranged in the spiritual realm that we may sense His presence in various magnitudes. For example, there are many religious people that might call themselves “Christian” and can actually sense Him, but when they truly surrender to God and make Christ King dwelling within themselves they realize His glorious presence on another, deeper, level. Song of Solomon brings this out. If we read it we see the Shulamite misses a nighttime visitation from her husband because of her laxity in spirit.

In John 20:24-25 we see that for some reason Thomas was not with the rest of the disciples who were behind closed doors on the evening of the very first day of Christ’s resurrection and Christ suddenly appeared to them. He had missed the risen Christ. And, sadly, many do not make real to their heart everyday, in fact, every moment, that Christ is indeed risen. It is something to be consciously aware of all of the time. He, indeed, is everywhere, but in this sense He is the One Who was dead but is alive forevermore (Revelation 1:18), and as God He is certainly not restrained by time and space.

True Christians that gather together know for a fact, and can sense, the risen Christ is in their midst. Jesus said (Matthew 18:20), “For where two or three have gathered together in My name, I am there in their midst.” One has a greater chance to meet with other Christians, and therefore experience the risen Christ, whenever their local fellowship gathers. The Word of God tells us we need to be faithful in that practice, especially as we enter into the end of the Gentile age (Hebrews 10:25) “not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another; and all the more as you see the day drawing near.”

When we attend such a gathering (if we can attend) our primary objective should be to participate, and if we really participate in worshiping God we will sense His glorious presence. However, some cannot truly gather together physically with other disciples. For example, some might be bedridden or live in a country where persecution against Christians is very heavy. Nonetheless as the true disciple worships God in spirit and truth they will sense the blessed presence of the risen Savior.

A true disciple should constantly be worshiping God. Public worship is good but a foundation is private worship. Though I worship throughout the day, a great time for me is when I lay my tired body down. Immediately I must praise my Creator for that blessed rest! By His Spirit I also remember that I have brothers and sisters elsewhere in the world that cannot relax like that, so His Spirit directs me to pray for them. If you are not in the habit of doing the same please consider starting. The more who worship, and the more who intercede, the better!

III. Joash, King of Israel, Shortchanged Himself From God’s Victorious Power

2 Kings 13:14-19

“When Elisha became sick with the illness of which he was to die, Joash the king of Israel came down to him and wept over him and said, "My father, my father, the chariots of Israel and its horsemen!" 15 Elisha said to him, "Take a bow and arrows." So he took a bow and arrows. 16 Then he said to the king of Israel, "Put your hand on the bow." And he put his hand on it, then Elisha laid his hands on the king's hands. 17 He said, "Open the window toward the east," and he opened it. Then Elisha said, "Shoot!" And he shot. And he said, "YHVH's arrow of victory, even the arrow of victory over Aram; for you will defeat the Arameans at Aphek until you have destroyed them." 18


Then he said, "Take the arrows," and he took them. And he said to the king of Israel, "Strike the ground," and he struck it three times and stopped. 19 So the man of God was angry with him and said, "You should have struck five or six times, then you would have struck Aram until you would have destroyed it. But now you shall strike Aram only three times."

Immediately applying this to the disciple, Aram can be viewed as the forces of darkness which YHVH already has the victory. However, just as Joash was instructed to take arrows and strike them on the ground we must believe in YHVH’s victory over darkness, and believe not just with mental assent and confession by mouth but also in action. Additionally, our action must be with solid determination, hatred toward sin and iniquity, and continuance therein.

In other words a true Christian, someone in Christ and Christ is in him, already possesses victory over any and all sin. We must hate sin and iniquity within ourselves and outside of ourselves (despite what some sugary Christian teachers say). There is such a thing as holy anger and this is certainly one place for it! We must be angry at all sin and iniquity. People damage themselves and damn themselves with it. It is a spiritual plague {1}.

We, by His Spirit, must also get very angry against any direct attack by satanic {2} forces especially attacks on loved ones or ourselves. When I first came to Christ I was skeptical such attacks actually occurred. I remained skeptical until I permitted God to open my eyes to Holy Scripture that supported what I thought was the weird ministry of some to anoint buildings, then actually did it myself when I realized satan had attacked one of our children. Spiritual warfare is very real. God already has the victory, but we must agree to that victory in heart and in action.

Before we move on to the man that, for this message, is the positive example it needs to be said that we need to “keep on keeping on” in Christ. This is the general devotional application to the fact that Joash should have kept smacking those arrows on the ground up to five or six times. We are not finished here battling against sin until we graduate unto glory. Let us be rebels {3} against sin and iniquity within and without until we leave this world.

IV. Instead, Let Us Be Like Elisha, “Intern” Of Elijah

2 Kings 2:2

“Elijah said to Elisha, "Stay here please, for YHVH has sent me as far as Bethel." But Elisha said, "As YHVH lives and as you yourself live, I will not leave you." So they went down to Bethel."

Elisha new it was the day that YHVH would take Elijah, whom he had served, away. From the call by Elijah to follow him to when Elijah was taken to heaven by a whirlwind we see Elisha is somewhat the opposite in regard to the three previous incorrect actions. For example, Elisha was plowing, occupying the given will of God when he was called into prophetic service by Elijah. He apparently was constantly in the presence of Elijah which speaks to us we are to remain in the presence of Christ.

Finally, Elisha determined to receive a desired blessing from God. Evidently he accepted a revelation by the Holy Spirit that he must be with Elijah at the time he would be removed from the earth. So he showed godly determination by going everywhere Elijah did on the day he was taken. Unlike Joash, he “kept on keeping on.”

So from this example of Elisha we get the following recap of what each disciple of Christ should be doing:


1. Occupy His given will for you.
2. Know God and His blessings of holiness and ministry.
3. Remain in Him
4. Be faithful to Him, privately and publicly.
5. Be determined in all of the above.

I would say that if most people would think about it they would not want to shortchange themselves from any of the blessings that God has to offer. The best and most important blessing, of course, is salvation from self, sin, the world, eternal damnation and more. Let God draw you to Him now and receive Jesus Christ as your only savior, making Him King of your life. And, if you are a spiritually weak Christian I encourage you to fully dedicate yourself to Him now through Jesus Christ, and do not shortchange yourself.

Notes:

{1} Please read Survive The Deadly Epidemic at http://holybibletreasures.expertscolumn.com/article/survive-deadly-epidemic .

{2} Not capitalized on purpose. Experts Column gives me the freedom to express myself in that way.

{3} Please also read Bear The Seal Of God at http://holybibletreasures.expertscolumn.com/article/bear-the-seal-of-god .

This article was written in the form of a sermon (message) outline with comments. God willing by September 29, 2017 (hopefully much sooner), you should be able to hear the actual message (sermon) by selecting a link at http://www.sapphirestreams.com/life/audioM.html#M466 .

Unless otherwise noted all Holy Scripture is from the New American Standard Bible changing LORD to YHVH as it rightly should be when the text so indicates and adding “(The Existing One)” to readily express the meaning of His Name without making repeated explanations in articles. * = For other versions the spelling of some words is updated for our time in addition to changing LORD to YHVH as it rightly should be when the text so indicates.

Not responsible for any advertisements appearing with this article nor am I necessarily in agreement with any of them. The statements of this paragraph hold true not only for this article, but for everything I have placed on the Internet.



Article Written By BrotherPete

I am a minister of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, having served over forty years as a pastor. I graduated from Northeast Bible College of Green Lane Pennsylvania and have a Bachelors Degree in Bible. I am enthused about the Word of God and how it can make a positive change in the life of anyone once it is teamed up with faith and the Holy Spirit. I am happily married. Visit www.sapphirestreams.com.

Posted on 25-08-2017 76 0

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