*It’s not over yet!*
Jacob was an old man when his son Joseph was taken to Egypt.
His boy Joseph had been his dream.
Now it looked like Jacob’s dream was dead.
But in Genesis 45, we see that his spirit was revived.
Joseph was still alive!
The old man got his dream back in his old age.
You’re never too old, and it is never too late for God to use you.
Moses was eighty years old when he got his assignment, and Caleb was 85 when God gave him his mountain.
If anybody could have retired comfortably, it would have been Abraham.
He was wealthy, with vast herds of cattle and sheep.
According to some commentaries, he had at least a thousand servants.
But then God came knocking.
In Genesis 12 we find God telling him to pack up, leave everything behind, and take off on a journey – to somewhere.
I’m sure his wife wondered about his sanity.
“Honey, this place represents your life’s work.
What do you mean we’re going to start living in tents?
Where are we going?
What do you mean you ‘don’t know’?
Why would an old guy like Abraham pack up and leave for the wilderness?
Let’s look at a few dynamics that are at work here – there is something to learn even if you’re not old.
He had the ability to hear God
He had the ability to believe what God said
The ability to denounce security for the sake of God
The ability to stay focused on the mission
The ability to accomplish the mission
*Hearing God* – chase Him until you recognize His voice.
*Believing God* – /Hebrews 11:8 “By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to go out to the place which he would receive as an inheritance.
And he went out, now knowing where he was going”./
*Trusting God -* There will come a time when you too will have to remove yourself from the safe, predictable place, the place that you know is a sure thing, where you could keep on happily doing the same thing for the rest of your life.
In Matthew 14, we see Peter taking advantage of the opportunity and stepping out of the boat.
Sure, within a few minutes of starting to walk on the water, Peter began to sink.
The same thing happens often when we step out on faith.
That’s not always a bad thing, because it teaches us to really depend on God, step after step.
Regardless of the sinking times, I’d rather be a wet water walker than a dry boat talker!
Focus – Abram didn’t change his mind when the answers to his original questions just brought up more questions.
Ability to accomplish – these other factors loosed the most important ability of all – the ability to see the work accomplished.
If all the questions have to be answered before you step out and obey God, you’ll never do anything.
At some point we just have to jump off!
/You heard about the mule who fell down a well.
When the farmer who owned the mule saw what had happened, he thought to himself, “I can’t get him out.
So, he decided to bury him.
He took a shovel, and he started throwing dirt in on that poor mule./
/At first the mule was hysterical.
“Oh, help, God! He’s going to buy me alive!”
But then the mule had a fantastic thought.
The mule said to himself, “ I’m just going to shake it off and step on it.”
After many hours, while the farmer kept shoveling the dirt in there, that donkey stepped out the top of it, triumphant./
/Life will either bury you or bless you.
It depends on what you do.
Will you persevere?
When you get dirt thrown on you, will you turn it into fertilizer and keep growing?
When the dirt starts to rain down on you, shake it off, step on it, and go to higher ground./
When Elijah was about to be taken to heaven, Elisha asked for a double portion of his master’s spirit, and he got it.
Elisha went on to do many exploits, and when he was in the last chapter of his life he spoke into the life of the king of Israel about one of his missions.
II Kings 13:14-19 –
Real victory is not won on the battlefield; it’s won behind the scenes.
Real victory is won in your private life, in your “bed chamber”, if you will.
Real victory is won in your inner man first, and then you will see evidence on the battlefield.
Elisha had King Joash with him in the bedroom, and he told him to take a bow and arrows.
Just like we take up our weapons of prayer every morning in private.
Our public success or failure reflects what happens in our private life.
The two always coordinate with each other; the public manifests the private.
Elisha had the king pick up his weapon, even though he was just in Elisha’s private room and not out on the battlefield fighting the enemy.
In the same way, God will have us pick up our weapons in our private prayer times.
There’s nobody watching.
It’s just you and God.
That’s where the real business gets transacted.
That’s where you really pick up your weapons, because there’s no point in faking it anyway.
It doesn’t matter if you’re not much of a warrior.
Joash was the old king, and he was losing on the battlefield.
Elisha was an old prophet; he’d never been a warrior.
But they could both obey the word of the Lord!
The king picked up his bow and arrow, and he shot once out the window, as Elisha said.
So far, so good.
The devil would have preferred to have him shrug it off as foolishness and stay inside, feeling hopeless and helpless.
But Joash had done what Elisha told him to do – he opened up his eyes and focused them outside the open window, and then he shot an arrow out there.
It’s the same with us, except our “arrows” are our words.
Our arrows are our confession, and our worship and our prayers.
We need to let them fly out of us.
We need to send our words out in the direction we want them to go.
In other words, we need to start talking victory when we’re staring at defeat.
We need to start talking healing when we are feeling sick.
We need to start talking blessing and prosperity when we don’t have anything.
We need to talk about living when we feel like dying.
We need to speak about marching when we feel like quitting.
That’s how we shoot our word arrows.
Sometimes you just have to say, “I’m going to shoot my way out!” Nobody can do it for you!
Elisha didn’t shoot the arrows for the king.
He told him what to do, but the king had to do it himself.
After the king shot one arrow, Elisha told him to take the rest of the arrows and start striking the ground with them.
This didn’t make any more sense than shooting an arrow out a window, but King Joash did it.
He hit the ground with the arrows hard three times.
That ought to show those Syrians.
Elisha was furious.
If the king would have kept hitting the ground even a couple more times, he would have been assured of complete victory over his enemies.
But he stopped short of that.
Now he would win some battles, but he wouldn’t win the war.