Saturday, October 17, 2015
THE ONE THAT GOT AWAY
Suddenly a prophet approached Ahab king of Israel, saying, “Thus says the LORD: ‘Have you seen all this great multitude? Behold, I will deliver it into your hand today, and you shall know that I am the LORD.’ ” (I Kings 20:13)
The last time I went trout fishing, I hooked a monster fish, but he got away! A fish may be hooked and even brought into reach and still escape. There have been times they have even been brought onto the boat or the bank, flopped back into the water, and were gone. Likewise, God's people get to the point of victory at times and stop short of success. They have it in sight but don’t press on. The momentum is there and they ease up. We can get right to the brink of blessing and turn back. A church can arrive at the threshold of revival and not cross over. 1 Kings 20 illustrates this truth. God provided Ahab, king of Israel, with victory, but he didn't reel it in!
We might think the Israeli/Syrian conflict is something new, but it isn't. The antagonism is thousands of years old (v.1-12). Our spiritual enemies are just as real. This world is a dangerous place for the child of God. War is deadly business. The Christian is at war according to Ephesians 6--not with flesh and blood, but demonic forces.
Ben-Hadad made his demands and fear gripped Ahab. Satan seeks to terrorize us as a roaring lion. He wants us to freeze in fear instead of fighting in faith, that he may devour us. We dare not give in. We must stand strong and face the foe. “Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.” (Eph.6:13) Ahab had all he needed to win, for God had purposed it to be so (v.13-30). God has furnished believers today with the armor to wear and arms to wield that are needed to overcome our enemy.
Why does God permit Satan to attack? We will learn much about God in our battles that we could not understand otherwise. There are lessons of faith and obedience engraved on our soul through the struggles. God was going to show who was boss! Satan is no match for God and God wants everyone to know it!
It was an overwhelming victory. Scripture teaches that we are "more than conquerors through Him who loved us." (Rom.8:37) Our intent isn’t just to defeat the enemy, but spoil his goods!
Spiritual warfare is a fight to the finish--there can be no truce! Yet, that is the folly of Ahab the compromiser (v.31-43). The devil will say, “If I can’t beat them, I’ll join them.” Failing to overcome us by force, he will try to be our friend. Do we not understand that, "Friendship with the world is enmity with God"? (James 4:4) That is witnessed here. In v.35-36 we find a man who was disobedient to the Word of the Lord and paid the ultimate price. The next fellow would not repeat that error. He didn't want to become the lion's next meal! Ahab has allowed the "big one" to get away. This opportunity was lost. I wonder if in heaven if we will be judged not only for the works we did, but have our reward diminished by failing to achieve the potential we might have reached.