TODAY'S WORD 4U 2DAY
ENDS AND MEANS2 Kings 13:18
Let's start with an unusual story from the Old Testament. A prophet of God came to the king of Israel (God’s chosen people in the OT). At that time, the king was worried about losing in battle. So the prophet told the king to get some arrows and strike the ground for “as long as it took”. Strange instructions! But the king gave up early: ‘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 [the enemy] and completely destroyed it”(2 Kings 13:18,19 NIV).
What's going on in this story? Well, we can take this message away from it: How you do something is as important as doing it. The means are as important as the end. What the prophet had to say seemed random, but God’s priority for the king was that he followed His instructions, not whether he won or lost in battle.
What does that mean for us? God's priorities haven't changed, He desires obedience in every little part of our lives. He is gracious with us, but it is in our best interests to listen to His instructions. And His instructions are simply this - to live our lives in love. Paul wrote, ‘... if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing.’ (1 Corinthians 13:2 ESV) If we live in love, we take the time to think deeply about the most Christ-like way forward, wherever we are and whatever we have to do. Love puts people first, above projects, above goals and tasks. It thinks about the means, not just the end. It’s not just what we do with our circumstances and opportunities, it’s the attitude we approach them with.
If you’re worrying, or if you are tempted to do something half-heartedly, or even if you don’t really understand why you’re doing something – stop. Take a step back, and think about God’s priorities. What does God most want from you, today?