‘Elisha said, “Pick up the arrows and hit the ground with them.” Jehoash grabbed the arrows and hit the ground three times, then stopped. Elisha became angry at the king and exclaimed, “If you had struck it five or six times, you would completely wipe out the Syrians. Now you will defeat them only three times.”’ (2 Kings 13:18–19 CEV) Elisha had given Jehoash, the king of Israel, a plan from God for not only defeating his enemy but eliminating him permanently as a future threat. But the plan depended on two important things.
First, being fully obedient.
Second, being passionate.
Jehoash passed the first test but failed the second. He was obedient to what the man of God told him to do, but he didn’t go far enough, and he didn’t put his heart and soul into it. In short, he settled for less than God had planned for him. Maybe he was tired or distracted… maybe he didn’t listen carefully to the prophet’s instructions… maybe he thought ‘token obedience’ would be as effective as wholehearted obedience. The Bible doesn’t tell us. But this much we do know: he forfeited God’s best because he wasn’t passionate enough.
Don’t miss the lesson here. It’s not enough just to say, ‘I’ve obeyed the Lord.’ You must obey Him wholeheartedly; otherwise, you can end up compromising your future and failing to experience the fullness of what He has in mind for you.
Paul bottom-lines it to Timothy in these words: ‘Meditate on these things; give yourself entirely to them.’ In other words, when God tells you to do something, be passionate (zealous and enthusiastic) about it.