It’s Time to Dig
On Sunday Pastor Osien took us back to the Old Testament in 2 Kings 3. This tells the story of how the King of Moab refused to pay his donations to the King of Israel and because of this, the King of Israel Jehoram went out to fight against him along with King Jehoshaphat. Notice that God did not tell them to go and fight; instead they went of their own accord to fight by way of the wilderness. But as they marched on they came to a dry patch that had no water for the army or their animals.
It was in this dryness that they realised that some battles are only won through the Lord. Originally they had put God out of the picture, they had forgotten who God was, yet when they were in trouble, they cried for God to come and bless their mission. This is an issue that we sometimes fall into where we make our plans and put systems in place in our lives without considering God. Later, in their hunger, thirst and desperation, they inquired of the Lord through the prophet Elisha. The Prophet of the Lord gave an instruction for them to dig trenches. What an instruction! They are in the wilderness, out in the desert in need of water, and God’s voice tells them to dig up trenches. What would you have done? You are thirsty, tired, there is a threat of an attack, but you are told to put your weapons down and dig trenches to fill up a valley.
Then the prophet goes on to say “For this is what the LORD says: You will see neither wind nor rain, yet this valley will be filled with water, and you, your cattle and your other animals will drink.”
The next day the water flowed down from the mountains until every ditch was filled. In the morning the enemy was there and saw the sun shining on the water and in the reflection the water appeared red like blood. Then, thinking that the kings had slaughtered each other, they went to try and attack them but were destroyed themselves. Who would have thought that a trench could kill the enemy they were mobilising to fight.
In verse 18 the prophet say’s “And this is a simple matter in the sight of the Lord; He will also deliver the Moabites into your hand”. To us it seemed huge; we went on to mobilise and strategies and hit back, to try to fix people who don’t “pray or tithe.” But it was after the Israelites got into trouble that they realised that this battle belongs to the Lord. The Lord doesn’t tell them to sort the enemy out, He tells them to sort themselves out by digging trenches. Digging of trenches is a kind of discipline that God brings upon us so that He may deal with our hearts in order for Him to flow in us. The issue is not the trench; it’s the water that filled the trench. This water is not dependent on you or me but on God. Don’t take pride in how big your trench is because no matter the size, if God did not allow the water to flow, that trench would have remained empty. We must understand what it means to trust God so that when he says, ‘dig a trench’, even in the wilderness- there will be a way if you are willing. The trench not only filled their thirst but it also sorted out what they most feared. That’s our God! To God these things are small matters.
Work. God requires you to dig trenches and sweat in the process, but many Christians today don’t want to work. They prefer faith because faith is easy. There is, however, a river of the Holy Ghost flowing in this time, and God is saying ‘Dig!’, dig up trenches in your heart. This is why the word say’s in Hosea 10:12 “Sow for yourselves righteousness; Reap in mercy; Break up your fallow ground, For it is time to seek the Lord, till He comes and rains righteousness on you”. When you hear the word of the Lord do not harden your heart because when the word comes, it wants to find a trench in your heart that will hold the Holy Spirit. He say’s “He that believes on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water” -John 7:38. When the rivers are flowing, it is your responsibility to retain that flow by digging trenches. Through your trenches your enemies will be sorted out and your provisions shall come, but you must be willing to dig trenches. It’s time to dig trenches!
If God tells you to dig a trench, then no matter where you are, you must dig. That trench is crucial to deal with whatever you are facing.
Where did they get the equipment to dig the trenches because the following day the water flowed. This shows that God did not give them any notice. God is God. When Abraham was told to sacrifice Isaac he knew exactly whom he was dealing with. He did not try to negotiate because as soon as the instruction came, he took Isaac up the mountain to be sacrificed. We need people who will respond to the orders of God because the season to dig trenches may not come again. There is an outpouring of the Holy Ghost coming and those who will drink and not thirst are those who are willing to dig.
What does it mean to dig? It means to turn around and remove soil using an implement. Whatever implement you need in your heart to soften it, use it to break up that fallow ground. Know that rivers do not always flow as there is a season for the rains and that is the time when rivers flow. So when you hear the promise of an overflow, store up containers to keep for the future, in this case, trenches.
Are you ready to dig?
Spiritual disciplines are very crucial. It’s not your fasting that brings about the result, but it’s the water that flows and finds the tenderness of your heart through fasting that will bring a change. Therefore, our spiritual disciplines are equivalent to digging ditches. But you don’t know when the water will flow, this is why Paul said “And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart” -Galatians 6:9. Don’t stop digging and give up before the river flows otherwise you will miss out on the promise and not have enough to take you to the next level.
In the story, the valley is your heart. God has put the playground in your heart so that you cannot blame anyone for your laziness. You can’t complain of having rocks that are difficult to dig when it’s your heart. There is no rock that is stronger than your will in you. Isaiah 1:19 say’s “If you are willing and obedient, you will eat the good things of the land”.
Spiritual disciplines may seem like demanding work but they are a way in which God works and addresses our inner character as a believers. The Holy Spirit wants to shape your soul, your mind, your character, by digging ditches.
We need to understand that all of the things that we consider big are simple matters before the Lord. But God will only help us when we obey and trust Him.
Jesus say’s “If you love Me, you will keep My commands.” It is in those commands that you will find provisions, solutions and your enemies are dealt with. God will give a reflection to your enemy when your heart has enough ditches to hold His Holy Ghost.
Water is coming and it better find a ditch in your heart, so DIG.
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13 April 2014 – Our God is Holy
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27 March 2014 – Beware Of Rebellion
18 March 2014 – God That Helps His People
12 March 2014 – The 5 Key Concepts of the Bible
13 February 2014 – The Power of Discipleship
19 January 2014 – Benefits of Fasting
12 January 2014 – Do Christians Have to Fast?
24 November 2013 – What Kind of A Christian Are You?
17 November 2013 – How Much Do We Trust God
10 November 2013 – Remembrance Sunday
03 November 2013 – Unity and Diversity One Body