“Syria and Israel continued without war for three years.” ~ I Kings 22:1
I Kings 22:1-3
Our text begins with a 3-year period of peace and a cessation of military campaigns between two nations. You may think that this is a good state to be in, but when you consider that life is a contest, you may rethink your position. As beautiful as this picture is, it suggests that Israel was quiet, making no claim or demand for anything. It also shows that they were undertaking nothing. That is, not embarking on any worthwhile project. Such a state can lull men into sleep, a false sense of security, and a place of no new accomplishments.
However, the king of Israel suddenly awoke and realized that the ‘state of peace’ had kept them docile, and made them neglect to take the things that belonged to them or to exercise their desire for more or better. Sometimes, when all is well, we often lose our appetite for a better life and we neglect to possess God’s promises for us. When you have a friend, who allows you to live-in with them, you could get so comfortable that you unconsciously relax and never push to have a place of your own. Similarly, when you earn a good salary you might not ask God, “What is my purpose, am I fulfilling it?”
Satisfaction can often become the enemy of ambition. When there’s nothing to stir you up, you can end up striving for nothing new.
I know we often pray for times of rest and a state of no conflict. That’s good, but sometimes God uses conflicts to train us and to develop capacity in us for greater things. Issachar, although strong, loved to enjoy rest and a state of undisturbed peace. While he couched to rest, a burden was placed on his shoulders and he unwittingly compromised his destiny and became a band of slaves (see additional text below).
Are you in a place of rest, without war or conflict; a place of satisfaction, without new prayer points or new goals? Be careful, you may also have gotten to the place of no ambition or aspiration. You may be forfeiting God’s best for you. You need to ask yourself, what is this ‘rest’ costing me? Don’t strike a truce with the devil – There’s something he is keeping from you or keeping you from. Engage him in contest and strive to possess new territories, because you can do more, you can have more and you can become more.
+ Lord I ask you to give me a vision for more. May my present state not stop me from desiring and praying for a better state.
+ Make me dissatisfied with any state that is an enemy of a better future state in Jesus’ name.