2 KINGS 1:1-12
Within the Christian circles, we measure time periods as “seasons.” The word “season” is a term that doesn’t quite have a definite amount of time associated with it but just how physical seasons like summer encompasses several months, seasons that we go through are marked by chunks of time. Some identify certain seasons as “dry” when they can’t seem to connect or hear from God or seasons of “joy” where there is an abundance of joy regardless of circumstance. The word season is such a tricky thing that is slippery to hold down to particular definitions but my attempt to describe it would be to say that a season is a period of time that is marked by a theme or trend that either an individual or community goes through. How long? Who knows? But like how the seasons changing is hard to put on one particular day, it is the same with spiritual seasons as you may not have the definite dates of beginning or end but you know it when you feel the changes of the atmosphere around you.
In this season of my life, one of the phrases that keep popping up in my personal life and ministry is this,
“Don’t cap yourself.”
This is in regards to not allowing our own personal actions or temptations stop what God has been and wants to do in our lives. When we entertain sin, fear, or other desires that are not in alignment with God’s will for us, we effectively cap ourselves in the plans God has for us. I constantly get this image of God slowly tearing the roof that is over the people of God and that our contribution to breaking off the limits or barriers in our lives is our complete trust in God through obedience.
One of the biggest lessons of Second Kings is to show how the Israelites gave up all the blessings that they have worked hard for in the presence of God by the slow removal of God’s influence in their lives and choosing to follow after idols. Second Kings continues the tragic story displayed in first kings where the people of God became more and more divided and declined further into sin while moving away from prosperity in the Lord. The nation of Israel has split into two kingdoms and there is a continual decline of honor and worship towards God.
King Ahaziah in today’s passage is the reflection of the condition of the people of God at this point where even in the midst of illness, he seeks not the Lord but demonic idols for guidance. When God sends Elijah with the question, “Is it because there is no God in Israel that you are going to inquire of Baal-zebub, the god of Ekron?” This is not so much a question because God doesn’t know the answer but is a question that really highlights the condition of King Ahaziah that gave up the presence of God for the world. This was not an overnight thing but the fruit of a long process of slowly rejecting God as King Ahaziah is only following the footsteps of his father Ahab who only followed his father’s footsteps until there is a history of unfaithfulness that keeps on growing.
So what’s the point? DON’T CAP YOURSELF! I realized that this phrase lines up so well with the beginning of our new series because the Israelites not only capped themselves and stopped the blessings, they forfeited it when they chose daily to not follow God. I believe the Lord is calling upon us today to stop any and all trends that forfeit God in our lives for the sake of either being popular in the world or living for our own goals and ambitions. We think chasing the world gives us freedom and the good life but the reality is that a life full of riches apart from God is only capping yourself and building more and more barriers to the truly good things that come from God Himself! Take some time today to check yourself and see what slow trends are developing so that you can make the powerful choice today to
NOT CAP YOURSELF!!!