When Doing Big Things for God Went Bad

I don’t know if you noticed or not, but last week crickets were chirping rather than words being posted here on this blog.

“Did she finally run out of words?” you may have wondered.

Oh no. It wasn’t that. It’s the continual battle I have with what to do with these words! I’ll admit it again – I can have BIG dreams and as I posted last time, I easily grab the wheel of life and steer the ship myself when I think God is taking too long.

The question “Are you satisfied in ME?” really challenged me. I didn’t want to take it lightly and brush it off too quickly.

Honestly, I felt the prompt in my Spirit to stop publishing posts for a week and just listen. So I did. Then as a family, we read the story of Jehu.

Jehu could be classified as one of those “Yay-Hoos” for the Lord. Even the way he was anointed King was crazy. Read for yourself:

2 Kings 9:1

The prophet Elisha summoned a man from the company of the prophets and said to him, “Tuck your cloak into your belt, take this flask of oil with you and go to Ramoth Gilead. When you get there, look for Jehu son of Jehoshaphat, the son of Nimshi. Go to him, get him away from his companions and take him into an inner room. Then take the flask and pour the oil on his head and declare… ‘I anoint you king over Israel’. Then open the door and run; don’t delay!”

Why was he anointed King over Israel? To strike down the house of Ahab, including Jezebel and every male, bond or free in Israel. Big task, huh?

Jehu set to work. First he killed the other king, Joram with an arrow through the shoulders, piercing his heart. Then he pursued and killed Ahaziah King of Judah (remember the kingdoms are split – Israel and Judah with kings for each). Entering the town of Jezreel, Jehu tracked down Jezebel. She saw him first and either tried to distract him or hide herself by painting her face and covering her head. As soon as he spotted her, he called to the eunuchs attending her to throw her down over the wall. They did and her blood splattered all over the wall and nearby horses who then trampled her.

This fulfilled the prophecy spoken by Elijah, “In the territory of Jezreel, the dogs shall eat the flesh of Jezebel and the corpse of Jezbel shall be dung on the face of the field in the territory of Jezreel, so that no one can say ‘This is Jezebel.’”

Exciting, huh? It gets better –

Ahab had 70 sons, which Jehu had slaughtered in 1 day and their heads were placed in baskets and sent to Jehu as proof.

Jehu continued until all remaining descendants of Ahab were slaughtered, even his great men, close friends and priests.

Then he set up his next plot. He said, “Ahab served Baal a little; Jehu will serve him much.” He ordered all the prophets and ministers and priests of Baal to gather in the temple of Baal. To make sure no one was missing he said to one of the ministers, “Look around and see that no servants of the Lord are here with you – only ministers of Baal.” So they did.

As soon as Jehu had finished making the burnt offering, he ordered the guards and officers “Go in and kill them; let no one escape.” And they did. In one day, he demolished every worshiper of Baal, the house, including the pillars of Baal and made it a latrine (port-a-potty). (all from 2 Kings 9-10)

So why am I writing this?

Because this guy was zealous for God! He even said, “Come with me and see my zeal for the Lord.” (10:16) He seemed so obedient, carrying out all those violent commands from the Lord.

But guess what? He missed something. Something small, yet huge. At the end of his story, this is what is recorded, “So Jehu destroyed Baal worship in Israel. However, he did not turn away from the sins of Jeroboam son of Nebat, which he had caused Israel to commit – the worship of the golden calves at Bethal and Dan… Jehu was not careful to keep the Law of the Lord, the God of Israel, with all his heart.” (10:27, 28, 31)

I had this written above that passage – Jehu fulfilled prophecy but did not uphold God’s laws.

In his quest to be zealous, his heart and allegiance was divided. He was still worshiping the golden calves Jeroboam constructed in the city of Dan and Beersheba in order to lure the people of Israel away from worshiping God.

Oh how easy it is to worship our own golden calves instead of the One True God. In our busyness to “do BIG things for God”, we begin to let small things slide into our personal walk with Jesus. They slide in slowly and unnoticed like a pebble slides in our shoe and we don’t notice it because it takes the shape of our sole beneath the natural arch of our foot. It’s not until we take off the shoe, and the pebble falls out that we realize we’ve been worshiping the thing we were once zealous against.

Compare all that with David’s story.

I promise I won’t be as long here, but David was also zealous for God. He conquered Goliath! A shepherd boy became king of Israel. But David also committed adultery, premeditated murder and had many wives with family drama that would fill volumes of books. Yet God says he had a heart after God’s own heart.

David wrote Psalms saying,

“Search me O God and know my heart;

test me and know my anxious thoughts.

See if there is any offensive way in me,

and lead me in the way everlasting.” (139:23-24)

“For you have been my hope,

O Sovereign Lord,

my confidence since my youth.” (Psalm 71)

Yes, David had zeal. But more than that, he had a deep love for God. His actions were not perfect, but his heart was open, honest and often broken before God and was willing to hear what He had to say. David’s allegiance was to God alone and we see that as he prayed for a whole-hearted devotion to Him.

So from those two stories, I pray that in my zeal, my ambition to follow Jesus, I have a heart like His. A heart for Him alone. I don’t have to worry about the results and what people think, because as I abide in Him and let Him satisfy my deepest need, He will produce the good fruit. He will make His name GREAT.

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6 thoughts on “When Doing Big Things for God Went Bad

  1. jenniferkindle says:

    I’m glad there’s room because I’m joining you in the abiding! It’s hearing his heart and letting him wash over me that is my deepest joy. Loved this!

    Like

  2. DebK says:

    I so appreciate how you make I Kings relate to my heart! This reminded me of a thoughtful little ebook by Bart Millard and Andrew Farley. On this same truth, they spoke of living FROM Jesus, not merely FOR Him. Somehow “for” can turn my heart into doing God a favor or working through my own abilities (like I have any abilities a part from Him). Changing that simple word to “from” really struck a chord. I live FROM the Vine, under the care of my Father, the Vinekeeper. It is only here I receive nourishment and find pure, deep satisfaction.

    Like

  3. Rebecca says:

    I just had to share…Tommy and I had a long day, it was evening and it sounded fun to go to a snow cone stand with friends. But, friends had been watching five of our six kids for the day. We had picked up three (two from the location we had been asked to go with) and so we needed to pick up two more before we could drive to this new stand (all natural ingredients, just a little outside of town). Well, the pick up took a while, then we had to get cash, Tommy took a wrong turn, then we realized we needed gas. One of those moments! So, I looked at Tommy and said, “Are you satisfied? ” He smirked. I said well no matter what happens (the stand closed in fifteen minutes threatening to ruin our plan), let’s just worship. God knows what is going to happen and He’ll work out the details for us. Calm, you know that peace like a river! We did make it and our friends to, just before they closed. And as they picked up chairs around us we had some sweet fellowship.
    I’m getting an itch to share my stories like you are now! 😉

    Like

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