WE WILL NEED PERSISTENCE IN 2016
by David Peters
We will need persistence in 2016. In 2 Kings 13:15-19, we read the story of the king of Israel visiting a terminally ill prophet Elisha: "Elisha said, "Get a bow and some arrows," and he did so. "Take the bow in your hands," he said to the king of Israel. When he had taken it, Elisha put his hands on the king's hands. "Open the east window," he said, and he opened it. "Shoot!" Elisha said, and he shot.
"The Lord's arrow of victory, the arrow of victory over Aram!" Elisha declared. "You will completely destroy the Arameans at Aphek." Then he said, "Take the arrows," and the king took them. Elisha told him, "Strike the ground." He struck it three times and stopped. The man of God was angry with him and said, "You should have struck the ground five or six times; then you would have defeated Aram and completely destroyed it. But now you will defeat it only three times."
In this unusual story, the prophet asked the king to engage in a prophetic action. Due to his logic protesting that it was foolish, the King stopped short. The striking of the arrows speaks of persistent prayer, spiritual warfare, and praise and worship. Breakthroughs require a fighting spirit. God is awakening Christians throughout the earth to be vigilant and persistent in striking our arrows. The times are challenging and enemies of discouragement, sickness, lack, sin, and fearful global conditions will try to oppress many this year. But, we can be assured of victory if we keep striking the arrows through regular prayer and praise, never giving up. God will give us complete victory over all our enemies.
Often we settle for partial breakthrough or give up too soon. However, there can be more. The key is persistence even when it feels strange or our logic fights us. And there is one area that we need to be especially persistent in: the salvation of family, friends, and other people in our lives. Time is short, hell is real, and God wants all to be saved.
Victorian philanthropist and evangelist George Müller became concerned one day for five of his non-believing friends. So he began to pray for them. After some months, one of them came to the Lord. Ten years later, two others were converted. It took twenty-five years before the fourth man was saved. Müller persevered in prayer another twenty-seven years for the fifth friend, and throughout those five decades never gave up hope that he would accept Christ. Then Müller died. God rewarded his faith however, for soon after the funeral the last friend surrendered his life to Christ.
Here is the point: there are some people in your life who may come to Christ quickly. Others may take years or even decades. And some you may not see saved in your lifetime, but you will see it from heaven. Never give up. Never stop loving, never stop believing, and never stop praying. Prayer alone may not save someone - they also need to hear the message of the gospel. However, prayer can be a powerful catalyst to open their hearts to receive Christ.
In 2016, pick up the fallen arrows, and begin to strike with them and do not cease. "Ask, and keep asking and it will be given to you. Seek and keep seeking, and you will find. Knock and keep knocking and the door will be opened." (Matthew 7:7-8)
David Peters has long been recognised as a Prophet, both within New Zealand and internationally. He and his wife Greta are the founders of SpiritLife Ministries and are currently based at Church Unlimited, a large, multicultural church in Auckland. They travel extensively both within New Zealand and overseas, inspiring people to have unwavering hope despite life’s circumstances and equipping them to operate in the supernatural power of the Holy Spirit in daily life. For more info...