Persevere by Pressing into God!
Scripture Reference 2 Kings 4 : 27-37
27 When she reached the man of God at the mountain, she took hold of his feet. Gehazi came over to push her away, but the man of God said, “Leave her alone! She is in bitter distress, but the Lord has hidden it from me and has not told me why.
28 “Did I ask you for a son, my lord?” she said. “Didn’t I tell you, ‘Don’t raise my hopes’?” 29 Elisha said to Gehazi, “Tuck your cloak into your belt, take my staff in your hand and run. Don’t greet anyone you meet, and if anyone greets you, do not answer. Lay my staff on the boy’s face.” 30 But the child’s mother said, “As surely as the Lord lives and as you live, I will not leave you.” So he got up and followed her. 31 Gehazi went on ahead and laid the staff on the boy’s face, but there was no sound or response. So Gehazi went back to meet Elisha and told him, “The boy has not awakened.” 32 When Elisha reached the house, there was the boy lying dead on his couch. 33 He went in, shut the door on the two of them and prayed to the Lord. 34 Then he got on the bed and lay on the boy, mouth to mouth, eyes to eyes, hands to hands. As he stretched himself out on him, the boy’s body grew warm. 35 Elisha turned away and walked back and forth in the room and then got on the bed and stretched out on him once more. The boy sneezed seven times and opened his eyes. 36 Elisha summoned Gehazi and said, “Call the Shunammite.” And he did. When she came, he said, “Take your son.” 37 She came in, fell at his feet and bowed to the ground. Then she took her son and went out.
The Shunammite persevered to bring her crisis to Elisha and to stay with him no matter what, and Elisha preserved in faith, holding fast to his belief that God would intervene. Elisha sent his servant with instructions to lay his staff on the boy, but subsequently Gehazi brought word back to Elisha that nothing had happened. What is more is that Elisha could see that the woman was in distress, yet he confessed that God had hidden from him as to why. Why would the Lord hide this from His servant? Prov. 25 says, “2 It is the glory of God to conceal a matter; to search out a matter is the glory of kings.” Dare to seek out the matter by persevering in faith!
In some ways I see this as a test for Elisha even as his predecessor, Elijah was tested to persevere in prayer repeatedly looking to God to send rain seven times before God sent the rain. There will be times when we pray and nothing happens. There will be no visible sign that God is doing anything about the thing you have brought to Him. If you find this a challenging statement then I question both your prayer life as well as your knowledge of God’s Word. This is when perseverance in payer is so crucial and it is what the ancients were commended for! They persevered believing that God would answer even when evidence to the contrary was right in their faces. Faith and prayer is not easy stuff! It is the work of God that very few take up or carry through to completion.
What I find in scripture is the groundwork for all of us to study and learn from. These things were written down for our benefit. The tests and trials of faith that these individuals experienced are totally relevant to what you are going through right now.
Elisha was not deterred by the news his servant Gehazi brought. The grieving mother had placed her son’s lifeless body on Elisha’s couch. Why? Her son was a gift from God and God had taken away that gift. I believe she placed her son there as a testament to this fact. The question hanging in the air was, what would the Lord now do in response to her actions? Elisha did what any person of faith would do in this situation, he went into the room alone with the boy, shut the door and sought the Lord in prayer! Elisha then did what his master before him had done, he stretched himself out on the boy. In this act the person of faith emulates what Christ has done for us in taking upon Himself human flesh, identifying fully with the human condition under the sentence of death, and giving His life for ours! Only the Holy Spirit could have directed these men to act in such a way! In the first action of laying this way upon the child the result was that the boy’s body grew warm. But there was more! Elisha knew there was more to come and he stood up and walked around the room laboring in prayer and faith! Elisha again stretched himself out on the child and he revived! Elisha’s importunity in prayer and faith was rewarded! He prayed and he did not give up! He pressed in and earnestly sought the Lord lifting up holy hands in faith, rather than wringing his hands in despair! Press into God today and give no attention or time to the evidence that challenges your faith! Embrace the resurrection power of Christ that flows through your veins!