2 Kings 2:7 – And fifty men of the sons of the prophets went, and stood to view afar off: and they two stood by Jordan.
Hello readers, just a quick thought, but something I’ve been thinking about in recent times. I remember hearing a sermon from 2 Kings 2 where the preacher said there are the “viewers” and the “doers”. And clearly it meant something to me, because I have remembered it. We can so easily watch others live the Christian life, we can so often be the viewers not the doers.
If you are saved, are you just watching on while others actually live the Christian life? In 2 Kings 2, fifty men, sons of the prophets were. In this section of scripture, for context you will see Elijah being parted from Elisha and the “baton” being passed on. When Elijah was taken up to heaven in a whirlwind, his mantle fell to the ground, and that’s where that famous saying “taking up the mantle” comes from.
When men of God go on to glory, as Elijah did, who is going to continue on after them? Who is going to take up the mantle? There’s a job to be done that’s been left us. There’s a world of souls out there needing to be reached for Christ. There’s a race to be run, there’s a prize to be won. But so many of us are watching! There were a lot of men watching that day, but only one picked up the mantle. There were fifty viewers, and one doer. Doers are the minority.
We need to really ask ourselves, am I just watching others live the Christian life? That question is very revealing to me too, because often I’m “afar off” as these fifty men were. These fifty had some religious credentials, and so may you… but you and they are not in the race. How many Christians stand “afar off”! They’re not going to get to close to a life of faith and trusting and obeying God. They’re not going to get in the deep end, they won’t launch out into the deep end of Christian living.
The thing is, not getting too close to read Christianity and real Christians because it’s too hot for me is what has happened to me. See, we get comfortable, we have our comfort zone, and we don’t want to be challenged, and we don’t think we can live in the deep end, we don’t actually REALLY live by faith. Many Christians will never get in the race, and they’ll ease away from the real Christians following Jesus Christ.
Have you ever met a real Christian who is so committed to Jesus Christ that they’re uncomfortable to be around? Their obedience to God really can be very uncomfortable to me who is willing to only get so close to the action. Just how “afar off” are you from where you could be, should be, would be… but won’t be and refuse to be?
Fifty men, fifty people in the ministry, fifty supposed “Christians”… yet they went to view afar off. They were not going to get too close to the action… they would not get involved. Why not? Because they didn’t want the persecution that came with that territory. They didn’t want to take up their cross as any Christian has to in order to follow Christ. They didn’t want to pay the price that comes with standing for truth and living for God. They didn’t want to have to deliver the unpopular but necessary message from God to the people.
We need to get in the game, we need to run the race. After the incredible Hebrews 11, we are invited and commanded to get in the same race those heroes were in. The Bible says, and it is in one of my favorite verses in Hebrews 12:1 … “let us run with patience the race that is set before us”. There is an opportunity for you to get involved. Instead of watching afar off, instead of watching others live the Christian life… get in and do it yourself. It’s worth it, because the prize is worth it.
Paul was in the race, Paul was running to win, Paul thought it was worth it… Paul thought HE was worth it. Paul was willing to sacrifice his own life to run this race, God’s race for him. And Paul said in Philippians 3:14 – “I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.”
Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians 9:24 “Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? So run, that ye may obtain.” So here is Paul, likening the Christian life to running a race, and he would go on to say that the crown we get in our race is an incorruptible crown from God. Hey, our lives here do matter, what we do and don’t do does matter, how we live and the prize we are seeking does matter… and you can waste your life even as a Christian or you can make it count.
There is a big prize to obeying God and living for God. What you’ll get to see, what you’ll get to do, who you will get to know. God’s race is a wonderful race to get in. In the gospel of John we see a race to the empty tomb… John 20:4 “So they ran both together: and the other disciple did outrun Peter, and came first to the sepulchre. ” Even though one outran the other, both got the prize, the most important part of the race is to actually run it, because both got to experience a priceless joy that day… the Saviour they loved who they thought was dead was alive, they saw the power of God, they rejoiced that day. Just think, if they didn’t run to the prize, they never would have got it.
Whatever race God has set before you, run it. You may not be the quickest, you may not seem to compare to others in the race… but just focus on your lane. Fellow Christians should be heading the same direction as John and Peter were. We are in this race together. Run your race right, run it well. Because there are rules. It’s not enough to just be in the race, but you have got to obey the rules of the race… or you face disqualification… and many are disqualified. 2 Timothy 2:5 “And if a man also strive for masteries, yet is he not crowned, except he strive lawfully.” You cannot serve Jesus your way, you serve him HIS way. Obey God’s word, God’s rules in the race… or you will be disqualified. That’s why Paul talked about keeping his body under subjection so he would not end up being a castaway.
So really today, I am just encouraging you to get in the race. Don’t spend your life watching others live the Christian life. It can be you the one witnessing, making a difference, standing for God. And it should be you. Why not? If not you? Who are you going to leave it to? Elisha didn’t leave it up to someone else, he got involved, he got in the game, he ran the race that God set before him. It’s not too hot in the kitchen if you just trust God. Hey, the three Hebrew children were in a hot place, and God still took them through. Often we stand afar off from real Christian living, because we aren’t too keen on getting involved, but that is not real living!
Don’t be a viewer… be a doer. You read something in God’s word? Just obey it in your own life. Stop waiting for someone else to obey it. Stop spectating other people doing what you could be doing. That impossible life of faith can be your impossible life of faith. Those viewers never experienced the Jordan parting… TWICE… because they were afar off. Hey, the Christian life is only experienced one way… by getting involved. Starting with salvation, it begins with taking ownership of the gospel in your own life. You go from watching to participating. It’s a bit different running in the arena versus watching from the bleachers! You can do it, by the grace of God. It wasn’t Elisha was so special… he knew he needed God to run his race. And by the power of God that’s how he ran it… so get involved, stop viewing and start doing!
Hi, my name is Joseph Zadow. I am a 30 y/o Bible Blogger. I was new to blogging once! God’s word is the best thing that we can be given, and once we have it and know it for ourselves it is both a privilege and responsibility to bring it to others! We are blessed to be a blessing! I am a sinner (for sure!) saved by God’s grace through faith in Jesus Christ and I am a Lord Jesus Christ follower. He is faithful even though I rarely am to him. I believe the Bible is the word of God, and stake my life on it. My destination is heaven. As they say, I’m just a passin’ through this world… although most of the time it’s more like hangin’ by a thread in Jericho! I love playing sports – particularly cricket… I currently work on an orchard and a side hobby business of mine is growing vegetables etc – they are good for you! I love writing. Always happy to talk, so feel free to leave a comment. You can read more about me and my blog here – kjvbibletruth.com/about :)