Never Land

Hazael said, “How could your servant, a mere dog, accomplish such a feat?”
“The LORD has shown me that you will become kind of Aram,” answered Elisha.
2 Kings 8:13 NIV

One thing I have often heard over the course of my life (and find to be true) is “Never say never.” Most of my “never” statements have been said about things that I haven’t experienced yet.  For example, before I had kids of my own, I would watch other young families and have a few “never thoughts” in my head.

I will NEVER take my kids out of the house that late at night.
I will NEVER let my kids eat all their Halloween candy on Halloween night.
I will NEVER be that family that arrives 10 minutes late to everything.

 And then, of course, the reality slap occurs years later.

 Husband!  The kids’ naps ran late.  We should take them for a walk tonight so they sleep!
WHAT?!  Where is all your candy?!
It’s time to go!  How could you have to poop NOW?  (Insert 20 minutes.)

Yes, almost every “never” I have uttered has ended up proving me wrong.  And, unlike the examples above, not all of the results have been ones I can chuckle at later.  Some of my “never statements” have created huge, extremely dangerous blind spots that took me down very troubling paths.  So many times, the word “never” means a part of me believes I am immune and therefore don’t need to protect myself against its’ potential occurrence.  Worse yet, a handful of times it has led me to walk right into the face of trouble just to prove how immune I am.

In 2 Kings 8, this is exactly what happened to a man named Hazael.  The king of Aram, Ben-hadad, was extremely sick.  Ben-hadad sent Hazael to see the prophet Elisha so he could find out whether or not this sickness would end in death.  When Hazael arrived, he got quite a bit more information that he might have expected.

 Elisha answered, “Go and say to him, ‘You will certainly recover.’  Nevertheless, the LORD has     revealed to me that he will in fact die.”  He stared at him with a fixed gaze until Hazael was embarrassed.  Then the man of God began to weep.
“Why is my lord weeping?” asked Hazael.
“Because I know the harm you will do to the Israelites,” he answered.  “You will set fire to their   fortified places, kill their young men with the sword, dash their little children to the ground, and rip open their pregnant women.”
Hazael said, “How could your servant, a mere dog, accomplish such a feat?”
“The LORD has shown me that you will become king of Aram,” answered Elisha.  (2 Kings 8:10-13 NIV)

The first words out of Hazael’s mouth after hearing this horrendous prophecy was essentially “I could NEVER do that!  How could I?!”  He is shocked and in complete disbelief, calling himself a mere dog.  He honestly believed he was immune to creating that kind of disaster.  This event was the birth of Hazael’s Never Land – a spiritual blindness built around the belief in immunity to sin.  Once he had it in his head that we was to become king that was all that mattered to him.  It took control of him quickly and, within one day of his arrival home, he murdered King Ben-hadad and became the next king of Aram.  He didn’t wait on God’s timing nor did he stop and consider how he could guard himself against the evil Elijah prophesied he would inflict on Israel.

So many times when I am confronted with a wise warning, I respond just like Hazael.  I stubbornly shrug off any chance that I might be susceptible to the sin.  I only hold on to the parts of the information I liked hearing and impulsively move forward with that information only.  After reading Hazael’s story, I melt with embarrassment at all the times I have thought “I’ve got this.  I don’t need to hear any warnings; I would never ___________!”  

The truth is, I DON’T “got this,” I DO need warnings, and I could very easily _________! Unless God is in charge of my heart.  When I slow down and listen to His wisdom, my life becomes together rather than never.

Challenge:  Every time I catch myself thinking in “Never Land” extremes, I will pause and ask God to instead fill my heart with humility and wisdom.


Dear Lord, thank you for loving me even when I forget that I am fallible.  Teach me to gain my strength from you rather than from my own abilities.  Keep me from pride and arrogance; flood my heart with humility and my mind with your promises.  Let me soak in the joy of your forever.  Amen.

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About messyworship

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I believe that you can bump into God outside of a Sunday morning church service. That is what Messy Worship is: a written meditation with an authentic, transparent take on the Bible's application to today's world. This is where I challenge myself to blurr the line between "life" and "worship" so much that the line disappears a little more each day. I hope, by sharing what I learn, the idea of a seamless life of worship becomes contagious.

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