And he said, Thus saith the Lord, Make this valley full of ditches. For thus saith the Lord, Ye shall not see wind, neither shall ye see rain; yet that valley shall be filled with water, that ye may drink… 2 Kings 3:16-17a
One of my favorite messages from Pastor Steven Furtick of Elevation Church is Digging Ditches. The Biblical text that the message comes from is 2 Kings 3:9-20. The paraphrase of the story is that the three kings of Israel, Judah, and Edom have run out of water in route to confront the Moabite army, who have revolted against Israel. They seek out Elisha the prophet who declares the words in the above verses. It’s a fascinating story that I’d never really considered until I heard Steven Furtick’s message a couple of years ago at the Leadership Summit. It’s an excellent message and Pastor Furtick has actually preached it all over the world and a couple of times at His church. If you’d like the listen to the most recent sermon available (that I’m aware of) you can click here to head over to the sermon page of Elevation church. The Digging Ditches sermon is Week Two of the sermon series Greater.
The main thrust of the message is this: Dig ditches – God will bring the rain. I frequently use this phrase with our worship team. Another way to state this truth is, if we will do what we can do, God will do what only He can do. Perhaps I’m taking some theological liberties here, but I believe this is what Paul is referring to in His letter to the Corinthians when he says that we are “co-laborers with Christ.”
God is able to do exceedingly more than we can ask or imagine but I also believe He calls us to use what He has given us for His greater purposes. And quite frankly, a lot of this work doesn’t involve standing up on a stage with intelligent lighting and multiple screens. Digging ditches is hard work. In Kingdom work it often translates to serving without thanks, quiet times with no recognition, and swallowing our pride to put other’s needs above our own. Some days it’s deeply gratifying. Other days it’s digging ditches while sweating profusely under the hot summer sun.
The good news though is that it really does take a lot of the pressure off us. We still have to do the work, but it is God who ultimately brings the rain.
This week go out and dig some ditches. I don’t know what translates into ditches for you, but I’m certain with some prayer you’ll discover a couple to either continue or begin digging one you haven’t started yet. Dig your ditch, and then trust God to send the rain.
Til next time,