2 Kings 4:32 “Elisha entered the house and found the boy stretched out on the bed dead. He went into the room and locked the door—just the two of them in the room—and prayed to God. He then got into bed with the boy and covered him with his body, mouth on mouth, eyes on eyes, hands on hands. As he was stretched out over him like that, the boy’s body became warm. Elisha got up and paced back and forth in the room. Then he went back and stretched himself upon the boy again. The boy started sneezing—seven times he sneezed!—and opened his eyes. “
Okay first of all, HOW IS THIS NOT THE BIBLE STORY WE LEARN AS KIDS? My kids are so not learning just about a boat and a bunch of animals, they’re learning about kids being raised from the dead! (Sorry about the ark thing…just not quite as badass.) This same story happened to both Elisha and Elijah (Uh…. can I have this kinda story happen to both me and my mentee? Thanks). This story has been stirring and on my heart for over a year now. I actually preached a message on it in Alaska, but thought it was time to get it into blog form.
Elisha and Elijah have stirred so much, deeply and profoundly, in my own heart. Honestly, a lot of bible stories are hard for me to apply to my life and heart currently. Yes, a good God flows through the stories, the wrestle of human nature and trying to make sense of God, but the actual stories just feel like…. stories. This story though, is the wrestle and risk and faith of the human heart.
This story, to me, is less about raising a little boy from the dead and more about doing whatever it takes to bring something back from the dead – with reckless obedience. For me, that’s many of my dreams, and so much of my hope.(to have reckless obedience?) This stirs such a desire inside of me. Just like the biblical men did with humans, I will lay my entire body, as many times as it takes, while praying with all my might, over my dead dreams and seemingly lifeless promises. Until God breathes life back into them, until I feel movement and a heartbeat inside of them again. Whatever it takes, however many prayers and sacrifices my life and heart have to give for the core of my heart to be awakened, I will do it.
Many times I think we let dreams die; we think we grow out of them or change direction in life or simply forget them. But when you stop dreaming, you start dying. When you let the cries of your heart quiet, when you let the fierceness of passion die down – you are being reduced. And I refuse to be reduced to anything less than a woman of extreme faith.
I know God is good, He is always faithful, even when we see no hope, even when it is just death lying in front of us. I will not move from this place of belief until my dreams arise from the grave. I will lie on top of them, arms stretched out, covering every inch of them as my tears, and breath and being cover them.
Sometimes dreams simply come back to life of their own accord, or God takes it into His own hands and breathes life back into them – but sometimes I think He wants to see us contend; He wants to see that we still believe even when there is no reason to still believe. He wants to know we’re all in. And when it’s all stripped down, when your body is exposed, when your dreams are exposed, your armor off, and you are vulnerably laying stretched over your dead dreams, He can’t help but be moved. The sacrifice of self in that moment awakens His fire to come down and re-anoint that dream with life.
It is uncomfortable, strange, vulnerable and almost weird to think of Elijah and Elisha spread-eagle over a dead body – mouth on mouth, eyes on eyes, hands on hands. But that is the perfect illustration of being all in, completely surrendered to the will of God and willing to do whatever it takes to stay obedient. That, my friends, is what proactive faith looks like. All in. All there. Looking that thing straight in the eyes with unwavering faith. I want to be that.
Our dreams are not for us alone. The promises of God are not selfishly yours. The dreams birthed in you from Jesus are for this world. If Elijah or Elisha had just said, “Oh well, if God wants this kid alive he’ll do it,” that child may never have come back to life. The physical act was needed. The obedience was needed! Think of the areas that have wilted in your heart, the dreams you have let burn out, the promises you given up believing for. Ask God to remind you of those things, and go after them. Laying your body, your trust, your vulnerability, your pride over them, crying out for God to restore the life inside of them, inside of you!
1 Kings 17:21 (a widow’s son had just died in the house Elijah was staying in) ‘Three times he stretched himself out full-length on the boy, praying with all his might, “God, my God, put breath back into this boy’s body!” God listened to Elijah’s prayer and put breath back into his body—he was alive! Elijah picked the boy up, carried him downstairs from the loft, and gave him to his mother. “Here’s your son,” said Elijah, “alive!”