After Elisha put his hand on the bow to direct the arrow to the target, he put his hand on the king’s so the king could experience his passion. The prophetic action should produce deeper trust. Deeper trust leads to convincing boldness and releases burning passion. (See 2 Kings 13.)
Once they shot the shoot the arrow of deliverance and total victory, Elisha tested the king’s passion. He asked him to use “the arrows that remain” to demonstrate his passion. This test was part of the prophetic action. The king must experience both the released arrow and the prophet’s passion.
The king failed the passion test. The prophetic word did not produce deeper trust. Elisha says, “This word will never come to pass.” The king would never become the person who could receive the promise because he lacked a passion for finishing.
The Arrows That Remain
- “Bang your arrows on the ground” is the last thing an archer wants to do with his arrows. Arrows require meticulous preparation. They must be straight. The feathers are an art form. To bang them on the ground?! Impossible! They become worthless! They no longer retain enough useful straightness and targeting integrity.
- The “arrows that remain” are no longer under the control of the archer. The very object that prophesies ultimate victory reveals your point of present power. The archer’s skill set is beside the point when his arrows are crooked. Elisha prophesies with the arrow of deliverance and asks the king to depend upon “the God who says so” more than himself. The king was weeping that Elisha was dying because he thought Elisha was the source. “My father, the chariot of Israel and the horsemen that run alongside.” The king was superstitious and had little understanding of how things really work in the spirit. Elisha wished to reset the king’s faith to a new level of convinced boldness by having him experience burning passion. Elisha wanted the king bold in his trust in God like Elisha. Then, the prophetic word would come to complete fullness and fulfillment.
- This level of passion would not only have damaged “the arrows that remain,” the passion to finish would have broken the arrows in pieces! Elisha says, “You should have struck the ground five or six times!” Elisha expected that shooting one arrow into the east would now lead to breaking all the arrows in the quiver. The king would walk away armed with a nothing but a prophetic promise, requiring a deeper trust in God’s strategy and power.
Your Prophetic Promise
Note clearly: the prophetic promise of the arrow of deliverance will never come to pass.
What Elisha prophesied when the arrow flew through the window never happens! The king has a promise but lacks the passion for finishing. The king is not the person who can receive and fulfill the promise.
Let’s connect “the arrows that remain” with the arrow that prophecies. What released “what God wants” into your understanding calls you to a new level of what God wants in you. Prophecy calls you to partner with and represents God in fulfilling the prophecy. It calls you to become someone you are not. It invites you to deeper trust for convincing boldness. It calls you to finish the process that produces the promise.
The “let the arrow fly at a target you cannot see” trust calls you to break “the arrows that remain” on the ground.
Both actions are prophetic. Elisha and the king prophesy the arrow that flies. The king prophesies with “the arrows that remain.” In every prophecy is a test that measures the person who will represent the promise. That is what Jesus means when He reads Isaiah and says, “Today, these words are fulfilled in your ears” – He was the Person to represent the Promise.
Elisha’s prophetic arrow hits the target with a shout of victory. The king’s prophetic arrows lisp and whine with a pathetic whimper. A whimpering king cannot ultimately defeat a wild-eyed enemy. God prophesies to a person who is not enough to call them to deeper trust and burning passion.
When we understood prophecy, we would tremble more than applaud. Most of us act like God sends people to hunt polar bears in a swimsuit. We sing, “Just As I Am,” instead of “I Surrender All.”
The Completed Victory
The test of “the arrows that remain” is not about victory but complete victory. While some successes occur with the promise, the king lacks the passion to finish. He strikes the ground three times to protect and preserve his present level of strength, but Elisha wishes him to receive shared passion. Elisha wants the king to finish off his enemy.
From this prophetic drama, we learn “how things really work in the spirit” principles and process. With promise comes passion as a result of deeper trust. We must become the person who can receive the promise by submitting to a painful process. To become that person, we must sacrifice what we think makes us strong to what God knows will make us burn.
- First, the prophet aims the bow.
- Second, the prophet puts his hand on the king’s hand so that the king can experience Elisha’s passion.
- Third, the remaining arrows reveal the king’s readiness.
- Fourth, the prophetic word responds to the king’s heart.
Prophecy reveals what God wants. Prophecy reveals man’s capacity to represent God. Prophecy always calls man to a new level of representation. Prophecy reaches out and grips a man to produce a purpose.
Prophecy is not about you getting something but becoming someone. Prophecy reveals God, His will, His hidden purpose, and His heart. Prophecy calls for a partnership with someone to represent God in securing His intended purposes.
In this case, God wants the king’s enemy utterly defeated. The king thinks this has something to do with his kingship when the king should have something to do with God’s Kingship. God wants this enemy annihilated because of his threat to His kingdom.
Greater Victory from Deeper Trust
Did you realize that you can gain such victory over an enemy that you never have a problem with that enemy anymore?
God asks you to sacrifice “the arrows that remain.” He wants deeper trust in His word than you have in your present power. God knows that an arrow that hits the prophetic target is not a sign that “the arrows that remain” are magical. God wants those arrows on the ground, in pieces!
How many times have we put “the arrows that remain” on display with a plaque: “These arrows present when Elisha and I shot the prophetic arrow.” Thousands pass by and kiss the arrows until all the feathers are worn off and two inches of the hilt disappear. Two burning flames remain lit night and day in memorial, and a choir sings “Let Arrows Fly Forever” on special occasions remembering Elisha.
People collect prophecies in a scrapbook. “Here’s the one I got from this prophetic hero.” They point to the trading card of that prophet with his picture, and a listing of how many great prophecies recorded came true, a batting average over .600 with few errors and many runs batted in.
“That is a good one!” someone says. “I wish I had that one in my collection!” People look for prophets who take requests like nightclub pianists.
No! Prophecy immediately demands a shift in personal trust away from present capacities and conditions to a deeper trust in the One who reveals what He wants to the person He wants to represent His intentions.
Slap those arrows on the ground! Sacrifice your passion to receive the passion of God! When you are bold enough to express His passion, nothing will stop you! God will strengthen you with His power when you represent His passion.
The word that sets up your enemy for tragedy sets you up for trust.