During the Sunday service Pastor (Mrs) Silvia Lia Leigh preached a sermon titled The gifts of the Holy Spirit (1)/ Wisdom and Knowledge. Her main scriptures were taken from the Books 1 Corinthians 12:1-31; 2 Kings 5:1-27
WE ARE FOR SIGNS AND WONDERS
We shall study the gifts of the Holy Spirit as a point of contact for more miracles in our midst. To God be all the glory!
“Here am I and the children whom the Lord has given me! We are for signs and wonders in Israel From the Lord of hosts, who dwells in Mount Zion” (Is 8:18). In Hebrew, the word ‘sign’ is a flag, a monument. The word ‘wonders’ is a miracle. Jehovah Sabaoth, the Lord of Hosts, the Captain of the heavenly army, is the Father of these supernatural children. God’s children are courageous and strong soldiers, just as their Father. They are supernatural miraculous children. Zion is a place of worship. The children are all worshippers, and they make visible progress!
“For it was fitting for Him, for whom are all things and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons to glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings. For both He who sanctifies and those who are being sanctified are all of one, for which reason He is not ashamed to call them brethren, saying: “I will declare Your name to My brethren; In the midst of the assembly, I will sing praise to You.” And again: “I will put My trust in Him.” And again: “Here am I and the children whom God has given Me” (Heb 2:10-13). Jesus Christ is Jehovah Sabaoth. He is the Captain of our salvation. As God He is already perfect. But as Man, He was made ‘perfect through suffering’. Our Savior and Captain has suffered on earth and died on the Cross, to gain complete authority as Man, to lead us to glory! Salvation is more than forgiveness of sins. Salvation is a relationship with God. It is becoming one with Jesus. In suffering, in sanctification, in praises, and in faith, we are one with Christ and share in His glory!
God told Moses to use his rod as a point of contact of miracles. “The LORD said to Moses, “When you return to Egypt, see that you perform before Pharaoh all the wonders (miracles) which I have put in your hand, but I will harden his heart and make him stubborn so that he will not let the people go” (Ex 4:21). Doubt sees just a wooden rod. Faith sees the miracle power in it. Doubt uses the rod only to lean on it. Faith uses the rod to separate the Red Sea. Doubt sees just a hand. Faith sees the miracle in that hand. What do you see?
“Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord, as His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue, by which have been given to us exceedingly great and precious promises, that through these you may be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust” (2 Peter 1:2-4). When we become saved, we are not just sinners that have been forgiven. We have been adopted by God. We become truly children of God. We receive the same divine nature as our heavenly Father. The relationship is as real as the earthly relationship of parents and children. But the difference is that our relationship with God is eternal. God’s divine power has given us all things that pertain to life and godliness, and His precious promises, so that we may become partakers of His divine nature. The gifts of the Holy Spirit are heavenly miraculous powers given to us so that we resemble our Savior even more!
“Behold, what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called children of God! Therefore, the world does not know us, because it did not know Him. Beloved, now we are children of God; and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is” (1 Jn 3:1, 2). In other words, ‘like Father, like son’. We are supernatural in nature. God has given us gifts so that we are like Him. We are the gifted children of the Eternal, Omnipresent, Omnipotent, Omniscient God!
“Therefore, we must give the more earnest heed to the things we have heard, lest we drift away. For if the word spoken through angels proved steadfast, and every transgression and disobedience received a just reward, how shall we escape if we neglect so great a salvation, which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed to us by those who heard Him, God also bearing witness both with signs and wonders, with various miracles, and gifts of the Holy Spirit, according to His own will?” (Heb 2:1-4). We are commanded to meditate upon this ‘great salvation’ paid for by the Son of God with His Blood. The miracles and gifts of the Holy Spirit bear witness to this wonderful salvation!
As Jesus was baptized in Jordan, the Holy Spirit came on Him like a visible Dove. He gave Him all the supernatural gifts needed for ministry. Before the Baptism, when He was working as a carpenter in Nazareth, Jesus did not need the gifts of the Holy Spirit. But now, as His public ministry started, He needed them and He used them in full force. The Pharisees became jealous on Him not because of His theology, but because of the supernatural wisdom and power He displayed. “When He had come to His own country (Nazareth), He taught them in their synagogue, so that they were astonished and said, “Where did this Man get this wisdom and these mighty works?” (Matt 13:54). It was the gifts of the Holy Spirit that attracted the people. “God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power, who went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with Him” (Ac 10:38). Everything Jesus did was thru the Holy Spirit and His gifts.
THE GIFTS OF THE HOLY SPIRIT (1 Corinthians 12)
*These gifts are special supernatural abilities given by the Holy Spirit, so that we resemble God, our Father. They are a witness that our salvation is supernatural. These abilities are not natural. The Christian is not born with them. They are not gained thru the study of the Bible or education in general. A pastor or an elder can pray and lay hands on a believer who desires gifts. But no man can give these gifts. They are always gifts from heaven. They manifest the atmosphere of heaven on earth.
*The gifts of the Holy Spirit are Grace-Gifts. In Greek, the word ‘gifts’ is ‘charismata’. The word ‘charis’ means Grace. Therefore, these gifts are not rewards for labor; are not merited. They are free gifts from King Grace! God can give them to baby Christians or to the mature ones!
*The Holy Spirit is sovereign in distributing these gifts. He gives them according to His will and depending on the need in the local church.
*We are commanded not to be ignorant about the gifts of the Holy Spirit. To be ignorant means to lack knowledge or awareness of something that is relevant. Ignorance is never a virtue to boast about! An ignorant man does not know something that he should know. He lacks knowledge that is useful. Other words similar to ‘ignorant’ are to be dumb, foolish, or illiterate. The opposite of being ignorant means to be educated, experienced, smart, well-informed, or brilliant. Why this warning? It is because many Christians are ignorant about the gifts of the Holy Spirit. They don’t know what these gifts are or their value. They think that they do not need them. Many believers do not properly understand their power in serving God. Paul says that in the past, the Corinthians were led by ‘dumb idols’. The word ‘dumb’ means to be mute, speechless, or ignorant. The religious unbelievers were ‘carried away’, led into error by these mute idols. It gives the picture of a young man, seduced by a beautiful but foolish woman. He is led by his eyes. He walks in the flesh and not in the spirit. The young man is ignorant of the dangerous path he has entered. This is the ‘walk’ of all unbelievers. But the believers, “walk by faith, not by sight” (2 Cor 5:7). Faith comes by hearing God’s word. We should be led by the voice of the Holy Spirit that comes thru the reading, preaching, and teaching of God’s Word. Spiritually speaking, the ears are more valuable than the eyes. “Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God” (Rom 10:17).
*The gifts of the Holy Spirit do not remove from the basic knowledge of Christianity. The gifts are addition and not subtraction to your Christian life. No one speaking by the Spirit of God calls Jesus accursed, and no one can say that Jesus is Lord except by the Holy Spirit. Paul warns the believers that some things are basic to true faith. They should not be confused by vocal gifts. The Holy Spirit came to earth to glorify Jesus. He can never make anyone insult the name of Jesus. Before He died, Jesus said this: “He (The Holy Spirit) will glorify Me, for He will take of what is Mine and declare it to you” (Jn 16:14). No man can believe in his heart and confess with his mouth that Jesus is his Savior and Lord except by the power of the Holy Spirit. One of the Ten Commandments is not to take God’s name in vain. “You shall not take the name of the LORD your God in vain [that is, irreverently, in false affirmations or in ways that impugn the character of God]; for the LORD will not hold guiltless nor leave unpunished the one who takes His name in vain [disregarding its reverence and its power]” (Ex 20:7; AMP). In Hebrew, the word ‘vain’ means to call God’s name jokingly, and without the due respect for His Person. No matter how great a prophet is, or how much he speaks in tongues, anyone who disrespects the Lord Jesus Christ, is of the devil. This warning is necessary because the gifts can be so attractive that people forget the basics. Doctrine matters! Gifts are an addition to preaching and teaching good doctrine! Selah!
*These gifts are from God, the Holy Spirit. Therefore, they do not come with sorrow or regret. “The blessing of the LORD brings [true] riches, And He adds no sorrow to it [for it comes as a blessing from God]” (PV 10:22; AMP). In Hebrew, the word ‘sorrow’ means hard labor without profit; this is the work of a slave who works without seeing any progress in life. These gifts are not for unbelievers. They are royal gifts for God’s children. These are always profitable to the members of the Body of Christ, and to the recipient of the gift. These gifts connect you with important people. It opens the door for you to meet people who will help, favor you, and become your friends. ”A man’s gift makes room for him, And brings him before great men” (PV18:16). “Many will seek the favor of a generous and noble man, And everyone is a friend to him who gives gifts” (PV 19:6; AMP). You become a blessing to many in your generation!
*The gifts of the Holy Spirit are given only to the members of the Body of Christ. Everything God does has a purpose, and it will not fail. That means Christ wants us to have and use these gifts for two basic reasons: for unity and miracles working in His Body. These gifts are different. But they do not divide the Body. They in fact unite the Body. These gifts are profitable to all the believers in the Body. Christ needs us to use them so that the supernatural will manifest in the church. Being ignorant of the gifts of the Holy Spirit limits the manifestation of miracles!
*The fruits of the Holy Spirit are common to all. The Christians have different levels of maturity, but the fruits are the same to all. Because the fruits depend on our paying the price for spiritual growth, in a way, the fruits are not supernatural. But the Gifts are always supernatural.
*Some believers say that once you are born again and Spirit filled, you do not need gifts. They do not press on to receive and function in these gifts. That is a mistake. It grieves the Holy Spirit, and it hurts the Body. The supernatural element is missing in the local church. Even if the pastor preaches the right doctrines, the lack of the supernatural presence of God is damaging to the Body. Because of mistakes in the past, and some extremes behaviors, many pastors fear the manifestation of these gifts. They quench the Holy Spirit thru their fear and ignorance!
*The gifts of the Holy Spirit manifest greatly during seasons of revival!
*See these gifts as the eyes of Jesus, and the hands of Jesus. By using these gifts, you see what Jesus saw when He was on earth. You touch the way Jesus touched the needy and the sick. The power that flowed thru Jesus 2000 years ago, is now available thru the gifts of the Holy Spirit. Gifts always come with supernatural power. They are not just human talents. God gives His power thru the gifts so that heaven will come down to earth. You say that you don’t need these gifts? In other words, you say that you don’t need eyes. You are still alive, but you are blind. Is that the life you want?
*When Peter healed the lame man at the beautiful gate, he was conscious of having the gift of healing. He was confident that this gift was more valuable than silver and gold. Why? Because money is from the earth, but the gift of healing is from heaven. “And fixing his eyes on him, with John, Peter said, “Look at us.” 5 So he gave them his attention, expecting to receive something from them. 6 Then Peter said, “Silver and gold I do not have, but what I do have I give you: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up and walk.” 7 And he took him by the right hand and lifted him up, and immediately his feet and ankle bones received strength” (Ac 3:4-7). This gift of the Holy Spirit is what Peter calls ‘what I have’.
*Eagerly desire the gifts of the Holy Spirit so that you bless the Body of Christ (1 Cor 12:31; 14:1). The words ‘eagerly desire’ mean passion in pursuing these gifts. If you believe in God, then you believe in miracles. If you believe in miracles, then you believe in the gifts of the Holy Spirit!
*There are three basic lists of gifts of God. We find them in 1 Corinthians 12:1-31, 14:1-25; in Ephesians 4:11-16; and in Romans 12:3-8. These lists are not exclusive. The Holy Spirit is very creative in giving gifts that help the Body of Christ!
NINE GIFTS IN 1 CORINTHIANS 12
1-GIFTS OF REVELATION AND INSPIRATION (VOCAL GIFTS)
*Word of wisdom *Word of knowledge *Discerning of spirits *Prophecy *Tongues *Interpretation of tongues
2-GIFTS OF POWER (ACTION GIFTS)
*Gifts of healings *Working of miracles *Faith
FIVE GIFTS IN EPHESIANS 4 (Eph 4:11-16)
*Apostles *Prophets *Evangelists *Pastors *Teachers
SEVEN GIFTS IN ROMANS 12 (Rom 12:4-8)
*Prophecy *Ministry (serving) -deacons *Teaching *Exhortation *Giving money *Leadership *Showing mercy
THE WORD OF KNOWLEDGE
“But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to each one for the profit of all: 8 for to one is given the word of wisdom through the Spirit, to another the word of knowledge through the same Spirit” (1 Cor 12:7, 8).
Knowledge is generally defined as knowing facts and truths, in a particular field, acquired through education and experience. The ‘Word of Knowledge’ is different. It is a supernatural gift of the Holy Spirit by which the Omniscient God reveals a truth to you directly from heaven. This knowledge is not general. It is a revelation of knowledge that applies to a particular situation. God knows and sees all things. God tells you something about a person or a situation. You do not acquire this revelation thru your wisdom, the study of the Bible or prayer. Like a flash in the dark night, this word comes to you. Light shines in the darkness and suddenly, you know the truth. For example, you know where a man is, or what is in his heart. This gift is useful in making the right decisions in life, in ministry, and during prayers.
EXAMPLES OF THE WORD OF KNOWLEDGE
*Elisha tells the King about the positions of the Syrian army. When the Syrian king became angry, one of his servants said to him: “None, my lord, O king; but Elisha, the prophet who is in Israel, tells the king of Israel the words that you speak in your bedroom” (2 Kings 6:12).
*John the Baptist said about Jesus: “Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!” (Jn 1:29).
*Peter suddenly knew who Christ was. “He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” Simon Peter answered and said, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” Jesus answered and said to him, “Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah, for flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but My Father who is in heaven” (Matt 16:15-17)
*Peter knew what Ananias and Saphira did in secret. “Peter said, “Ananias, why has Satan filled your heart to lie to the Holy Spirit and keep back part of the price of the land for yourself? While it remained, was it not your own? And after it was sold, was it not in your own control? Why have you conceived this thing in your heart? You have not lied to men but to God” (Ac 5:3, 4).
*While on the Island of Patmos, John received word of knowledge about the churches in Asia Minor. He then wrote it in the Book of Revelation.
Because the word of knowledge is from God, using it in ministry humbles you. You give God all the glory for using this knowledge!
THE WORD OF WISDOM
Wisdom is generally defined as the ability to apply knowledge and experience to make the right decisions. The Word of Wisdom is a gift of the Holy Spirit. It is the ability to use divine knowledge to make correct decisions according to God’s will. Therefore, the word of Knowledge and the word of Wisdom are connected. Supernatural wisdom is not an increased natural wisdom. It is a separate gift given by the Holy Spirit. Suddenly, you know something, and you also know how to practically apply that knowledge for the glory of God, and for the common good. The Word of wisdom is given by God who is all-wise. The Word of Knowledge shows past events. The Word of Wisdom shows future events. The Word of Wisdom gives the believer a glimpse of the future, of the plan and purpose of God for that future. Both gifts are divine and miraculous.
“Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and His ways past finding out! “For who has known the mind of the Lord? Or who has become His counselor? Or who has first given to Him and it shall be repaid to him?” For of Him and through Him and to Him are all things, to whom be glory forever. Amen” (Rom 11:33-36).
God’s wisdom is deep, rich, and unsearchable. The word ‘deep’ means profound, mysterious. It is not found on the surface of things. It takes great effort and sacrifice to dig the hills to find gold. The casual seekers, the mockers of divine things, can never find God’s wisdom. This wisdom is rich. The word means abundant wealth and prosperity. Men look for money. But God invites us to appreciate His wisdom and to desire it. God’s wisdom is richer than gold. His wisdom is ‘unsearchable’. His ways are ‘past finding out’. God’s wisdom cannot be found by man thru exploration or education. His wisdom has no limit. Only God can give a Word of Wisdom, by His grace, to whom He wants.
“Remember the former things of old, For I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is none like Me, Declaring the end from the beginning, And from ancient times things that are not yet done, Saying, ‘My counsel shall stand, And I will do all My pleasure” (Is 46:9, 10).
God knows everything. His knowledge is perfect, the eternal truth. When God judges a matter, He never makes mistakes. He applies the truth in the way that it will give Him all the glory! God’s wisdom never fails because He is the only One who knows the end from the beginning. For example, when Jesus called His 12 disciples, one among them was a traitor. Even from the beginning, Jesus knew that Judas would betray Him. God’s wisdom is connected with God’s sovereign will, and His everlasting purpose for His creation. It manifests clearly in the calling of His elect.
EXAMPLES OF THE WORD OF WISDOM
*The Word of Wisdom is given to warn about future danger. Noah was warned about future judgment with water. He had faith in this word. He built the ark that saved his family. “By faith Noah, being divinely warned of things not yet seen, moved with godly fear, prepared an ark for the saving of his household, by which he condemned the world and became heir of the righteousness which is according to faith” (Heb 11:7)
*The word of wisdom came to Lot through angels. He believed it. His sons-in-law did not. They were mockers. They perished in the fire (Gen 19)
*Joseph interpreted the dreams for Pharaoh. He gave him a word of wisdom about the future. He told him what to do, to avoid tragedy. Joseph says to Pharaoh: “And the dream was repeated to Pharaoh twice because the thing is established by God, and God will shortly bring it to pass. “Now therefore, let Pharaoh select a discerning and wise man, and set him over the land of Egypt. Let Pharaoh do this, and let him appoint officers over the land, to collect one-fifth of the produce of the land of Egypt in the seven plentiful years. And let them gather all the food of those good years that are coming, and store up grain under the authority of Pharaoh, and let them keep food in the cities. Then that food shall be as a reserve for the land for the seven years of famine which shall be in the land of Egypt, that the land may not perish during the famine” (Gen 41:32-36). Through this word of wisdom, Joseph became the prime minister. He saved Egypt, himself and also his family.
*All the prophets received warnings and words of wisdom about the future of the nation (Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Daniel etc)
*Paul was going on the sea to Rome. He warned the captain of the ship not to go at that time. His word of wisdom was ignored. Then there was a great storm. They all lost hope. An angel of God comes to Paul with a second word of wisdom: “After long abstinence from food, then Paul stood in the midst of them and said, “Men, you should have listened to me, and not have sailed from Crete and incurred this disaster and loss. And now I urge you to take heart, for there will be no loss of life among you, but only of the ship. For there stood by me this night an angel of the God to whom I belong and whom I serve, saying, ‘Do not be afraid, Paul; you must be brought before Caesar; and indeed God has granted you all those who sail with you.’ Therefore, take heart, men, for I believe God that it will be just as it was told me. However, we must run aground on a certain island” (Ac 27:21-26). This time, the captain obeyed Paul. Just as Paul said, the ship was destroyed but all were saved on the Island of Malta. Ignoring a Word of wisdom has consequences. Obeying it ends in safety and victory.
WASH AND BE CLEAN – THE HEALING OF NAAMAN (2 Kings 5).
Naaman was a great Syrian general. Tradition says that he was the one who drew an arrow at random that killed King Ahab (1 Kg 22:34). Hamman became famous in Syria. He was as famous as Joseph and Egypt or David in Israel. His name means ‘pleasant to look at’. Probably Naaman was a handsome man. But he has leprosy. It is like saying that this is a beautiful wife but she is a prostitute. Leprosy was a terrible deadly disease. It disfigured the handsome Naaman. Soon, he had to stop leading the armies. It ended into a slow and painful death. There was no cure for it. During a war with Israel, he had captured a Jewish girl who became his wife’s maid. She told him to go and meet the prophet Elisha who would heal him from this incurable and terrible disease. The Syrian King gave him a letter of introduction to the King of Israel. Naaman went to the King of Israel but was openly refused. No king can heal leprosy! Then Naaman went to the house of Elisha with all his chariots and great entourage. He was waiting at the door when Elisha sent him a word of wisdom! Elisha did not come out to greet him. The prophet’s word should be enough for Naaman. The prophet sent a message thru Gehazi that Naaman should go to the Jordan River and deep himself seven times. Then he will be healed. This is a Word of Wisdom. Naaman was angry that Elisha did not come out to greet him and to do some religious acts. He had his own ideas of what a prophet should do. His ideas were taken from idols. Now, he has to learn that Jehovah and His prophets are different. He could lead an army, but he could not control Elisha. To be healed, he had to humble himself. He obeyed Elisha and he was healed. Elisha refuses payment for this miracle. Gehazi, who is Elisha’s servant, coveted the money and ran after Naaman. He lied to him. Naaman gave him money and some expensive garments. Elisha, through a Word of Knowledge, confronts Gehazi about his sin. He and his family became leprous.
As you can see, there are at least three gifts of the Holy Spirit manifesting. Elisha is a prophet. He receives a word of wisdom for Naaman and a word of knowledge for Gehazi. God told Elisha that Naaman shall be healed in the future if he obeys this word. Because it applies to a future action, it is a Word of Wisdom. In Gehazi’s case, God gave Elisha a word of knowledge about an event that has happened already. The purpose of these two words is to give miraculous power to Elisha, to deal with both situations instantly, and according to God’s will. He healed a foreigner who had faith and he judged a Jew who did not have faith. This is a picture of the church of God. In Christ, there is no Jew, no Gentile. We are all one, saved by Grace and through Faith. Both gifts manifested by Elisha show the power of God in action. After being healed, Naaman said: “Indeed, now I know that there is no God in all the earth, except in Israel” (2Kings 5:15). What impressed Naaman was not just his healing but the power of God’s Word spoken by Elisha. Naaman was not only healed physically, but he became saved too. He promised that he “will no longer offer either burnt offering or sacrifice to other gods, but to the Lord” (2 Kg 5:17). The prophet’s word and the healing gives glory to God!
These are some lessons:
*The slave Jewish girl was not bitter with her situation. She advised her master who has captured her how he can be healed. She had faith that God will use Elisha the prophet to perform a miracle. Her faith was proven to be true.
*The King of Israel behaves as a man without faith. He gets angry when he sees Naaman’s need. He does not even think of Elisha the prophet.
*Naaman is proud and rich. He comes with money and gifts. When Elisha did not come out to greet him, he got very angry. His pride and anger almost destroyed his chance of receiving his miracle. The clean rivers of Syria stand for human wisdom. The muddy waters of Jordan stand for God’s power. This is the foolishness of the Gospel. He who believes, shall be saved, and healed! Selah!
*Naaman’s servant was humble and wise. He convinced his master to have faith in the word of wisdom from the mouth of Elisha!
*Elisha has no money and no titles. But Elisha has the power of God! That is all that matters!
*This is a proof that God is a God of miracles. Naaman repented of unbelief, pride, and anger. Naaman finally believed. Then he was healed.
*Elisha refused payment from Naaman. He wanted to prove to Naaman that salvation is by Grace, not by works or money. A servant of God should be careful when to receive and when not to receive gifts from people. Selah!
*Gehazi’s greed cost him his health. He received the leprosy that departed from Naaman. His sin affected his descendants. If Gehazi wants Naaman’s money, then he should want his leprosy too. This was divine justice. By asking for money, Gehazi grieved the Holy Spirit and injured Elisha’s testimony as a man of God. Elisha could not heal Gehazi. God always punishes greed and lying. Gehazi lost his health, his testimony, and his ministry. He joined the rank of Ahithophel, Judas, Ananias and Saphira.
*There are two miracles performed by Elisha: one is divine judgment and the other is divine mercy! This is a great contrast between the servant of pagan Naaman (who had faith in God’s Word) and Gehazi, Elisha’s servant (who sold his birthright for money).
*God takes all the glory for the conversion and healing of Naaman and also for the punishment of Gehazi!
*Jesus uses this story to preach about faith. He tells the Jews that a foreigner like Naaman had faith but the Jews who had leprosy did not have faith to be healed. “And many lepers were in Israel in the time of Elisha the prophet, and none of them was cleansed except Naaman the Syrian” (Lk 4:27). The Jews got angry at this word and drove Jesus away from Nazareth. It is possible that Jesus never went back to Nazareth. After living with them for 30 years, they still did not believe in Him. Faith is not a product of familiarity. It is the gift of God.
“Believe in the Lord your God, and you shall be established; believe His prophets, and you shall prosper” (2 Chr 20:20).
Believe (confirm, support) in Jehovah Elohim, and you shall be established (upheld, confirmed, stand still). Believe in His prophets and you shall prosper (be successful, you will win the victory, you push forward, make progress in life)
Naaman was proud. It was hard for him to trust Jehovah’s prophet. Elisha was probably living in a simple house. He may not have been a wealthy man. But with all his money, fame, and status, Naaman could not find a cure for his leprosy. His boss, the Syrian king could not help him. The king of Israel could not help him too. When the rich and famous, could not help Naaman, it was hard to believe that a poor, simple man like Elisha can help. But trusting in God’s prophets is the key to breakthrough and progress in life!
Naaman had to experience the withering power of the Holy Spirit. “All flesh is grass, and all its loveliness is like the flower of the field. The grass withers, the flower fades, because the breath of the Lord blows upon it; Surely the people are grass. The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our God stands forever” (Is 40:6-8). This is the experience of all the saints. Once the Holy Spirit starts the work of convicting of sin, the pride of the flesh starts to ‘fade’. It is an extremely painful experience. Like the wind, the breath of Jehovah blows upon the flesh and its pride-flower falls. The Word of God ‘stands’ forever. The word ‘withers’ means to be disgraced, ashamed, confused and disappointed. The pride of life cannot endure the Wind and Fire of the Holy Spirit. It must bow! But in the midst of this fading glory, one thing stands unshakable: it is the eternal Word of God! Man’s extremity is God’s opportunity! God is no respecter of persons (Ac 10:34).
Generally, God uses people that seem foolish to the men of the world. The message they preach, the Gospel of Christ Crucified and resurrected in seen as foolishness to the world. The worldly wise ask themselves: how can a carpenter who died naked on a cross 2000 years ago be able to save my soul today? Or be able to heal my incurable sickness? They do not see the truth about Jesus. Their wisdom acquired through education and philosophy has failed them. God has destroyed their wisdom and exalted the wisdom of the humble believers in Christ. Why? To humble the proud, so that they shall not glory (boast) in God’s presence!
With all his wealth and fame, Naaman did the right thing. He took the road a sinner must take to make peace with God! First, he did not hide his leprosy. Everyone knew he is leprous. His wife, his household servants, his king, his soldiers and servants under him, they all knew that this man is sick unto death. At that time, leprosy did not have a cure. Leprosy was not just a headache or a toothache. It was like a sin unto death. It was a slow and painful death. Soon, Naaman could not be a soldier again. Leprosy was like sin; it had no human cure. Only God could heal him. But which God? Naaman decided to find that God. He openly came to Elisha. It was not at night like Nicodemus. It was in the day with all people to see. Naaman was not ashamed to seek God for salvation and healing!
God was working in Naaman’s life, but he did not know then. He allowed the leprosy to afflict his body. God shut down any form of help from the wise and the rich. Until Naaman arrived at the end of himself, until he humbled himself, he could find no solution to his problem. God humbled him. He saw his need as a sinner. The Holy Spirit convicted him of sin. Leprosy is a symbol of sin. For as long as Naaman stood proud, in defiance against God, he could not find peace or healing. “God resists the proud, but He gives grace to the humble” (Jam 4:6). Humbled, he went to Jordan River and dipped in its muddy waters 7 times. Seven is the number of Perfection. It was not the water that healed him. It was the God of Elisha who spoke the Word of wisdom. He got healed, body, soul, and spirit. The guilt and shame of leprosy left him instantly. He has a new mind of peace with God! Here we see that God helps those who cannot help themselves! Naaman had to bow to Jehovah, to the God of the country he has conquered with his army. He could conquer the people, but he could not conquer their God. Naaman had to bow not only to Jehovah God, but also to Jehovah’s prophet, Elisha. Once he humbled himself, the healing was instant! He then openly praises Jehovah God! May his story humble us too! Come to Jesus! Receive His total salvation! Be born again! Be healed! In Jesus’ name! Worship the Lord!
Please pray for us, Sister. https://thehappynarcissist.wpcomstaging.com/2023/05/09/strength-honor/
I wasn’t planning to write anything today, but then God gave me this . . . https://thehappynarcissist.wpcomstaging.com/2023/05/10/verge-of-a-miracle/
Last one. Thank you for your prayers. The prayers of the saints are my secret weapon in the fight to protect children which is my calling, by God’s Grace. https://thehappynarcissist.wpcomstaging.com/2023/05/11/the-brave-one/