Wednesday, 30 November 2016

True Obedience

Scripture: 2 Kings 5 v 10 - 11: "And Elisha sent a messenger unto him, saying, Go and wash in Jordan seven times, and thy flesh shall come again to thee, and thou shalt be clean.....But Naaman was wroth, and went away, and said, Behold I thought..."
Isaiah 55 v 8 - 9: "For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD.  For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts."

A little Israeli slave girl told Naaman, a Syrian who suffered from leprosy, that there was a prophet called Elisha who lived in Israel who could pray for him to be healed of his disease. So the King of Syria wrote a letter to the King of Israel, sending it by Naaman's hand to ask for Elisha to heal him.

Elisha was summoned and he told Naaman that  he should wash in the Jordan River 7 times and he would be cleansed of leprosy and made whole. The stubborn, angry Naaman had thought the prophet would pronounce him healed after some prayers. He also considered the rivers in his own land superior to the Jordan.

He sounds just like anyone of us when our own expectations are not met. We shout and perform. We want set rituals and a religious show to ensure that God is taking notice, but our God works in mysterious ways. He does the unexpected every time. He needs to outwit the predictable things of Satan. Satan loves rituals and showiness and other attention-seeking devices.

Go dip yourself in Jordan River 7 times for healing was Elisha's word to Naaman. And, after many complaints, he obeyed and was completely healed. How many times have we missed a blessing or a miracle because the manner of it was not to our liking. Our pride and perfection become stumbling blocks to the moving of the Holy Spirit.  We even project our own hidden pride upon those trying to help us, insulting them to the point of being rejected by them.

Jesus hates organised religion because it completely blocks the true spiritual anointing.  He wants us to live in simplicity and to love one another in humility and trust. Miracles will flow from the hands of people who are fully submitted to the Lordship of Jesus.  God's ways are higher than our ways, and His thoughts are higher than ours.  He sees things differently and if we want what's best for us we need to reach up to His level.

Jesus wants us to be living saints who are willing to follow where He leads us. Willing to be obedient to every instruction He writes on our hearts - every day has new and different commands specifically crafted for each individual who is in a personal relationship with Jesus. Jesus always resists those who are proud and stubborn, and gives grace to humble people, through whom He works His miracles.

Think of the dead saints being prayed to in the Catholic Church.   There is a saint for every problem!Christians are not permitted to communicate with the dead as that is when you get deceived by familiar spirits masquerading as dead saints.  Now another has been added to the two popes - John Paul 2 and John 23 - "canonized" as saints years after their death because John Paul has performed two miracles since his death while John is lagging behind with only one miracle.  Mother Theresa has done her required two.

This is false Christianity at its very worst! It is a mockery of the true walk of faith that born again saints experience every day. There is no Christian teaching that tells us that we must expect to perform miracles after we are dead. However, there are those strange evangelists alive today who lie on the graves of people like Kathryn Kuhlman, to "catch the anointing".  The true anointing comes from the Holy Spirit, and whatever anointing He gave to Kathryn Kuhlman was for her alone.

If you need healing of any disease you have a living Healer called Jesus Christ to whom all things are possible. He performs many miracles every day and is the only true miracle worker. This is the real mystery of Christianity that the unsaved cannot grasp - Christ in us the hope of glory.

We must not lean on our own understanding as Naaman did, we must be led by the Lord.  Jesus said we must pray to the Father in His name.  We don't need a St. Christopher medal on our dashboard to protect us, or St. Anthony to find lost things, as this type of faith is not backed by God.  He said we must have no other gods before Him.  Dead saints are dead works that amount to nothing.

Jesus who died on the Cross and rose from the dead joined Himself to each one of us to make a new creation that could live on Earth but be separate from the world system. When we are born again, baptised in water and the Holy Spirit we are that new creation and Jesus in us can continue the work He started when He lived on Earth. Healing, saving, delivering, preaching, honouring His Father and creating love and reconciliation in us.   

Prayer: Father God forgive my religious pride that makes mockery of true Christian ministry, and belittles those who have lived by faith for many years.  Teach me Your perfect way and let me be humble before you.  Let me not grumble and complain but let me fully understand the power of Jesus Christ within me - the hope of glory. In Jesus' name. Amen.