Monday, 12 November 2018

Elisha Heals a Leper

Scripture: 2 Kings 5 v 9 - 11: "So Naaman came with his horses and with his chariot, and stood at the door of the house of Elisha.
 10  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.
 11  But Naaman was wroth, and went away, and said, Behold, I thought, He will surely come out to me, and stand, and call on the name of the LORD his God, and strike his hand over the place, and recover the leper."

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.

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 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.  

We easily receive Him as our Saviour but have difficulty letting Him be Lord over us.  We are conditioned to having our own way, or unleashing a tantrum to ensure it.  Some tennis players break racquets and scream insults at umpires when they lose key points.  We behave like that to our Lord when we don't submit to His will.

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. We are not permitted to communicate with the dead. Now another 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.

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. There are those evangelists alive today who annually lie on the graves of exalted ministers to "catch the anointing".

If the anointing upon us has waned, no dead saint will restore it.  Examining our hearts, attitudes, motives, performance and obedience to the Word will diagnose where we went astray.  Humble fasting and prayer to restore our relationship with God will bring the true anointing back to us.

If Naaman had had to wait for a dead prophet to heal him he would have had a very long wait.  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.

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