Both Expected and Unexpected
By Iverna Tompkins
As transcribed and edited by Jane Vaughn
We have been discussing the portion of Scripture from 2 Kings 6 and 7. We saw how Elisha was functioning in the city of Samaria as salt and light to a people who had departed from serivng the Lord God Almighty - their own God. He became the prophetic message of hope that God was still God. The challenge is obvious: Are we serving Him with our whole hearts - being salt and light to a culture that seems to have left Him behind? jv, ed.
Elisha said, “Yeah, I see the situation. I’m cognizant. I read the paper! I watch the news.” You don’t have to spend much time in negative talk with friends. You only need to say, “I understand. It’s every bit of what you just said. Boy, isn’t that the truth? But I’ll tell you something else: ‘Thus saith the Lord!’”
You see, the Word of the Lord always precedes a miracle! Whether it comes in prophetic form, or through the written word, or when Jesus walked this earth – you look them up: “I will – Be thou healed” (cf.Mt.8:3) “Go and wash in the pool of Siloam” (Jn.9:7). A word – a word – a word.
I sit in these pews and hear a clear, pure word. Over and over and over and over again. And I wonder: where does it go? How do we dare groan: “I’m just starved for a move of God. I’m just so hungry…” You don’t have a fork? There’s good meat served here. It’s time for us to assimilate it into our being – and apply it to our living levels.
Elisha says to the king’s messengers (2Kngs.7:1) “Not to worry! I know it looks awful right now! But I’m telling you, by tomorrow – it won’t look so awful.” And I can almost hear their mocking replies: “Oh, sure! By tomorrow! It’ll all be better.” I don’t think any who heard his words believed him. Certainly, they never thought that might be God speaking!
The enemy is quick to enter the scene (or our minds) and say, “How could that be? How could it be? You gonna have ten thousand – in this church? Heh-heh-heh. Oh, right! Heh-heh-heh. This I gotta see. Maybe you will; maybe you won’t.”
But some will believe. Some will believe the word of the Lord. Some will dare to lay hold to it and agree: “I say, ‘Yes.’ – I say, ‘Yes!’ – I say ‘Yes!’”
There were those who did not expect a miracle. But in the mercy and grace of God, they witnessed one.
Some of you hangers-on – standers-around-the-edge – doubters – twisting your hands and looking for anything out of order…. I don’t fear things out of order – because it shows movement. If you don’t move anything it never gets out of order.
You’ll still witness some great things. They’re going to happen. You’ll be so surprised: “WOW. I didn’t know… I didn’t know God could do that!” Well, you know it now. So – what’ll you do now? Now that you know….
Let me ask you something: If you need healing, answer me this – why should He heal you?
“Well, His Word says He’s a healer.” He is. But why should He heal you? “Well, I know I’m not worthy….” That’s not the point. You get an F on the test. :-)
Why should He heal you?
He should heal you – so that – you might be a living witness of the greatness of your God! Everything He does, He does for His own demonstration to a world. That’s Love!
God loves the world so much, and He knows that He is the only hope for the world – for a lost and dying generation. And He knows that you are His only hope for the world knowing Him. Selah. Yes, let that sink in deeply to your understanding.
Four lepers. Unclean – unwanted – unable to be in the “in” circles. Relegated to sitting outside the gates. Not accepted by the enemy – not accepted by the people in Samaria. Not accepted by anyone. They were a whole society of their own. And they sat there dying, just like the others did inside. It was hopeless. At least it looked hopeless.
Then they had a thought, seemingly out of nowhere: “What do we have to lose? Nobody wants us – nobody wants to touch us. If we just sit here, we’re going to die – if we go out to the Syrian camp and the enemy’s there, they’re going to kill us. That’d be faster.”
You do understand that’s the logic of every suicidal person, don’t you? Such deep sadness and despair: “People tell me I’ll go to hell if I kill myself – but – I’m so depressed; life’s so awful…. Maybe I won’t. At least I’ll get out of this one.” Bang.
So one leper said to the others, “We have nothin’ to lose. Let’s just throw ourselves on the enemy.” They were not expecting a miracle! – Oh, may God grant understanding for this. So they walk into the enemy’s camp – unaware – that Someone had already been there – to threaten the enemy….
You have no idea the power of your prayers! Aw, Church – you who have loved ones far away from God and you think it’s absolutely impossible…. Your prayers touch the heart of God. He goes on before you and He begins to clear out the evil and the enemy. Your assignment is to pray. You ask God. You intercede. And then you can begin to expect a phone call – “Dad – Mom – you’ll never believe what happened to me! I went into the enemy’s camp – just like I’ve been doing – and the enemy wasn’t there! Instead, everything he possesses was left behind.”
Oh, we often quote here – Proverbs 28:1 – “The righteous are bold as a lion but the wicked flee when no man pursueth.” That’s almost a funny scripture. Well, it’s funny if you have my sense of humor. The wicked flee – and no one’s after them! :-)
You see – that’s the power of intercession. That’s when the Lord has already gone before you.
The Bible says here that they heard things that weren’t (2Kngs.7:6). They heard – somebody coming after them! They heard – the hoofbeats of horses. They heard – the threat of death! And they were so frightened they left everything behind and got out fast.
Now, whom has God chosen to be the heralders of the victory? Neener – neener – neener! :-) He chose the lepers – the nobodys – the down-and-outers – not the biggest preacher on television. He chose – lepers! Outcasts. The most unlikely.
Why did He choose them? They weren’t expecting a miracle? They didn’t have faith! Well, they had a little faith, maybe – because they moved.
It’s like some people you’ve witnessed to out on the streets and when you suggested they pray the salvation prayer after you, they responded something like this: “Well, I don’t really believe all this, but I’ll try it.” (“Hallelujah,” you think.) “Pray this prayer then: ‘God, be merciful to me a sinner.” And you heard their rather bored and almost lifeless echo: “God, be merciful to me a sinner.” “Forgive me of all my sins.” And the echo sounded like they thought this was the most inane thing they’d ever done, but recite it they did. :-) And so you faithfully continued: “Save me by Your grace.” “…and Save me by Your – Your grace?” and then you could hear their total amazement as His truth began to sink in. “Oh, whoa!”
And you just had to ask: “What happened?” “Well, I – I don’t know, I felt somethi… I fee… I feel so – so clean!” “Yeh-yuh! That’s Him!” Hello, Church.
Then they go to church (and we kick them out :-)). No, not this church. Every one – every nation – high and low – rich and poor – believers and unbelievers – great people of faith and people with only an ounce – they’re all welcome here. They’re all needed. They’re all wanted.
But, do they all witness Christ and the power of the Holy Spirit – in the person they sit next to when they do come? We have to face that, Church.
Miracles began with the spoken word. Death also began with a spoken word.
Remember the one who was the king’s number one man? The one he leaned on? Whom the king appointed to a great position of authority? The king said, “You go and guard the gate” (2Kngs.7:17ff).
This is the man who made fun of Elisha – the one who spoke against the prophet, the man of God – the one who laughed at the prophetic word (2Kngs.7:2). And because of his own words, he spoke death to himself.
Standing in that great position of man's appointed authority at the gate to the city – [He that hath an ear, hear it… Every minister will understand this.] Standing in man’s appointed authority, he was brought to his death by the mob of people trying to save themselves. Too heavy? Or, necessary? We have to hear this… It’s a wake up call, Church.
Do we really want a move of God?
We have a pastor who prays for it. We have a pastoral staff who prays for it. We have a ministry staff who prays for it. But we can’t bring it by ourselves. We can dedicate ourselves and the ministries to it – and really mean it. And I promise you – I know this to be true.
And – we have the prophetic word that God wants to do some things in this Body. But you’re the ones that open the gates so that God can make it happen.
Think about it.
I’m going to ask you for a hand-raise response to a question, then I’m going to pray and I’m through. I believe this word is going to go on working in your lives.
Now, here’s my question: How many would say, under conviction of the Holy Spirit, “Lord, I have not been salt and light in the world, and from this night on, I want to be.” If you mean that, lift your hand, and if you don’t mean it – don’t play games. If your hand is raised you’re saying: “I really want to be the salt and light that I have not been in the world around me.”
Now, Lord, You see these hands - and hearts - and You know the lives that are represented by them. I pray a fresh and new anointing to each one; I pray a new spirit of boldness to reach them. I pray that all timidity shall be gone from their lives and I ask that the prophetic voice of the Holy Spirit will begin to be spoken from their lips. I pray for a new authority in prayer in their lives.
I pray for their families and homes to come together – quickly – that they might be a living testimony of the grace and power of the miracle-working God Whom we serve. I pray that before this week ends, there shall be a miracle performed by You through these people. In the Name of Jesus.