Wednesday, June 20, 2012
Welcome to Day 171 of our Life Journal!
Before you comment or read what I have posted, please read the following passages for yourself and complete your own S.O.A.P. exercise… How does this work?
S.O.A.P = Scripture, Observation, Application, Prayer
2 Kings 4:32, “When Elisha reached the house, there was the boy lying dead on his couch. 33 He went in, shut the door on the two of them and prayed to the Lord. 34 Then he got on the bed and lay on the boy, mouth to mouth, eyes to eyes, hands to hands. As he stretched himself out on him, the boy’s body grew warm. 35 Elisha turned away and walked back and forth in the room and then got on the bed and stretched out on him once more. The boy sneezed seven times and opened his eyes.”
42 “A man came from Baal Shalishah, bringing the man of God twenty loaves of barley bread baked from the first ripe grain, along with some heads of new grain. “Give it to the people to eat,” Elisha said.
43 “How can I set this before a hundred men?” his servant asked.
But Elisha answered, “Give it to the people to eat. For this is what the Lord says: ‘They will eat and have some left over.’” 44 Then he set it before them, and they ate and had some left over, according to the word of the Lord.”
2 Kings 5, “But Naaman went away angry and said, “I thought that he would surely come out to me and stand and call on the name of the Lord his God, wave his hand over the spot and cure me of my leprosy. 12 Are not Abana and Pharpar, the rivers of Damascus, better than all the waters of Israel? Couldn’t I wash in them and be cleansed?” So he turned and went off in a rage.
13 Naaman’s servants went to him and said, “My father, if the prophet had told you to do some great thing, would you not have done it? How much more, then, when he tells you, ‘Wash and be cleansed’!” 14 So he went down and dipped himself in the Jordan seven times, as the man of God had told him, and his flesh was restored…”
20, “Gehazi, the servant of Elisha the man of God, said to himself, “My master was too easy on Naaman, this Aramean, by not accepting from him what he brought. As surely as theLord lives, I will run after him and get something from him.”
Psalm 83:18, “Let them know that you, whose name is the Lord—that you alone are the Most High over all the earth.”
1 Timothy 2:3, “…God our Savior, 4 who wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth. 5 For there is
one God and one mediator
between God and mankind, the man Christ
6 who gave himself as a ransom for all people.”
Naaman became angry because Elisha didn’t respond according to his expectations. He had in his mind how Elisha would pray for him and heal him. Expecting something dramatic…
This is a common phenomenon with praying for the sick.
We had a guest speaker this past weekend, Felito Utuie, director of Africa on Fire Ministries in Mozambique, Africa. After speaking for 30 minutes, telling many stories of dramatic healings that he had seen, he offered to pray for those in need in our congregation.
Our prayer ministry teams came forward and a line began to form… in front of Felito.
This is not unusual, often people want the person who did the speaking to pray for them.
As Felito spoke, he said, “People often are surprised when all I say is, “Be healed in the name of Jesus.” They are expecting me to pray a long prayer for them.”
When God’s power is present to heal, it doesn’t matter who is doing the praying.
One man, a friend of mine, Bill Stewart got healed where he stood, as Felito gave a word of knowledge that someone’s left leg was being healed. He didn’t go to the front… happened right where he stood.
Naaman’s response, “The Jordan River?? Aren’t the rivers of Damascus better than the Jordan River! And this guy didn’t even bother to come out to me and say hello??”
Mixed with a little anger, I’d say.
But you have to love the servants’ response, “My father, if the prophet had told you to do some great thing, would you not have done it?”
Fortunately for Naaman, the servants cared enough to go and find him and talk some sense into him. (Naaman had left “in a rage.”)
Bottom line is he ultimately Naaman did what Elisha said to do and was healed.
But in a strange twist, one of Elisha’s servants, Gehazi felt that Elisha should have taken the gifts that Naaman offered… So he went and lied to Naaman, accepted the gifts, then lied to Elisha about what he had done, flat out denying it.
And he was stricken with leprosy… “Naaman’s leprosy” (2 Kings 5:27).
And did you notice that Elisha had prayed for the Shunammite woman to have a child and she did! The the boy died in her arms some time (few years) later. She went and found Elisha and gave him a tongue lashing, (even denying the boy’s death!) Elisha though, went and found the boy and raised him from the dead.
Honestly, once the woman had denied her boys’ death, (“Everything is all right,” she said.” 2 Kings 4:26) Elisha could have been released from any and all responsibility for this situation… but his intuition kicked in… Perhaps the Lord gave him insight into the woman’s situation? They knew each other well, as he had stayed at her home off and on for several years, so he could tell something was wrong… and he cared enough about her to press in a bit more and not simply shrug her off.)
This really speaks to me…
Again, kindness and going the extra mile allowed a great miracle to occur, in spite of the woman’s (and Naaman’s) anger, and her denial.
Note to self…
(And don’t lie.)
(That’s life Application. Learning a lesson from someone else’s experience.)
Help me to always go the extra mile and show kindness when others are angry or distraught…