Zac Poonen - Inspirational
The Need Of Humility And Anointing
- Zac Poonen
In 2 Kings Chapter 5 we read about the story of Naaman. Naaman first of all went to the king, and the king didn't know what to do. He sent him to Elisha. See how Elisha treated this mighty General. This passage shows us what a true man of God is really like. A true man of God doesn't care whether a man is a great man or a small man. Elisha showed more honour to that poor widow when she came to him with her financial need. But when the great Syrian general (who was used to people bowing down before him) came, Elisha did not even go to meet him. Naaman, the general of the world's most powerful army, had to stand outside the prophet's hut. Elisha couldn't care less who Naaman was. How I wish we had prophets like that. What a different brand of Christianity we would have if we had prophets, who don't care for the face of man, but who live before God's face alone. Elisha wanted to help Naaman. But he had to humble Naaman's pride first.
He sent his servant Gehazi to go and tell Naaman, "Go and wash seven times in the River Jordan" (2 Kings 5:10). The River Jordan was a dirty, muddy river. Naaman was furious and said, "I thought he would surely come out to me and call on the name of the Lord his God, wave his hand over the place and cure the leprosy. Why should I go to this filthy river of Jordan? Are not Abanah and Pharpar, the rivers of Damascus, better than this?" (2 Kings 5:11). He was so angry that he said, "Let's pack up and go home."
A prophet has to irritate people at times in order to deflate their pride. God gives some prophets this ministry, because that's the only way He can reveal a man's conceitedness and pride to him. Jesus often irritated proud people, to humble them and to show them that they were nothing in God's eyes. God doesn't care for a man's position or honour.
Naaman was irritated with Elisha. But one of his servants had some sense and said, "Master, he has asked you to do such a simple thing. Why don't you try it?" So Naaman agreed to dip himself in the river Jordan. Imagine the great general taking off his clothes and everyone seeing his leprosy. He had to humble himself and obey. When was he to stop? Only when his flesh had become clean and clear like a little child's. When you are humbled by some circumstance or person, the word of the Lord to you is: "Go down and humble yourself, until you become like a little child." We must not stop until we become like little children, because the kingdom of heaven belongs to such. Naaman's flesh became like that of a little child and he was clean. When your flesh becomes like that of a little child, you too will be clean. But not until then.
All of us are too big in our own eyes. We are not like little children. Look into the eyes of a little baby. It has no feeling of self-importance. That's the place God wants to bring us also to - the place of nothingness. When you come to the place where you realise that you are nothing, then you too will be clean. Until then, whether it be seven times or seventy times seven, you must keep going down. Naaman then came back to Elisha, amazed at, and grateful for the miracle-working power of Israel's God. He brought a lot of money and clothes to give to Elisha. But Elisha said, "As the Lord lives I will take nothing" (2 Kings 5:16). The Bible says that we must receive no money from unbelievers (3 Jn.7). No unbeliever has the right to support a servant of God. Only God's people have the right and privilege to support God's servants. Elisha did receive gifts from godly people. We just saw that a rich woman provided a room for him to stay in. But he would receive nothing from Naaman. This is where many servants of God have missed out on God's will for their lives.
But whereas Elisha said, "No" to Naaman, Elisha's servant Gehazi, said, "What a fool my master is! He didn't ask for the money (or send out any prayer letters!). The money was offered freely and he still says, 'No.' Well, if my master doesn't take it, I will." Greedy Gehazi was not concerned about the fact that it was an idol-worshipper who was offering money to God's servant. He ran after Naaman for the money (2 Kings 5:21) - just like a lot of preachers today run after rich people. Then Gehazi cooked up a lie and told Naaman, "Two students have just come from the Bible School ("sons of the prophets"). Can you please give them a talent of silver and two changes of clothes." (2 Kings 5:22). Naaman believed the lie and gave him more than he asked for. It is easy to justify false reports about God's work, when covetousness rules your heart.
Gehazi collected the money, hid it in his house and came and stood before Elisha, with an innocent face. But Elisha was a man of God and could not be fooled. Elisha asked Gehazi where he had gone. He gave Gehazi the opportunity to confess his sin. But Gehazi was dishonest and lied. Elisha replied, "I know everything, Gehazi. God showed me in a vision everything you did. I saw Naaman turning around and I saw you collecting the things from him. Is this the time to receive money from these heathen people, to receive clothes, olive groves, vineyards, sheep and oxen in the name of the Lord?" What a word that is for today's preachers!
Gehazi was Elisha's servant just like Elisha had been Elijah's. Elisha had obtained a double portion of Elijah's anointing, and Gehazi could have got a double portion of Elisha's. That would have been four times the anointing that Elijah had! But whereas Elisha had pursued after Elijah persistently for the anointing, Gehazi pursued after Naaman for his money. Elisha got the anointing Elijah had. And Gehazi got the leprosy that Naaman had!! Not only Gehazi, but his children got leprosy as well. Spiritual leprosy has befallen many preachers today as well, as they have pursued after rich people and Western Christian organizations, telling lies and giving false reports, in order to get money. The children of these preachers have suffered too. He who has an ear to hear, let him hear.
(Copyright - Zac Poonen. No changes whatsoever are to be made to the content of the article without written permission from the author. www.cfcindia.com)