Sermon April 25, 2004 : Adopting a biblical, supernatural mindset (2 Kings 6:24 - 7:20)

Posted in Sermons
  • Presenter: Dr. Roberto Miranda | Translator: Dr. Roberto Miranda
  • Length: 53:26
  • Date: April 25, 2004
  • Location: Congregation Lion of Judah, Boston MA

Brothers and sisters, this passage is a continuation of the passage we read a couple of weeks together, where we saw the King of Syria continually attacking the people of Israel, when the prophet Elijah did a tremendous miracle allowing the spirit of God to overcome that army and sent them back from where they came from. Elijah prayed for his servant to be able to have his eyes open so that he could see that the hills were covered with chariots of fire and angelic principalities that were there to defend them. The Syrian army was blinded and led into the very center of the capital of Israel at that time, Samaria. And there the king gave them a great feast and sent them back home defeated and humiliated.

And one would’ve thought that after this great favor that was done for the Syrian army, you would expect the Syrians to say: ‘well, they did us a great favor, they didn’t kill us, they gave us a feast, we’re not going to attack them again.’ However, to our surprise, we see the Syrian army once again attacking Israel, once again siege the city and try to destroy it. And this time was stronger than ever. The crisis comes to the city in a terrible way and we’re given an illustration of just how horrible the crisis of the city was. Two women with their children. The starvation was so bad that two women made this horrible deal that they’re going to take turns eating one another’s children. And one of these women even has the audacity in talking to the king insisting that he see to it that the other woman let them eat her child. The king was horrified and when the people see his reaction and later they see that actually underneath his clothing he has a black cloth that he’s wearing privately, secretly underneath his other garment. And we see a few things in this passage:

1. We see that the king of Syria represents Satan in his hatred against Israel. Satan always scheming and seeking forms to destroy de people of God. We seen the power of evil always scheming, seeking different ways to undermine and destroy the people of God. We see evil never gives up, he’s defeated once, he re-groups and comes back with the second attack. And there we have our first spiritual principle out of this passage: we can never let our guard down in terms of the spiritual welfare that is constantly around us. The people of God, like it or not, it refers to us, are constantly in a state of spiritual warfare. Even if we move around in our jobs and our secular activity we constantly should be aware, that there’s constantly in other dimension, in spiritual dimension where there’s good and evil constantly in conflict. Even in this great century of scientific and psychological advances, these spiritual laws do not cease to exist.

This perseverance of Satan we see again in the temptation of Satan against Jesus. We see that in the case of Satan against Jesus in the desert, Jesus decisively defeated him but even in the end of that the text says that Satan left him until an opportune time. As I said, Jesus on several other occasions Jesus had to deal with Satan trying to destabilize and undermine his tasks. Apostle Peter says that we need to be on our guard and be sober because Satan is like a roaring lion constantly crawling around seeking someone to devour. The Bible says that our battle is not against flesh and blood but against spiritual powers and principalities. Therefore we must clothe ourselves not just with the armor, but all the armor of God available to us. That’s one of the most important features of the people of God, identifying themselves with a supernatural mentality.

And I’ve said over and over again, that we as a church need to make efforts to maintain a supernatural mindset. This mindset has different components, the first is a mentality in awareness of spiritual warfare. There are very good and noble Christian churches that cease to emphasize, that don’t pay attention to the central importance of the spiritual battle that is constantly there. It’s not saying that we’re going to give any unmerited attention to Satan, that’s not the goal. The goal yes is to be aware that there’s a battle going on and we need to be aware of it. We do need to have balance in other words. And this concept of spiritual warfare brings us to the second important principle in a supernatural mentality.

2. And that’s the concept of anointing, the power of God. When we think of spiritual warfare that naturally leads us to awareness that we need spiritual power, we need anointing to do with that. A Pentecostal mindset, that is to say a supernatural mindset insists on the awareness of the anointing in daily life. Because if someone is in battle, if there’s a war going on, you need power. That’s why Apostle Paul says in Ephesus 6 that our battle is against spiritual powers and principalities, and he puts “be sure you’re wearing all the armor of God”. There’s the concept of power comes in. That’s why the people of God need constantly that hunger and thirst for that source of power. And that’s important to understand, that that power comes from none other but the Holy Spirit, a life of intimacy with the Holy Spirit, a constant interfacing with the Spirit through fasting, prayer, meditating on the word of God. It is not enough to attend to the church, to give tithe or even to read the Bible. The theological and biblical knowledge by itself is not sufficient. It is not enough just to identify yourself as member of a certain church. We need a constant hunger and thirst for an intimacy with the living God, that is the key of success.

There are many principles in the supernatural mindset but those are the two biggies. And here in this passage we see these two principles at play. We see a great king who finds himself utterly powerless against a nation that’s coming against him. This king is sensitive to the suffering of his people. But the only thing he can do is lament and mourn and maybe adopt a religious form of prayer but it’s not effective against the enemy. Meanwhile Satan keeps on strangling and cutting down nourishment to the capital of Israel.

What moves me to share this at this particular time is that we observe, if we’re sensitive to it, the fact that the enemy has enveloped and developed a sort of a fence around us encroaching upon the church in our generation. And we see in the time of this king the people had come to a point of desperation as these two women show. We see for us too, that’s the comparison, that we’ve come to a point of deterioration in the realm of the spirit. The enemy seems to be advancing with power and it seems there’s nothing to resist it. Even the church finds itself simply observing the process not knowing what to do to make a difference. There seems to be a deterioration and neither the official government nor the church seem to know how to stop the process.

And this king even seems to be against the living church represented in the prophet Elijah. It seems that the king resents the prophet while he identifies him with the suffering that’s going on at that time. That’s why the king threatens Elijah saying “let the Lord do to me and even worse if Elijah keeps his head by this time tomorrow”. It reminds me of the queen Jesabel who made a very similar threat against the prophet Elias before Elijah.

When God sends his judgments against his kingdom, sometimes those governments actually blame the people of God for causing the problems that have come. And as we see here in the prophet Elijah, we see that the only hope for the nation is in the people of God. But notice the mercy of God that instead of reacting against this king who was insulting the prophet God actually promises mercy and deliverance to the nation.

Elijah comes to the king and brings an incredible, unexpected prophecy. Elijah says: “hear the word of the Lord, here’s what the Lord says “at this time tomorrow a seah of flour will sell for a shekel and two seah of barley for a shekel in the gates of Samaria”. It’s like saying that we were in great time of inflation and starvation and just a cup of rice would cost 50 dollars ‘cause there was so little food, and all the economic systems are in complete collapse and with no hope for the future. Imagine if in a time of great economic crisis a prophetic voice would rise up and say: Guess what, the cup of rice that today costs 50 dollars tomorrow will cost 25 cents and a little jar of oil that today costs at 25 dollars tomorrow will sell for a dollar.

How many people know that for God nothing is impossible. God sometimes waits until things get as bad as possible, to hit the bottom before he intervenes. It is like that in our lives, so often God will let you get to the worst point of desperation and hopeless and then he intervenes and shows you who He is. Why? Because God always wants to show his glory.

Sometimes He will simply engineer complicated situations so that we come to the point of realizing that it’s only Him and no human circumstance that has saved us. It’s a constant theme throughout the scriptures.

We see this in the Book of Exodus when the people of Israel are trapped with the Red Sea before them, the Egyptian army behind them, and what does God do? He intervenes to show them that He is the one to take them out of trouble.

We see this with Guideon with his 300 people against an army of hundreds of thousands. We see it with David against Goliath. We see Jesus waiting 3 or 4 days until Lazarus is good and dead, rotting in the tomb, to show that He is the resurrection. God takes his time sometimes.

And I think that God is allowing things to get bad and worse maybe ‘cause He’ll intervene and show us who He is again. What we need desperately in this generation is a church that is like the prophet Elijah with a supernatural mindset to be a conduit for the power of God to intervene on earth. A church that is looking more and more for the power of God, less of a show and more intimacy with the living God.

This morning when we started praying at the beginning of the service, I confess that sometime I would like that one Sunday we could spend the whole time just praying. And pray to God that He’ll give me the guts as a pastor to do that. And I confess that sometimes as a pastor I find myself thinking: “what about the visitors that think it’s strange, or what about people who get bored and think where’s the sermon. I confess that, that is on my mind”.

God wants us to realize that we don’t come here as spectators of a show but each one comes, called as a warrior of God to do spiritual warfare in this place. I pray that all of us can change the format of our thinking of why we come to the house of God and what we’re doing when we’re here. And as we get mature in the spirit we’ll allow the spirit of God to flow with more freedom and authority here, because that’s the only way in which things are going to change in this society. Things are bad enough that we need the power of God and not human strategy to reverse the tide.

Think about the case of Jericho when the walls were tightly shut up with great repetition and that they were insurmountable by the people of God, and that was the situation God let them be in to try to take that city. It was only by a supernatural revelation of an unthinkable strategy that God would use to bring those walls down so that they could take the city. And we each have our own Syrian army which is surrounding our life, whether it’s in our health, your family life, your finances. There are crisis that we don’t know how we’re going to overcome. With a divine supernatural strategy those walls can come down, things can change. That’s why we need to use the arms, the weapons, the armor of faith.

That’s the church that God wants, a church with a mentality of power. And I’ll address all the people who are new in the faith, that are coming to the church and we’re so glad you’re here. I will challenge you from the very beginning of your walk with God to adopt a supernatural mentality to life in your faith. Don’t allow yourselves to be formed in a religious or institutional mentality. Don’t eat old bread that doesn’t have anything to nourish you. We need to drink deep of the new wine of the power of God.

Elijah comes out with a weapon that is entirely irrational. Simply a word, a simple pronunciation of a prophetic word. He declares something that will take place on the next day. What he declares is so improbable that even the official of the king scoffs and laughs at what he said. This official of the king represents the establishment, represents an institutional rationalistic way of thinking rather than an open in terms of the supernatural power of God. And what does Elijah say to him: “You yourself will see the miracle tomorrow but you’re not going to eat any of the food”.

And why is that, brothers? Because if we don’t have faith we’re never going to actually part take of the promises of God. You will see God working in the lives of others but you yourself will not be able to enjoy the benefits of that, ‘cause the promises of God are by faith. That’s why another concept, essential concept in the supernatural mentality is the idea of faith. Faith is like the spiritual health of the believer, the joining together of all different kinds of spiritual health, who we are in our lives. Like a child that grows in physical health because he is in a healthy home, receives love, good food, good nutrition, good exercise. It’s a combination of several things.

And it’s the same thing in spiritual health. If a believer prays, reads the bible, joins together with other strong people of God. These different things that nourish themselves, they will grow to be healthy people of faith. Faith is the electric wire of the power of God. It’s the conductor of the power of God, without it we have no power.

Immediately after this prophetic declaration the scene changes drastically. Then we see 4 lepers standing by the gate of the city and these lepers represent precisely the type of person that God wants to use in a time of desperation. They represent another constant element throughout all the scripture. The God who uses the ones that no one else wants to use. The God that uses the down and out. There was no person more rejected and isolated than a leper at that time. For obvious reasons they were afraid of them for the contagious dangers, also de physical defects caused by leper. They were feared also for religious reasons because of the ceremonial impurity that they carried. That’s why we see them outside the gates of the city, they’re isolated. That’s what shows us that in this age God wants to use the small things on earth.

I say this and I don’t want to marginalize any group, but I believe that God has this poetic purpose of using ethnically and socially marginalized churches of this country. The poorer churches are the ones that not necessarily have the social strategically powerful position, but are humble and believe in the power of God. These 4 people have another interesting thing, they’re desperate, they don’t care whether they’re going to live or die. They have no other hope. What could they possibly have to lose, they’re lepers. Their physical situation reflects their social, political and economic condition. Ironically, it’s these lepers by their very nature of their outcast position of thinking differently to those who are in the inside, the king and his officials.

In verse 3 of Chapter 7 it says that there were 4 men with leprosy at the entrance of the city gate, they said to each other ‘Why stay here until we die? If we go into the city with the famine there is we’ll die there, if we stay here we’ll die here. So let’s go over to the camp of the Syrians and surrender, if they spare us we live if they kill us, we die.”

They’re thinking very clearly. They’re desperate, they realize what other hope do we have. Either way we’re going to die, why not take a chance.

This is the same with people. People who learn to think outside the box, who think of new options because we know that there’s no other hope, those are the ones God will use in powerful ways. Those of us who are willing to adopt a go-for-broke attitude if we live, we live, if we die, we die.

That was Queen Esther’s attitude, remember, “If I perish, I perish” but I’m going to take a chance. You know what, brothers and sisters, God cannot use you until you give over your life to him, until you don’t adopt an attitude of dead here on earth. The Lord Jesus said that “if the grain of wheat falls to the ground and does not die, it stays by itself, it doesn’t multiply, but if it dies it bears much fruit.”

Until we give all we can’t receive the blessing of God. It’s not until we make ourselves poor, we empty ourselves of that human pride and dignity, that God can pour in the new wine of his spirit and hope.

Jesus said to the rich young ruler: “Unless you’re willing to sell all you have, then take the money and give it to the poor, and then follow me, you cannot be my disciple.” And we know the story, the rich young ruler was not able to give up his social position, his riches so he walked away sadly and didn’t follow Jesus.

Churches are full of people who are in church but church is not in them. We still haven’t emptied ourselves thoroughly of our ego, of ourselves, of our comfort, of our personal ambition. And we’re still like that grain of wheat which is whole, it’s not broken, it’s not dead, we have t ask God ‘break us’. And there are so many of us who say ‘No, my time is my time’, my money is my money, my family is my family, mi profession is mine, my time of rest is mine, my book is mine, my TV is mine, and when God comes and asks us to give something up so that more of our energies can be devoted to Him, we say “Don’t touch that”, and until we have come to a point of signing over all our titles and deeds of our lives to God we cannot experience his glory. It’s not until we get to be like those lepers who had nothing to prove and nothing to lose. Till we come to the point when we want nothing more than Him, nothing more than God and his glory, then we can experience His glory in our lives. That’s why these lepers are the ones who are the first to know that something has changed in the realm of the spirit. It’s a constant throughout scriptures.

We’re going to continue with this passage in the future, we’re going to be wrapping it up for today, for there’s a lot more to say about this. What I’m trying to say with this passage, what I think God’s spoken to me is that we need to know that the situation has changed and nobody realizes this still. The Syrians had been defeated, it’s open, they can go and plunder them if they want but the people of Israel don’t know that. They stay chained and fenced into Samaria starving to death not knowing that the situation had changed around them. Reality has changed but there’s a lack of discernment for people to realize what has happened.

What I’m trying to say is that God has impacted me deeply with a reality that even those societies that seem to be worse off than ever something has changed in the realm of the spirit. God has given our enemies over to us, it’s there for the taking.

On May 17, 2004 unless a miracle intervenes, that will be the beginning for the first time in the history of the United States of gay marriage in this very city, but I continue to insist that God is in control, that something has changed in the realm of the spirit and He has won the victory. And the people of God need to begin to move knowing that God won the victory and the land is there for us. And the lepers give us a good example, they pillaged the enemy, they took what was there for the taking and we need to do the same and go forward.

I don’t have a rationalistic or a logical circumstantial reason for saying this but I’m declaring this victory prophetically knowing that it is the reality of the realm of the spirit. In my mind I’m saying, Roberto you’re crazy to say this kind of thing at a time like this. But I’ve learned again, we need to work based on the prophetic word that we declare. It’s the action that I’m personally taking at this time. I’m really taking great risk in saying these kind of things but when we know God has spoken to us we need to say it even when the circumstances don’t reflect it.

And I want to say to our congregation Lion of Juda “dare to speak the word of God to your friends, your relatives, the people you know for the anointing of God is with you. He will back you up and use you.” God wants you to dare do some crazy, unthinkable things and know that He will back you up and He will use you when you step out.

Pray for people for healing, just do it. Evangelize people, invite them to church. Give to God prodigally, dangerously. Speak in faith knowing that God will change your personal circumstances, family, finances, health, He can do it, He will do it. We can speak about issues of immigration. Speak and act in faith knowing that God will back you up. God has defeated the Syrian army and given us every place we set our foot on. We will see the glory of God revealed here in this place in Massachusetts and the whole nation as we never have in history. And God says: “prepare your hearts, prepare your life” because He is about to do things He hasn’t done in the history of the world. Don’t look at circumstances, learn to discern the spirit of reality. Let us be full of the Holy Spirit. Adopt a biblical supernatural mindset. Move knowing God will honor our faith. Let’s adopt a desperate final attitude like the lepers who just went forward. And let’s take action: “If I die, I die, nothing to lose, let’s go”. Shake off the defense and protection of our own interests and comfort and knowing that God will take care of us as we worry about His kingdom advancement.

Father, we pray that you will change our mind this morning, that you change our outlook, that you will change our attitude, Father, so that we can truly be the men and women of faith that you want us to be. We thank you because you have changed the spiritual reality around us, Lord.

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