"But Jehoshaphat said, 'Is there not here a prophet of the LORD, that we may inquire of the LORD by him?' And one of the king of Israel's servants answered and said, 'Here is Elisha the son of Shaphat, WHO POURED WATER ON THE HANDS OF ELIJAH.' And Jehoshaphat said, 'The word of the LORD is with him.' So the king of Israel and Jehoshaphat and the king of Edom went down to him."
Elijah was known as a lonely prophet and ended up battling depression in a cave thinking he was the only one left that was living for God at that time.
Elisha's ministry doubled in miracles, seemingly with less fanfare with the emphasis more on serving compassion to people. Elisha seemed to even downplay the "hoop de dah" of miracles and seemed to weave the practical side of life into the miraculous, showing that in our everyday, ordinary activities lie the "stuff" that lead us into the supernatural realm of miracles, signs and wonders!
THE SUPERNATUAL AT WORK IN OUR EVERYDAY ORDINARY LIVES
The word practical means "pertaining to be useful in ordinary everyday activities or work."
In 2 Kings 5:1-14, you can read the whole story of how Naaman, captain of the host of the king of Syria, a great man with his master and very honorable, received his miracle in a very practical, ordinary way. It starts with a little maid who was taken captive out of the land of Israel who waited on Naaman's wife. She said to Naaman's wife (verse 3), "Would to God my lord were with the prophet that is in Samaria! for he would recover him of his leprosy."
This great miracle begins with a little maid wanting to do good to Naaman, although she had been taken captive by his soldiers. It must have been humbling to Naaman to listen to this little, captive maid and start his journey for his healing to see this prophet, Elisha. 2 Kings 5:9, "So Naaman came...and stood at the door of the house of Elisha."
Elisha sends a messenger to him saying (verse 10): "Go and wash in Jordan seven times, and thy flesh shall come again to thee, and thou shalt be clean." Naaman gets upset for he doesn't even get to see the prophet make a big deal of his healing (verse 11): "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."
Naaman even thought that this prophet picked the wrong river to go dipping in. He knew of better rivers that he preferred, and anger rose up in Naaman (verse 13): "And his servants came near and spake unto (Naaman), and said, 'My father, if the prophet had bid thee to do some great thing, wouldest thou not have done it? How much rather then, when he saith to thee, "Wash, and be clean?"'" Naaman finally obeyed and was healed of his leprosy.
Can you see the practical things the prophet told Naaman to do to receive his healing? Naaman never even got to see the prophet Elisha until after his healing! I believe Elisha learned through serving Elijah many years by doing many practical things, such as pouring water on Elijah's hands, that supernatural miracles and healings begin right there.
JESUS WENT ABOUT DOING GOOD TO PEOPLE. AS A RESULT HEALINGS AND MIRACLES HAPPENED!
Acts 10:38, "How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and power: who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with Him."
Lately, as I've read this verse, the words "doing good" jumped out at me. Imagine Jesus being filled with the Holy Ghost and power and all He wants to do with all that power is to just walk around "doing good" to people! It sounds like healing and miracles were not the first thing on His mind. Of course, healings and miracles took place, but it was the result of His love and compassion to help people.
His passion was people, not healings or miracles. Whatever it took to do good to people would then take place, even if it took a miracle or healing, for He wanted to do them good! Signs and wonders followed Him as His compassion moved Him towards people. It seems that "doing good" things, which included practical things like holding children in His arms, eating with publicans and sinners, and letting a prostitute wash his dirty feet, often released revelation that others needed to experience the supernatural.
Recently, I had a dream of a crying child that someone was holding that could not be comforted. As the person handed me the child to hold, it became calm and peaceful in my arms. As I was holding this child, I saw a small gift wrapped at my feet that began to leak out like a small drop of oil from the inside of it. I thought at first some kind of liquid bottle inside the gift must have broken and caused this drop to appear on the ground.
As I continued to hold the child, this dripping continued out of this gift until it began to flow freely all over the floor without stopping. People's attention was drawn to what appeared to be oil flowing from this gift that was still wrapped up. I could see that many were drawn to this oil flowing out of it, but I knew that by me just holding and comforting this troubled child was what was causing this awesome anointing oil to be released from this small gift.
God was showing me something.
"Bill, if you are willing to begin to take your eyes off of your so-called gifting and are willing to do some practical, needed things in people's lives, My anointing will begin to flow out of your life as a result of you getting closer to people, instead of you focusing on your gift." I, for one, plan to be more sensitive to small children.
DID THE FIVE THOUSAND EVEN KNOW THAT THEIR 'MIRACLE' MEAL WAS CATERED BY A LITTLE BOY'S BAG LUNCH?
In Luke 9:13, Jesus said to His disciples when they wanted to send the multitudes away, "You give them something to eat!" And then He told His disciples to make the multitude sit down by fifties in a company.
Imagine the practicality of having the disciples getting five thousand men, besides the women and children, to sit down by fifties! And then as Jesus blessed the five loaves and two fishes, He gave them to His disciples to hand out...now that's "practical hospitality."
Notice the practical things the disciples did which were woven into this miracle. This all seems so practical, but watch what happens...here comes a miracle on the heels of "practicality"!
I don't read anywhere that a big announcement was made to the multitude that their meal was catered by a little boy's bag lunch. Jesus didn't seem to make a big deal out of the miracle. He even made it look like the disciples fed them all! This miracle looked so practical in the making.
Of course, the miracle of multiplying the food took place, but His priority was to get those five thousand growling stomachs so full that there would be twelve baskets left over! Since it took a miracle to feed these people, that's what Jesus used. The miracle was just part of the journey of His goal to feed them.
This miracle seemed to have practical applications woven all throughout it, beginning with the mother who fixed an ordinary bag lunch for her son. Was Jesus teaching His disciples that in doing the practical, everyday, ordinary, mundane things of doing good for people lies the ingredients of the supernatural?
Here's a quote from Max Lucado's Grace for the Moment Vol. 2: "Work Can Be Worship":
"Have you seen the painting 'The Angelus' by Jean-Francis Millet? It portrays two peasants praying in their field. A church steeple sits on the horizon and a light falls from Heaven. The rays do not fall on the church, however. They don't fall on the bowed heads of the man and woman. The rays of the sun fall on the wheelbarrow and the pitchfork at the couple's feet. God's eyes fall on the work of our hands. He blurs the secular and sacred."
IT SEEMS THAT THE FIRST WEDDING MIRACLE OF TURNING WATER INTO WINE WAS INTENDED TO MAKE THE BRIDEGROOM LOOK GOOD!
This miracle is performed with such practicality that the bridegroom gets the credit for throwing a great party!
John 2:6, "And there were set there six waterpots of stone..." In verse 7 Jesus says to them, "'Fill the waterpots with water.' And they filled them up to the brim." Jesus then says to them (verse 8), "'Draw out now, and bear unto the governor of the feast.' And they bare it (to the governor)."
Continuing in verses 9 and 10, when the governor of the feast had tasted the water that was made wine, he didn't know where it came from, but the servants which drew the water knew. The governor then calls for the bridegroom to praise the bridegroom for serving the best wine at the end of the party!
Again, I hear no announcement of a miracle from the lips of Jesus or His disciples. No one seemed to know but the servants and the disciples that Jesus turned the water into wine. Again, the miracle of this feast wasn't the goal, but it seemed Jesus wanted to do good to the bridegroom and to bless the party with the best wine. Since it took a miracle, that's what He did.
This, of course, did help His disciples to believe on Him (verse 11).
Again, was Jesus teaching His disciples practical steps in creating this miracle and getting other people involved to help someone else receive the blessing from it? In a way, He was letting His disciples know that "you can do this," if it's in your heart to do good to people!
LIGHT DOESN'T SAY A WORD...IT JUST SHINES!
Matthew 5:14, 16, "Ye are the light of the world...Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in Heaven."
When you walk into a dark room you don't start fighting the darkness so light can come. You just turn the lights on. The light of the world does not argue with darkness, fight, or even try in any way to remove the darkness. It cannot be extinguished by any darkness. It is the light! Darkness can only exist in the absence of light. Light is a symbol of spiritual presence and power.
I know a pastor who was continually counseling a dear woman who seemed to be turning her husband off by always preaching to him and telling him how he should be living. After many counseling sessions with no change in the wife or her husband, the frustrated pastor finally said to the wife, "Sister, do you see that light bulb up there in the ceiling? It is giving out light without saying a word! Jesus wants you to be the light in this house for your husband. Just let that light shine and your husband will be drawn to that light inside of you, which is Jesus."
AS I WATCHED MY NEW NEIGHBOR'S GRASS GROW TALLER, THE LORD SPOKE CLEARLY TO ME, 'MOW IT WITHOUT TELLING HER I TOLD YOU TO!'
Psalm 72:5-6, "They shall fear (the Lord) as long as the sun and moon endure (as long as the light is shining), throughout all generations. He shall come down like rain upon the mown grass: as showers that water the earth!"
I started to mow my neighbor's yard several times and no one seemed to notice it. I found out later the neighbor woman had no husband or lawn mower. She was too busy to even thank me at first, for she was never home having to work two jobs. She finally did thank me and said she couldn't afford to pay me, but I knew that as I mowed her lawn that something was happening in the Spirit. Every place where the souls of my feet were coming down, God was giving me favor and influence by just mowing the lawn. And as verse 7 says, "He shall come down like rain upon the mown grass."
With each rain that fell upon this neighbor's mown grass, God was coming down upon this family! At first, I wanted to tell her that God had spoken to me to mow her grass for the summer, but the Lord seemed to stop me and wanted me to just let His light shine through me without getting Him involved prematurely. I am sure, like others, she has met Christians like myself and has been turned off by being disappointed in the past.
Now is my time to do something good to help others see the light at the end of the tunnel. I believe it's time for us to show people we personally care about them before we even begin to mention how much God cares.
The greatest mistake I made when I first got saved was to tell my fellow workers in the factory where I worked that I was "now a Christian," rather than let them see the difference in me. They then watched me to see if I really was, and all they seemed to see was that I wasn't perfect. I wish I would have just lived the life and let the light shine, and as they saw the difference in me they would begin to ask what had happened to me.
THE RAYS OF GOD'S SON ARE FALLING UPON OUR 'WHEELBARROWS AND PITCHFORKS'!
Romans 12:21, "Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good."
I believe the Lord is highlighting the need to be
practical in our approach to this lost and dying world. It's overdue time to put shoe leather on our prayers and worship and overcome evil with good.
WHEN LIFE IS OVER WE WILL BE JUDGED BY WHAT 'PRACTICAL' THINGS WE COULD HAVE DONE THAT WE WERE ALL CAPABLE OF DOING!
Matthew 25:31-46, "When the Son of man shall come in His glory, and all the holy angels with Him, then shall He sit upon the throne of His glory: And before Him shall be gathered all nations: and He shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats...
"Then shall the King say unto them on His right hand, 'Come, ye blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: For I was enhungered, and ye gave Me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave Me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took Me in: Naked, and ye clothed Me: I was sick, and ye visited Me: I was in prison, and ye came unto Me."
As we are moved with compassion to minister to these peoples' practical needs, I believe we will experience more of the power of God upon us to be used to release the supernatural into their lives as well.
Romans 2:4, "...the goodness of God leads you to repentance."
Let's go about doing good and watch the supernatural take place!
Bill YountBlowing the Shofar MinistriesEmail: mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org?subject=Inquiry+from+ElijahList+Subscriber