1. Hello, listening friends.
2. If you are joining our broadcast for the first time, we have just begun a series of messages.
3. We entitled this series of messages, “The Blessings of Surrender.”
4. In the first two messages, . . .
5. we learned that at our lowest point in life, . . .
6. we can become a candidate for the inter-filling of the Holy Spirit and can receive the greatest blessings.
7. When the widow yielded the little she had to God, . . .
8. God brought a miracle into her life.
9. We learned that this can happen to us, too.
11. First, . . .
12. we have to present to God our empty vessels and leave ourselves open to him.
13. We must empty ourselves so that God can fill us up with His Holy Spirit.
14. Second, . . .
15. we must go to our prayer closet and shut the door and be willing to receive the gift God will bestow on us.
16. Third, . . .
17. we must yield and surrender all that we are and have to the Lord.
18. We must adopt the spirit of total surrender.
19. This is not always easy,
20. for many of us have a controlling spirit.
21. Many of us think we can provide and improve on God’s plan.
22. While we all struggle with the problem of control, . . .
23. there are some of us who struggle a little harder than others.
24. Today, we will look again at II Kings, Chapter 4.
25. Here we will see how intrusion upon God's provision brings misery and death.
26. We are going to see how improvement on God's plan and purpose is a deadly prospect.
27. Let’s look at the Word together.
38 Elisha returned to Gilgal and there was a famine in that region. While the company of the prophets was meeting with him, he said to his servant, "Put on the large pot and cook some stew for these men."
39 One of them went out into the fields to gather herbs and found a wild vine. He gathered some of its gourds and filled the fold of his cloak. When he returned, he cut them up into the pot of stew, though no one knew what they were.
40 The stew was poured out for the men, but as they began to eat it, they cried out, "O man of God, there is death in the pot!" And they could not eat it.
41 Elisha said, "Get some flour." He put it into the pot and said, "Serve it to the people to eat." And there was nothing harmful in the pot.
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 4:38 44 NIV)
28. let me summarize the story for you.
29. There was a famine in the land.
30. Physical distress was everywhere.
31. Spiritual distress was all around the community.
32. While in the midst of this famine, . . .
33. The prophet Elisha was in the school of prophets which Elijah had established.
34. Elisha was now the head of that school.
35. He was suffering with the rest of the community.
36. Elisha, had been on the road preaching.
37. He came back to Gilgal to minister to the college of prophets.
38. My listening friends, I want to stop here and make this very clear.
39. Heaven is never embarrassed by human needs.
40. God always has His Elishas who bring a voice of hope in a time of distress.
41. God has His Elishas who bring good news in the midst of spiritual sorrow.
42. God always has His Elishas who declare God's sufficiency in the midst of human bankruptcy.
43. God always has His Elishas who bring spiritual food in the midst of spiritual famine.
44. So, in the midst of the famine, Elisha commands his servant to put on a large pot of stew for the sons of the prophets.
45. This in itself was a miracle.
46. We find in II Kings 8:1, . . .
47. Elisha had prophesied that there would be 7 years of famine as God's judgment upon human sin.
48. Yet, even in the midst of the judgment . . . God was able to provide for His faithful children.
49. The scripture tells us again and again . . .
50. of how in the midst of disaster . . . God takes care of His faithful children.
51. Even today, many Christians testify about how in the midst of depression and grief . . . God blesses, watches and provides for them
52. That is our God,
53. He is a faithful God.
54. Do you know Him?
55. In the Book of Genesis, . . .
56. we learn that a severe famine hit the land of Canaan
57. It was a famine so great that it would have killed Jacob and all of his family,
58. but God had already sent Joseph ahead of them to Egypt . . .
59. so that Jacob and his descendants could survive.
60. In the Book of Exodus, Chapter 10, . . .
61. when the entire nation of Egypt was plunged into darkness . . .
62. the Bible said that there was light where the people of God lived.
63. In I Kings 17, . . .
64. while all of Israel experienced perishing hunger . . .
65. God supplied His servant Elijah with food and water.
66. That is our God.
67. Do you know Him?
68. No wonder the Psalmist, after experiencing the goodness of God, could say in Psalm 84:11:
69. "The Lord will give grace and glory, no good thing will He withhold from those who walk uprightly."
70. And in Psalm 37, verse 25 said
71. ". . . I have never seen the righteous forsaken nor his children begging for bread."
72. That is our God . . .
73. do you know Him?
74. Our God provides for those who meet His conditions.
75. God always blesses those who surrender.
76. God always delights in those who yield to Him.
77. Sometime ago an evangelist decided to go to a certain part of the world to evangelize
78. After winning some of the tribe to Christ, . . .
79. they began to experience famine.
80. They had no rain for months and months.
81. In all the years in which they worshiped their ancient gods the rains had never failed them.
82. But now that they followed Christ, they experienced drought!
83. So they ordered the evangelist to leave their country and take his god with him.
84. But the evangelist refused to leave.
85. The chief warned him that unless it rained by sunrise the following day . . .
86. they would drink his blood and eat his flesh.
87. The evangelist prayed just as Elijah prayed for God's supernatural intervention.
88. Before daylight, thunder was heard in a distance, . . .
89. and an abundant rain refreshed the entire region.
90. Elijah's God still lives and works today.
91. But the problem with us is that we want to take things into our own hands.
92. We want to become God's little helpers.
93. Elisha told his servant to put on a large pot and boil stew . . .
94. in the midst of famine.
95. All around them . . . there was death and distress . . .
96. but there was ample provision for the college of prophets.
97. When God provides, He always satisfies.
98. When we appropriate His provision, we are always contented.
99. Are you wounded?
100. He is a balm.
101. Are you sick?
102. He is a medicine.
103. Are you poor?
104. He is wealth.
105. Are you hungry?
106. He is the bread of life.
107. Are you thirsty?
108. He is the living water.
109. Are you in debt?
110. He is surety.
111. Are you in darkness?
112. He is the sunshine.
113. Are you facing the gathering storm?
114. He is the anchor.
115. Are you on trial?
116. He is your advocate.
117. Are you condemned?
118. He is your pardon.
119. My listening friends, . . .
120. our problem is that we always try to improve on God’s provision.
121. And, we fail to receive his gracious gifts.
122. Tune in next time, as we look more closely at how God helps us overcome our own controlling spirits.
123. Until then, I wish you God’s richest blessing