1. Hello, listening friends.
2. We are delighted that you tuned in today
3. It is our prayer, that God is using this series of messages “The Blessings of Surrender” to bless your life
4. In our last broadcast, we ended by saying that we often try to improve on God’s plan.
5. We left the prophet Elisha, the man of God, having to face the death of the poisoned stew.
6. The poisoned pot, brought about because someone who just had to improve on God’s plan.
7. He gathered unneeded vegetables for the pot.
8. Let’s review the story in II Kings chapter 4, beginning in verse 38
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)
9. Elisha has told his followers to prepare a stew with what provisions they have.
10. But one of his followers went out into the field and gathered more vegetables.
12. Because he tried to improve on God's plan.
13. Because he tried to improve on God’s provision
14. We all love to improve on God’s plan
15. We often try to intrude on God's purpose.
16. We often want to modify God's plan for us.
17. Now, so far, we see famine in the land . . .
18. but God is making provision for His faithful servants.
19. Now let’s look at the rest of the story.
20. It will show us a picture of ourselves.
21. So far, the pot of stew is boiling on the fire.
22. Now, let’s look at verses 39 and 40.
23. It says, "One of them went out into the field to gather herbs . . ."
24. Now, my listening friends, it only takes one person
25. One with the spirit of control written all over his face.
26. One whose ego is always tripping him.
27. One who could not stand the way God used Elisha to supernaturally provide the stew.
28. One who wants to feel just as important as Elisha
29. One who went out into the field and gathered herbs.
30. There he also found the wild vine and gathered from it a lap full of wild gourds.
31. Then he sliced them and threw them into the pot of stew.
32. This man did not know what this plant was all about.
33. But he felt he had to do something to help God out.
34. As if Elisha could not do it all by himself.
35. So . . . as they began to eat they cried out and said, "There is death in the pot."
36. This is another way of saying it was poisonous.
37. We don't know the name of this person, . . .
38. but I think every home has one like that person
39. Every church has a few of them.
40. They cannot stand letting God do His work without their help.
41. Controlling spirits do it all the time.
42. The Bible is full of examples of people . . . who had to poison the pot every time God works.
43. The devil told Eve that if she ate from the tree, . . .
44. she would not be God's assistant but she would have God's job.
45. The controlling spirit led her to try.
46. In the Book of Numbers 10, the sons of Aaron tried to do the same thing.
47. They took control of a situation and offered to the Lord what the Lord did not ask for.
48. They poisoned the pot . . . and died before God.
49. I Samuel chapters 1 and 2, . . .
50. it tells us about Hophni and Phinehas, the sons of Eli the priest.
51. They took control of the temple ministry from their father's hand.
52. The result was that Israel was defeated.
53. They poisoned the pot.
54. King Saul tried to take control of things and offer sacrifice when the prophet Samuel got delayed
55. Consequently, he got out of the will of God.
56. Saul brought a curse upon himself and his household.
57. King Saul poisoned the pot.
58. In the Book of Acts, chapter 5, . . .
59. Anninas and Siphira tried to take control from the Apostles and they dropped dead on the spot.
60. They poisoned the pot.
61. My listening friends, this is very important.
62. The reason why many ministries are lifeless and spiritless . . .
63. is because they are controlled by men and women, not by the Lord Jesus Christ.
64. There is also much work that is being done in the name of Christ . . . of which Christ is innocent.
66. Because it is being done by those with a controlling spirit, not out of obedience to God's command.
67. It is a serious thing to serve the living God in the energy of the flesh.
68. Its inevitable result is death in the pot.
69. It is a dangerous thing to perpetuate a ministry or an institution out of self-respect and not to the glory of the Lord.
70. What is God's solution to the misery of control?
71. Let’s look again at verse 41.
72. Elisha said, “’Bring some flour’
73. and he put it into the pot
74. and then he said . . . ‘serve it to the people that they may eat’ and there was no poison in the pot anymore."
75. What is the flour?
76. In the scripture, flour is a type of Christ in His resurrection power.
77. Christ's resurrection power was a result of the crushing and the grinding of the grain of wheat.
78. The grain of wheat had to be crushed in the mill of the cross before he could become the bread of life.
79. Jesus is the flour . . . that is thrown into the pot of death.
80. This is a picture of Calvary.
82. Jesus' perfect life . . . death . . . and resurrection have absorbed the sin into himself and brought us life.
83. The poison in the pot which was brought about by man's effort to intrude upon God's provision . . .
84. was neutralized by the bread of life.
85. The poison in the pot which was brought about to improve God's plan was neutralized.
86. So, it is today.
87. The power of the resurrected Christ can deliver us from the spirit of control.
88. The power of the resurrected Christ can rescue us from ourselves.
89. The power of the resurrected Christ can save us from the falsehood of dead works.
90. The power of the resurrected Christ can redeem us from self- assertion.
91. The power of the resurrected Christ can help us out of our stubbornness and sin.
92. Elijah said: "Bring some flour."
93. “He put it into the pot
94. and then he said ‘serve it to the people that they may eat.’”
95. And then there was nothing harmful in the pot.
96. Because of Christ's death at Calvary, . . . we can cry out: “Oh, death where is your sting?”
97. “Oh, hell where is your victory?"
98. But, thanks be to God who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
99. My listening friends, please listen very carefully as I conclude this message.
100. When Jesus gave us victory over death and sin he willed many things for us.
101. He willed it for us to have victory over the consequences of sin.
102. He has willed it for us to have victory over the power of sin of control and self-assertion.
103. He has willed it for us to nullify the poison in the pots of our lives.
104. He has brought about the sweetening influence and fragrance of the grace of Christ.
105. And God’s plan said,
106. “Serve it to the people that they may eat.”
107. Have you surrendered the poison of control to God?
108. Have you surrendered the poison of domination to God?
109. Have you surrendered the poison of dead work to God?
110. Have you surrendered the poison of the tendency to thwart God's purpose?
111. Will you surrender your intrusion on God's provision?
112. Will you surrender your persistent trying to improve on God's plan?
113. Will you surrender your declaration of independence from God?
114. My listening friends,
115. would that our prayer today is that of the Apostle Paul.
116. “That it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me,”
117. “and the life which I now live in the flesh “
118. “I live by faith in the son of God who loves me and gave himself for me."