Both Expected and Unexpected
By Iverna Tompkins
As transcribed and edited by Jane Vaughn
In Part 1 of this message, we read a lengthy portion of 2 Kings. This is the story of when Syria held the city of Samaria captive and just waited for their supplies to run out so they would starve to death. In Part 2, Iverna caused us to be alerted to a subtle yet frontal attack on our country - but not that of natural terrorists. We were left with a challenge to recognize and tap into the power of God that lies within each believer. jv.ed.
I am thrilled about these who came forward to receive Christ in salvation tonight. I am honestly thrilled! That’s wonderful! But you have to know this is just a beginning for you. It’s merely the beginning. Now you have the power of God resident within you. That’s what it means to have the Holy Spirit dwelling in you. You can go out and claim some things – declaring God’s truth.
When you’re with people, old friends or family members or co-workers, and they do things that you don’t believe in now, you just begin to say a quiet little prayer, “Lord, give me wisdom to know… whether I sock ’em or bless ’em.” :-) Or maybe this is better: “Lord, help me know how to minister to this person.” :-)
If you’re filled with the Holy Spirit, let Him do the praying. I’ve been with people lots of times when I was praying and they never knew it: “mumble – mumble – mumble” :-) Under your breath you can pray in tongues. And when the Holy Ghost begins to pray, you will begin to see things happen. There comes a release with your kids. There comes a release between husband and wife. There comes a release of the tension.
Americans today are so full of tension and stress! They’re so depressed. “I break that in the Name of Jesus! I loose you from that depression!” God never intended for us to live that way. And there’s no true witness in it either. You can claim a new freedom in Christ!
But too often we hear it this way – in that little child’s whiny, pathetic voice: “Oh, just pray for me. I’m having a hard time giving up this or taking on that. Our marriage has just been on the rocks for years.” That’s when I want to say: “Oh cut that out! Take the rocks out!”
If you knew how frightened the enemy is – that you might take hold of this truth! You would Shout the victory!!
Without a miracle, this people – the people of Samaria – are absolutely doomed to starve to death, and the threat on Elisha’s life will be effectively carried out. That’s how bad things are. They’re so hungry, they’re eating one another! I could spend an hour on that alone. Today it’s called gossip.
“Well, then, what’s going on here? I mean, how come Elisha is living there in this situation?” We just sang it: “..to be salt and light in the world…”
But we have our excuses, don’t we? “Oh, but I just feel so badly when I’m around – unbelievers. I just feel – dirty when I get home from work…. It makes me so uncomfortable to be around them.”
You know what, though – if you would turn this thing around, they’re the ones that will run! They’ll dread to see you walk in the door because there’s so much joy in you – so much peace – and you won’t gossip back. You’re no fun any more! :-) When they start one thing, you just say, “You know, I want to tell you a good thing that happened the other day. I was talking to the Lord and….” You’ll almost be able to hear their squeals as they try to escape you – “Ohhhh! Ahhhh !” :-)
We used to sing a song in the church: “What the world needs is Jesus – just a glimpse of Him.” How are they going to get that? Not from someone that looks like them. Not from someone who talks like them. But from someone who possesses Him!
I see Him everywhere – because I look for Him. I see Him – in you. I look for Him! And I also see the hopelessness. Then I have to think, “You say you know Jesus? How long since you rang His doorbell?”
You cannot be hopeless and be a Christian! It is impossible to be a Christian, knowing Christ, having yielded your life to Jesus Christ, having made Him Lord, and yet say that you are hopeless! You see, let every man be the liar – let the Word be the truth! (cf.Rom.3:4). In Him, we have hope!
I’m really angry – can you tell? I’m really angry that Christian homes are in disarray and families are breaking up! It angers me! I hate the devil! Probably not as much as he hates me right now – but I hate him! And I want to put him to flight! I’m angry that businesses of Christians are struggling.
Yes, we all go through some things to train us – blah-blah-blah. We know that side too well. I think it’s time for the other end of the teeter-totter to… I simply think it’s time for the balance to stop being on “tilt.” You see, we went crazy for a while as Christians and lost our testimony before the world because we lost sight of our reason. And we promised people things the Word never promised.
Years ago I was invited to visit a historic restoration of a slave market in South Carolina. I’d never seen such a place before. My hosts were taking me around to the various spots of interest. They showed me the auction block where the slaves stood, and the place from where the auctioneer did his speaking, and the covered places where those who were purchasing the people stood.
I stood there barely able to comprehend it all because it was so foreign to my thinking. And so my hosts were explaining the whole set-up to me – when suddenly their voices disappeared and I saw on the auction block – Jesus. I could see the multitude waiting as the auctioneer was promising things – hawking Him. “Ladies and Gentlemen! Here He is! Just take Him into your home – you’ll never have sickness again! You’ll never have a money problem! You’ll never have marriage problems! You’ll just have…. Here He is – turn around Jesus!” And I saw Him turn slowly on the block for all to view.
I was so overwhelmed. I quietly said to my hosts, “Please, may I go back to my hotel?” And they graciously took me there. I couldn’t even speak all the way back in the car, I was so heavily impacted. When I walked into that hotel room, I fell on the floor and cried out to Him: “Forgive me, Jesus. I have auctioneered You instead of preaching the Gospel.”
I don’t know why I’m preaching this message at this time or who it may be that needs to hear this. But I know He is communicating this truth once again. When I got up from that floor, I determined I would never promise you again anything that the Word doesn’t promise you.
I do promise you this tonight: Greater is He Who lives in your life than the one in the world who is out to starve you to death! Christians are starved today. They’re crying, “Oh, God. Send revival!”
We don’t even know what that means! What we mean when we say, “Send revival” is: “Bless me again! I wanna be touched! I want to get! I don’t want any more pain. I want to be healed instantly. I want something to happen!” It’s always me! Me! Me! Me!
When our cry for Him rises beyond us to saying, “God, let the world see Jesus through me! Let the way I drive represent You. Let the way I do business represent You. Let the way I treat the poor be equal to the way I treat the rich.” That’s when He will respond in power.
Aw, Church, are you alive and well tonight? God is calling you to a higher place! We are going to know a victory in our lives like we have never known before. We are going to sow salt and light in the world!
It was because of the presence of Elisha in that city that it was not destroyed! Selah, Church.
What’s the name of our church? Church for the Nations. See our many flags hanging up there? And there’s more to come, too. Church for the Nations – it’s a good name. Is that all it is? A name? Or, are we really… are we the Church – for the nations?
Oh, it’s not just this group, in this building. Please understand – I know that. There are many people who have this concept of going to the nations and they are dedicated to reaching out as broadly as are we. And I do see different things happening – good things happening – in different churches. Don’t you envy that in them. Come on, people, let’s get our focal point back. God put us here – let’s become what God told us to become.
Every where we go, we’ll be salt and light – and salt and light – in the world! The Church doesn’t need it! Ours doesn’t. We have lots of salt – and light here. We don’t need to get together and exchange stories again. It’s the world that needs your prophetic gift. It’s the world outside these doors that needs your healing hands.
When people “just happen” to talk to you and they have problems, don’t you understand that the wisdom of God is resident within you? And you have answers? It’s time for us to be able to say, “I’m so glad you talked to me about this – because I know Someone Who has your answer. He lives within me. And just now as you were speaking, I got a word for you!” I double-dare you to get that bold! :-)
But I hear believers almost whine: “Well, what if they don’t wanna hear it?” They will – because, if nothing else, they’re curious. They may hesitate but soon they’ll say something like: “I don’t know…. Well, what is the word?” I promise you, they’re going and open the door for you. Or it might be: “Well, I don’t believe in that hokey religious stuff… but what is it you think you heard?” :-) or, “I don’t go for that kind of stuff…. but… what’d you hear?” :-)
God’s going to set your tongues on fire! It’s going to be a miracle here – and a miracle there. God’s going to set your hearts on fire! God’s going to take your eyes off of you and your little world – or – our tiny little world that we bring to Him – over and over and over and over – like He doesn’t know what’s going on? :-) He wants you in His big world – “For God so loved the…” – big world He created. Not just your little world. And, God so loved that He gave. He gave His Son – to live within you!
These people sitting there in Samaria? There’s no hope for them. Oh. Oh!-Oh!-Oh! But there is one hope! The Word!
“Well, the word – the Word? What word?” “Here we are starving, Elisha. The enemy’s camped on the outside of these gates and you’re prophesying?” I can just hear this conversation. Listen now: “You’ve got it! And you can live on that – or you can die in spite of it.”
Look back through your life and think of the times that a keen word – a word fit – just the right word was spoken to you (cf. Pr.15:23; Is.50:4; 25:11) and you just poohed-poohed it. You were so unconvinced: “Oh, yeah, well I don’t know if that’s really God. You know, I heard that sometimes this prophet’s on and sometimes he’s not.” :-)
Let me tell you how you’ll have no problem knowing if it’s God or not – by the way the word hits you. There’s a piercing sword that’s two-edged when it comes from the mouth of God, and there’s no question as to where it came from!
Go to Part 4