Sr. Pastor Darrell G Vaughn
                                                        Faithfulness - A Key Step to Happiness
Apr 21, 2010                              "When God Says Seven, Six won't do!"

Wed Pm Worship                          

Text: 2 Kings 5:1-14 (King James Version)

 "Father, I am your servant, willing and desiring to be used to bless your people."

2 Kings 5:1   Now Naaman, captain of the host of the king of Syria, was a great man with his master, and honourable, because by him the LORD had given deliverance unto Syria: he was also a mighty man in valour,
but he was a leper.

2 Kings 5:2   And the Syrians had gone out by companies, and had brought away captive out of the land of Israel a little maid; and she waited on Naaman's wife.

2 Kings 5:3   And she said unto her mistress, Would God my lord were with the prophet that is in Samaria! for he would recover him of his leprosy.

2 Kings 5:4   And one went in, and told his lord, saying, Thus and thus said the maid that is of the land of Israel.

2 Kings 5:5   And the king of Syria said, Go to, go, and I will send a letter unto the king of Israel. And he departed, and took with him ten talents of silver, and six thousand pieces of gold, and ten changes of raiment.

2 Kings 5:6   And he brought the letter to the king of Israel, saying, Now when this letter is come unto thee, behold, I have therewith sent Naaman my servant to thee, that thou mayest recover him of his leprosy.

2 Kings 5:7   And it came to pass, when the king of Israel had read the letter, that he rent his clothes, and said, Am I God, to kill and to make alive, that this man doth send unto me to recover a man of his leprosy? wherefore consider, I pray you, and see how he seeketh a quarrel against me.

2 Kings 5:8   And it was so, when Elisha the man of God had heard that the king of Israel had rent his clothes, that he sent to the king, saying, Wherefore hast thou rent thy clothes? let him come now to me, and he shall know that there is a prophet in Israel.

2 Kings 5:9   So Naaman came with his horses and with his chariot, and stood at the door of the house of Elisha.

2 Kings 5:10   And Elisha sent a messenger unto him, saying, Go and wash in Jordan seven times, and thy flesh shall come again to thee, and thou shalt be clean.

2 Kings 5:11   But Naaman was wroth, and went away, and said, Behold, 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.

2 Kings 5:12   Are not Abana and Pharpar, rivers of Damascus, better than all the waters of Israel? may I not wash in them, and be clean? So he turned and went away in a rage.

2 Kings 5:13   And his servants came near, and spake unto him, and said, My father, if the prophet had bid thee do some great thing, wouldest thou not have done it? how much rather then, when he saith to thee, Wash, and be clean?

2 Kings 5:14   Then went he down, and dipped himself seven times in Jordan, according to the saying of the man of God: and his flesh came again like unto the flesh of a little child, and he was clean.

 

Naaman was
* A great man
* God had wrought deliverance by him
* Naaman had a problem
It would be appropriate to say right here that great men, are not perfect men. Regardless of how strong someone may appear to be, they are only human and as humans they have problems too.

This is good news because it tells us that God uses imperfect people.
In other words: You or I do not have to be perfect, without fault or weakness or shortcomings for God to use us.
In fact it was the apostle Paul that said: His strength is made perfect in our weaknesses.

That ought to encourage somebody right now who has been sitting on the sidelines because your still wrestling with an issue in your flesh, or you are still fighting certain fleshy desires, or you are struggling with a habit.
(You did not have to answer a questionnaire or pass a physical or spiritual examine to be saved, you just had to call upon the name of the Lord.)

Naaman was a great man not only because he was a great warrior, but also because he was willing to admit he had a problem.
It takes a certain amount of greatness in a man or a woman, to admit they have a problem (most people are quick to point out everybody else's problem) while conveniently overlooking their own.

There was something else that was great about Naaman, he had learned the art of listening, and he heard from a little slave girl that there was a prophet in Israel who could help her master.

We have to stop here and talk about this little maid: What a wonderful Christian spirit she showed.
While most slave girls would have been happy to hear of their captor's illness, she desired his well-being.

She exemplifies Jesus teachings:
Matt 5:44
44 But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;

If she would have been like most people she would have enjoyed watching her enemy suffer, and called it pay back.

She directed Naaman To the Prophet: She knew where the power was,
One of the most important things in your life is to know where the power is.

Padded pews and stained glass windows do not add up to power
a five pound cross around your neck and a family bible under your arm does not add up to power.

There can be great talent, great skill, great recognition among men, but that still does not add up to power.

Too many people are looking for prestige, when they should be looking for power.

Paul the Apostle Said:
But I will come to you shortly, if the Lord will, and will know, not the speech of them which are puffed up, but the power.
For the kingdom of God is not in word, but in power.
1 Cor 4:19-20

Naaman appeals to the King.

Naaman assumes that position is power; if there is any power he assumes it must be with the King

The king interprets Naamans request as an effort to start a fight.
Why? Because he is powerless to help him, so rather than to admit his impotency he accuses Naaman of being a troublemaker.
Just because a person has a position before men, does not mean they have a relationship with God.
Religion can never substitute for the reality of relationship.

When religion can't produce, it always shifts the blame.

Religious people will never say: It's my fault, I'm not where I need to be with God, I'm sorry I haven't been praying and fasting like I should, I'm sorry it's not God, and it's not you, it's me.

No: When religion can't produce it will always shift the blame
It's your lack of faith
It's your environment
It's just one of those things, Only God knows.
It's probably just not his will

The prophet of God sends a message to redirect Naaman (Send him to me) Sometimes God has to redirect our faith, yes Naaman had faith, enough to get him moving, but it was misguided, he assumed that power was with position, he assumed that he who had power with men, also had power with God.

Naaman arrives at the prophet's home
The prophet does not meet him personally but sends out a messenger

This is the first blow to Naamans pride
The messenger tells Naaman to go and dip 7 times in the Jordan River and he will be healed

Naamans pride takes another hit (he becomes angry)
Why is he angry?
1. Because he had preconceived ideas of how he would receive his blessing.
Oh I think we could preach there for awhile, (how many of us have our preconceived ideas of how we want God to bless us, (we want to tell God when, how, where, how much, and who to use) to get our blessings to us.

*He thought the prophet would come out wave his hand over the place, and the job would be done and he would go home with his blessing.

We're just like Naaman a lot of times, we are willing to throw out to God what we want him to do, we are willing to show him the places we want him to see, (we are quick to let God see those surface issues) the stuff that really doesn't matter anyway.
Or I could say the stuff that is just flesh.

What I'm saying is, God is wanting to do more than just fix your flesh issue, (your money problem, your habit problem, your relationship problem,)

God wants to heal your heart:
It is the diseases of the heart that is the source of most sickness.

Heart diseases:
Unforgiveness
Anger
Bitterness
Jealousy
Envy, Strife
Rebellion
Pride

Pride was killing Naaman:
Yes he had leprosy in his body, but pride was killing his soul

Before Naaman could be healed of the disease in his flesh, he had to be delivered from the disease in his soul.

What good is a lot of money, or a new car, or a new house, or a healthy body if your heart is full of disease?

The bible says: Guard your heart with all diligence for out of it are the issues of life.

Then there is another blow to Naamans pride:
Why do I have to go dip in this dirty mud puddle, when we have got big beautiful clean rivers where I come from.

Then there is one final blow to Naamans pride:
Seven Times (Seven = completion, total obedience)
Any thing less would not be partial obedience it would be disobedience.
Anything less than seven would be disobedience and would disqualify him for the blessing.

Some of you are wondering right now why you haven't got the blessing you desired, you have done something right, but you haven't done it all right,


It won't work (when God says seven, six won't do)

Many times we're like Naaman; we're willing to obey God as far as it makes sense to us
We're willing to obey God as long as it doesn't make us look weird, or goofy
We're willing to obey God as long as it's convenient, as long as it's comfortable

If your going to receive the blessing God has for you it will cost you something, it's more than money that God requires from you, (it's obedience) It will cost you your pride
It will cost you your plans, and preconceived ideas
It will cost you your feelings and emotions,

Every dip in muddy Jordan was stripping pride from Naamans heart.

One thing I admire about Naaman was: He was a finisher, he understood commitment, he understood perseverance, once he made up his mind to do it, it was a total commitment.

That's what we need in the church, men and women who are not just here to get blessed, but they are committed to the work, they're here to see it through, they're faithful, you can count on them to finish what they start
No matter what the cost, no matter how long it takes, no matter what people might say about them, (they're in it to win it)

Perseverance wins the prize:
God never said everything would always be easy
God never said there wouldn't be any rain
God never said you wouldn't have to fight hell sometimes
God never said you would understand it all
God never said you wouldn't be criticized and persecuted
God never said there wouldn't be delays

But perseverance always wins:
When God says seven, six won't do
Seven is the number of completion; it's the number of maturity, harvest.
(Seven is where Mans obedience and God Power Intersect)

If Naaman were to have stopped at 3, 4, 5, or even 6 (Nothing would have happened, there would have been no manifestation of the power of God.

Whatsoever he saith unto you, do it.
Not think about it, pray about it, talk about it, and sing about it.
Do it (and when you do, your natural human finite ability will intersect with the supernatural infinite power of a miracle working God, and you will see the glory of God.

Take away the stone: This is the human ability of obedience
Lazarus Come forth: The Supernatural ability of God

There is a word from God for every situation in your life (through your obedience your faith will intersect with the power of God and you will see the manifestation of Gods power in your life.)

Examples:
1.The widow woman (I'm gathering sticks to make a small cake for my son and myself and we're going to eat it and die.
The prophet says, make me one first: and your meal barrel will not be empty and your cruise of oil will not run dry
She obeyed the word of the Lord, from the prophet and was sustained, through the famine

2. The widow women of 1 Kings 4 (Her husband died and left her in debt,) The prophet said borrow empty vessels not a few, take your little pot of oil and pour into them, setting aside that which is full.

She obeyed the word of the Lord through the prophet and went into supernatural multiplication and provision

3. The wedding of Canaan of Galilee (they ran out of wine) The prophet = Jesus, says: Fill the water pots with water.

It didn't make any sense to them, it was a difficult job, but they obeyed and there obedience intersected with the power of God and water became wine.

I don't know the miracle you stand in need of today, but I know all you need is a word from God, one word from God can turn that situation completely around

The Prophet Ezekial looked at a valley of dry bones, a hopeless situation ( But God gave him a word) Prophesy,
That was the word of the Lord to Ezekial (Prophesy upon these bones)
He could have cryed, he could have prayed, he could fasted, he could have sung songs and danced all over the place and nothing would have changed)

But when he obeyed that word and began to prophesy (even though it looked impossible, even though it felt ridiculous, even though his natural senses were arguing with him,) when he began to prophesy, there was a manifestation of the power of God and bones began to come together, bone to his bone, sinew, and muscles and skin began to come upon those bones and finally the breath of God filled them and they stood upon their feet a great army
(Because one man dared to obey God)

Tell your Neighbor: I dare you to obey God:
I dare you to jump out of the boat, and go to Jesus on nothing but a word
I dare you to fill the water pots with water, when their wanting wine
I dare you to prophesy to a hopeless situation
I dare you take your little pot of oil and start pouring and expect it to multiply until you're out of debt and in the oil business.

I dare you to march around the walls of Jericho for Seven days,
Once each day for 6 days, then on the Seventh day Seven times.

You say: Pastor Darrell (That doesn't even make any sense, I can't walk around Jericho that city doesn't even exist any more)
It's not the physical Jericho we're talking about (it's the principle of total obedience that never changes) 1 time around every day for 6 days, then on the Seventh day 7 times around (Then shout)

You see, it would not have mattered if they had faithfully and obediently got up every morning and made that journey and took that trip around the walls (nothing would have happened)
And it wouldn't even have mattered if they had faithfully obediently made that trip for six days, and even on the seventh day made six trips.

God said Seven and Six Won't do

It was when they made that final lap in total obedience to God, that Joshua said shout (for the Lord hath given us the city)
When they shouted, the walls fell down flat,

I'm talking to somebody today your on your final lap around, I don't know who I'm talking to but you're one act of obedience away from a release of Gods supernatural miracle working Power.

Even after their seventh lap, it wasn't until they shouted that the walls fell,
For somebody today, it's one more shout
One more Hallelujah
One more Praise the Lord, One more thank you Jesus, One more crazy praise.

I don't know who I'm talking to (but somebody, your miracle is in your dance) your deliverance your release is in your dance.
The devil has tried to steal your dance because he knows there's deliverance in your dance, there's liberty in your dance, there's power in your dance.

You can sit there if you want to and let the devil rob you of your blessing or can get on your feet and obey God.

Somebody needs to shout, somebody needs to run, somebody needs to break out into a dance, and somebody needs to start speaking in tongues and glorifying God.

My friend (Why would you come all this way, then stop short of your miracle, Naaman why would you come all this way, then turn around and go home because it didn't happen the way you expected it.
Why would you walk around these walls once a day for six days, and seven times on the seventh day, and not shout.
That shout was a shout of faith
That shout said: I believe God.
That shout said I've done all I can do, I've prayed, I've fasted, I've confessed, I've sowed.
and now it's time to shout.

what is it today that you would allow to cheat you out of the blessings of God?
Is it your pride?
Is it your fear?
Is it what people might think or say about you?
Is it your feelings or your emotions?
Is it just plain old laziness?
Is it luke warmness and indifference?


I'm closing: but I've got to tell you, there is no short cuts to the power of God,
When God says Seven (six won't do)