VIEWPOINTS “It’s all how you choose to see it.”

“Then the king of Syria warred against Israel, and took counsel with his servants, saying, In such a place shall be my camp.

And the man of God sent unto the king of Israel, Saying, Beware that thou pass not such a place; for thither (there) shall the Syrians come down.

And the king of Israel sent to the place which the man of God told him and warned him of, and saved himself there, not once or twice (watched there multiple times).

Therefore the heart of the king of Syria was sore troubled for (because of) this thing; and he called his servants, and he said unto them, Will ye not shew me which of us is for the king of Israel, (who is the spy)?

And one of his servants said, None, my lord, O king: but Elisha, the prophet that is in Israel. telleth the king of Israel the words taht thou speaketh in thy bedchamber.

And he said, Go and spy where he is, that I may send and fetch him. And it was told him, saying, Behold, he is in Dothan.

Therefore sent he thither horses, and chariots, and a great host (army); and they came by night, and compassed the city about (surrounded the city).

And when the servant of the man of God was risen early, and gone forth, behold, an host compassed (surrounded) the city both with horses and with chariots. And his servant said unto him, Alas, my master (teacher)! how (what) shall we do?

And he answered, Fear not for they that be with us are more than they that be with them.

And Elisha prayed, and said, Lord, I pray thee, open his eyes, that he may see. And the Lord opened the eyes of the young man; and he saw: and behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire round about (surrounding) Elisha.

And when they came down to him, Elisha prayed unto the Lord, and said, Smite this people, I pray thee, with blindness. And he smote them with blindness according to the word of Elisha.

And Elisha said unto them, This is not the way, neither is this the city; follow me, and I will bring you to the man whom ye seek, but he led them to Samaria. 

And it came to pass, when they were come into Samaria, that Elisha said, Lord, open the eyes of these men, that they may see. And the Lord opened their eyes, and they saw; and behold, they were in the midst of Samaria.

And the king of Israel said unto Elisha, when he saw them, My father, shall I smite (kill) them? shall I smite them?

And he answered, Thou shalt not smite them, wouldest thou smite (would you kill) those whom thou hast taken captive with thy sword and thy bow? set bread and water before them, that they may eat and drink and go to their master (leader).

And he prepared great provision (a large meal) for them; and when they had eaten and drunk, he sent them away, and they went to their master (leader). So the bands (armies) of Syria came no more into the land of Israel.” 2 Kings 6:8-23

Now that is a story with many different viewpoints, viewpoint literally meaning, “The position from which something is observed or considered.’ 

The king of Syria wanted to set an ambush so he advised his army and yet his plans were made known to those he wished to attack with his secret plot.

The king of Syria’s viewpoint, his own logic, convincing him that there must surely be a spy among his men, revealing his secret plots to Israel, but much to his dismay, this was no human revelation, this was the hand of God divinely protecting his chosen Israel by revealing to his prophet Elisha, all that was spoken in the king’s most secret of strategic planning’s.

As he sent his army forth to bring Elisha to him so he could answer this question himself, but again God intervened and as Elisha’s servant was horrified at the sight of what he saw in natural, he was shown a supernatural viewpoint, he was allowed to see into the spirit realm, which revealed the host of heaven which had been sent on their behalf.

The sight of the armies of Syria paling in comparison to the chariots of fire which surrounded Elisha, have you thought about the Lord’s protection that surrounds you in your own life?

Moving through these viewpoints, one was given supernatural vision while those of the army’s natural vision was taken, and as they were led to the very one in whom they were to attack, whose first question was whether or not they should be killed, they were considered the enemy, and not just an enemy but an aggressive enemy whose plan was to ambush and destroy them, so it would probably have been strange to the king of Israel when he was asked to consider yet another point of view, would he have treated these prisoners differently had the circumstance been different or should he just destroy them because they were now helpless before him.

The Syrian army now being given the viewpoint of mercy, as their eyes were opened before they face of whom they considered an enemy, who held the power to destroy them, but instead they were shown kindness and grace, even given a good meal before being freed, sound like something Jesus may have taught us?

“Bless them that curse you, and pray for them which despitefully use you.” Luke 6:28

And here’s why, Romans 12:17-21: ” Recompense (repay) to no man evil for evil. Provide things honest in the sight of all men.

If it be possible, as much, as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men.  Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place to wrath; for it is written, VENGEANCE IS MINE; I WILL REPAY, saith the Lord.

Therefore IFTHINE ENEMY HUNGER, FEED HIM; IF HE THIRST, GIVE HIM DRINK; FOR IN DOING THOU SHALT HEAP COALS OF FIRE ON HIS HEAD.

Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good.”

By being supernaturally rendered helpless and shown undeserved mercy and kindness, the point of view was changed for the Syrians and as we read the armies of Syria no more tried to ambush or trouble Israel.

As we are told in our scriptures, which by the way, that is the capitalization from the Bible, to pray for them and to feed them if they are hungry, showing that mercy and that kindness we are turning that over to God.

And again, as with all these teaching posts that is not to encourage us to to be doormats as it is often mistaught.

I do not believe that God wants us to continue in unsafe situations, but I understand these passages as just as happened in the story above.

If God allows you to know of an impending “plot” or even if you are blindsided by one, and then he allows that enemy or those who would plot and scheme against you, to suddenly be bare and vulnerable before you, giving them a whole new point of view, when they have maybe persecuted you, lied on you, or just treated you terribly in general, and you are now they one in position to show that mercy and that grace, the grace of God in you proving to be bigger than the malice that have shown to be in them can and will bring about an entirely new viewpoint in them.

An example, maybe not a good one, but such as you knew the person who tormented you was having an affair or some other situation you find yourself in concerning them where you have the opportunity to really mess up their world and while that would be tempting and probably well deserved, look at it this way, the same God who allowed Elisha’s servant’s eyes to be opened allowed you to be in the position to take that vengeance against someone who hurt you, but just because you are in that position, does not mean that that is what he would want you to do.

We are blessed when we trust his word and trust that he repays all, and once mercy is shown, especially to those who would never expect if from you because they know the hurt they caused, that opens the door for conviction from God to come into their lives, leading to repentance, and finally into as the Syrian army toward Israel, that never again will they come against you.

Is that easy? Of course not!

It’s tempting to “sock it to them” when they have tried to sock it to you, but don’t do it, God will reward your mercy and your compassion on those who have shown you none.

And as Elisha’s servant saw all the help that help that surrounded them, I hope this encourages you to see the  the help that surrounds you today, and that help is not only the host of heaven and the angels that God promised to us, to surround us and to protect us, but also, more importantly, the help that you have in God, himself.

” I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help.

My help comes from the Lord, which made heaven and earth.

He will not suffer thy foot to be moved (allow you to fall) he that keepeth thee will not slumber.

Behold, he that keepeth Israel shall neither slumber nor sleep.

The Lord is my keeper (protector): the Lord is thy shade upon thy right hand.

The sun shall not smite thee by day, nor the moon by night.

The Lord shall preserve the from all evil: he shall preserve thy soul.

The Lord shall preserve thy going out and thy coming in from this time forth, and even for evermore.” Psalm 121

Whatever it may look like today, check out another point of view and ask God to allow you to see his way.

Blessing and peace till next time! Thanks for reading!!

Φλογιζω NBJ 2022/ Rev. Nina Brown Johnson

“Feelin’ faint….”

“And let us not be weary in well doing: for IN DUE SEASON we shall reap, IF we FAINT NOT ( do not LOSE HEART ). ” GALATIANS 6:9

  We hear that verse often but have you really thought about it? Well doing, trying to do good for the kingdom, weariness, tired and worn out. In due season ( God’s pre appointed time) WE WILL reap that good harvest. IF we faint not, that is strong wording that tells us that there will be times we feel like it is going nowhere and times that we do feel like giving up and times we feel we can’t  go on.

A perfect story for this can be found in  2 King 4:8-37, I will highlight the story but please, if you are feeling this, please read it.

A lady and her husband had befriended Elisha the Prophet and they would have him eat and rest at their home during his journeys. One day they decided to build a little spot for him so he could just stay there when he passed by. Elisha wanted to his appreciation and do something nice for her. So his servant suggested a child since she was barren and her husband was old, this would mean once he passed she would be completely alone.

We’ll pick it up at verses 15-20: “And he ( Elisha to his servant) said, Call her. And when he had called her, she stood in the door. And he said, about THIS SEASON, according to the time of life (about the same time next year) thou shalt embrace a son. And she said Nay, my lord, thou man of God, Do not lie unto thine handmaid. { It wasn’t that she did not believe him, it was that the news was so wonderful that she couldn’t believe what she was hearing, and wanted to know it was real and that he was serious}

And the woman conceived, and bare a son at that season that Elisha had said unto her, according to the time of life. And when the child was grown, IT FELL ON A DAY, that he WENT OUT TO HIS FATHER TO THE REAPERS. And he said unto his father, My head, my head. And he (the father) said to a lad, Carry him to his mother. And when he had taken him, and brought him to his mother, he sat on her knees till noon, and THEN DIED.”

So now the Mama having been almost afraid to believe for something so wonderful, has just watched her dream die. The child just old enough on the day “it fell” the time that had been slated for him to GO TO HIS FATHERS FIELD TO JOIN THE REAPERS IN BRINGING IN THE HARVEST and with an attack to “his head”, ( the symbolism there is this, the wars waged in our present day is often attacks of worry, fear, and dread) and now he is dead before he even began work in the harvest.

The story goes on, as the mother takes her son and places him in Elisha’s bed and closes the door, she then asks or a young man to be sent with her to go see the Prophet. When her husband asks what is the occasion, she simply replies “It shall be well”, meaning, everything is okay, it is well. Once Elisha sees her in the distance, he sends his servant to meet her with the question, “Is it well?” on all accounts. And again she answered the servant, “It is well”.

But once she gets to Elisha, she grabs his feet and he is very troubled because he knew nothing about this, because God had not revealed it to him. (Proof positive that  real Prophets ONLY know what God reveals to them and have no special insight they can control at will, a good thing to remember with “prophets” who supposed to have all the answers to everyone’s questions and are always eager to be asked) So then she tells him everything, complete with the sorrow of  her feeling that she had been given what she had not asked for only to have it taken away. So he sends his servant with his staff to place upon the son, with instructions not to speak to anyone for any reason, even if they spoke first. Don’t answer them back or respond at all.

So she told no one that her son had died, Elisha told his servant not to speak to anyone so it was between them and the Lord. When you have a bad situation already, the last thing you need is people making it worse and no matter how much faith you are trying to muster there are always those who will come by and give one thousand scenarios to confirm your worst fears. So the servant does as he was told, to no avail, so the child was not revived. Because whether he had Elisha’s staff or not, the anointing of God would have to be present to do the reviving.  

Picking back up at verse 32-37: “And when Elisha was come into the house, behold, the child was dead and laid upon his bed. He went in therefore and shut the door upon them twain (just them) and PRAYED unto the Lord. And he went up and laid upon the child, and put his mouth upon his mouth, and his eyes upon his eyes, and his hands upon his hands; and he stretched himself upon the child, and the flesh of the child waxed (grew) warm. (transference).

Then he returned, and WALKED IN THE HOUSE TO AND FRO;  And went up, and stretched himself upon him: and the child sneezed seven times, AND THE CHILD OPENED HIS EYES

And he called Gehazi ( his servant) and said, Call the Shunammite. So he called her. And when she was come in unto him, he said, Take up thy son. Then she went in, and fell at his feet, and bowed herself to the ground, and took up her son, and went out.”

God will keep his promises and His harvest will be reaped. Even death has no dominion and can not stop the work or the call of God on lives and just as the symbolic truth to this story is this, that even sometimes before you even get started the forces of hell are there to prevent your work but it will come even if it has to be resurrected from the dead. Maybe you feel that way today, that dreams are lost, hopes are shattered, and all you had believed for is lying there lifeless. Don’t give up, don’t talk to doubters along the way, sometimes the less people know about our battles the better off we are.

Just as it was well, it was kept between her, Elisha, and the Lord. Remember HE NEVER FAILS.

Φλογίζω Σαλπιζω NB 2016