Summary: In this sermon we briefly examine the greatest hindrance to God's plan for our lives.
I've said it before and I'll say it again, God has a plan and a purpose for each one of us in this room. God doesn't choose, call and save a soul JUST to leave him/her sit it out on the sidelines to just attend Church every week. No, He has a plan for each one of us, young or old.
We, the Church, are the body of Christ and each member, every single one has a function, has a purpose. The body has many functions, the eyes sees, the ear hears, the mouth speaks etc, but while there are those parts with special, greater functions, there are many, many other parts with rather less 'special' functions, the hairs on your head, finger nails, your neck etc, but all are needed to make up the body.
While the numbers of those 'special' parts of the body are limited, I have 1 nose, 1 mouth, 1 heart; others are more numerous, blood cells etc. And no matter what function, or what purpose you are called to do you are needed for the Church to fulfil its purpose- sharing the Gospel with a lost world.
Maybe we are called to be missionaries, maybe we are called to be evangelists, maybe we are called to be pastors or some other office in the Church. Maybe God has called us to be the next John Wesley or Hudson Taylor. Maybe He has called us to be the next Gladys Aylward or Elisabeth Elliot or maybe He's called to just be lights in our workplace or salt in our homes (I use the word 'just' for effect and not to imply that it's a lesser work of some kind).
Maybe our whole lives will be lived just to reach 1 person for one moment in time. We read a story of a man born blind and the crowd ask 'Why was this man born blind? Was it because of his sins or his father's sins?' and Jesus answers 'He was born blind so that today, in the sight of you all, I may heal him!'
Maybe we are here just to glorify God in our daily living- no great works, no great followings, no great sermons, just a simple godly life! There was a man in the Bible College I went to whose life made the biggest impact on many of the students. This man, Mr. Williams, was a Cambridge graduate, a very clever man, who dedicated his life to serving the purposes of God at the Bible College. As soon as it was light he'd be working, and he'd work until it was dark, every day without fail. He didn't teach a class or preach a sermon, and we had some great teachers and preachers at the College, but his life of dedication and service to God, even in the menial tasks of cutting the hedge or chopping fire wood, touched our hearts more than anything else.
But whatever God has for you, whatever He has called you to do, the greatest hindrance, the greatest danger is unbelief.
Let's look at this passage for a minute. The situation the people find themselves in is this- the Syrians have come to invade Israel, and the King of Syria has besieged Samaria. That is they have surrounded the place so no one can leave nor get in. As a result, there is no food and soon there is a great famine, so great in fact that the head of a donkey was sold for 2lbs of silver and a pint of dove's droppings sold for 2oz of silver. We're even told that the situation gets so bad that a woman boiled her own baby so she could eat it. This is the dreadful state the people are in, this is the point to which they have come, and so the King calls for the prophet Elisha because he wants to kill him.
And Elisha comes and says 'tomorrow, at about this time, 14 pints of flour will be sold for 2/5s of an ounce of silver and 28 pints of barley will be sold for the same price' considering the famine and the price of dove's droppings were 20 times more expensive, this could have been a little difficult to believe. But then we look at who said it. It wasn't any ordinary man, it wasn't some politician trying to win points or save his skin, this was Elisha! Now Elisha was well known to the king and all the people for being a man of God. They knew he was the successor to Elijah, and they all knew of Elijah! They all knew of his Mt Carmel victory and the other great works he'd done. And they knew Elisha had the same Spirit! They knew how he purified the water in Jericho, they heard how 2 bears had mauled 42 youths who had mocked him, they remembered the time they went up to fight Moab and after 7 days of marching there was no water for the soldiers nor the animals so Elisha said 'Dig pits in the ground for the LORD says 'tonight you shall not see wind, nor shall you see rain but tomorrow the valley will be filled with water so you may all drink', they knew how the widow's oil didn't run out until ever pot and jar in her village had been filled according to his word, they had heard how Elisha had raised the Shunammite woman's son from the dead and how he purified a pot of poisoned stew with some flour. They knew about Naaman, the commander of the Syrian army who was a leper, who came to Israel looking for healing and that Elisha, the man of God, healed him. They remembered how, just recently, when the Syrian army was planning it's attack did Elisha warn Israel of exactly where and when the Syrian armies would be, and how, when the Syrians came to capture Elisha he prayed to God and they were all blinded and then led by Elisha as captives into Samaria. They would have also heard about what happened when Elisha's servant was afraid when he saw the Syrians coming and how, when Elisha prayed, he saw the mountains around 'full with horses and chariots of fire around Elisha'