Summary: Feed your faith on: 1. God’s unwavering attention (vs. 8-12). 2. Our unseen allies (vs. 13-18). 3. Our undeserved assistance (vs. 19-23).
Feed Your Faith
Sermon by Rick Crandall
Grayson Baptist Church - October 7, 2012
*Christian, have you ever felt like you had too much faith? -- No, of course not. And I think you never will. Even if you have been a Christian for 50 years, most people would say: “I need more faith. -- I want more faith!”
*The good news is that we all can get more faith, because Romans 10:17 tells us that “faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God.”
-In today’s story about Elisha, God gives us 3 realities that can feed our faith.
1. First: Feed your faith on God’s unwavering attention.
*We all get constant attention from God, like the king of Syria got in vs. 8-12. Listen again this part of the story:
8. Now the king of Syria was making war against Israel; and he took counsel with his servants, saying, "My camp will be in such and such a place.''
9. And the man of God sent to the king of Israel, saying, "Beware that you do not pass this place, for the Syrians are coming down there.''
10. Then the king of Israel sent someone to the place of which the man of God had told him. Thus he warned him, and he was watchful there, not just once or twice.
11. Therefore the heart of the king of Syria was greatly troubled by this thing; and he called his servants and said to them, "Will you not show me which of us is for the king of Israel?''
12. And one of his servants said, "None, my lord, O king; but Elisha, the prophet who is in Israel, tells the king of Israel the words that you speak in your bedroom.''
*God gives us His unwavering attention. In other words: He knows everything that is going on in your life. That was bad news for the king of Syria, because it wasn’t Elisha in the bedroom listening to the king. It was the LORD God!
*God’s attention was bad news for the king, and it’s bad news for everyone who is rebelling against God.
-But the LORD’s attention is good news if you are a child of God...
-Good news if you are a servant of God like Elisha.
*The Lord is never surprised. He never turns away. He’s never caught off guard. The Lord is always tuned in to your life, your thoughts, your needs, your fears and your problems.
*In Matthew 10:30, Jesus told His followers that “the very hairs of your head are all numbered.” -- Now that’s paying attention.
*In his book, “Father Knows Less,” Wendell Jamieson gave experts' answers to a bunch of questions from kids. Jamieson was inspired to write the book after listening to endless questions from his 7-year-old son, Dean.
*One question the book answers is, "How many hairs do I have on my head?" Sy Sperling, founder of the Hair Club for Men, responded with the information that an average adult has about 100,000 hairs. He noted that “redheads have fewer because their individual strands are thicker.” (1)
*Some of us have a whole lot fewer than 100,000. But when you multiply the number of hairs per person by the world's population of 7 billion, then consider that everybody’s hair count changes every day, you see how amazing it is that God would even bother to keep up with the number. But that’s how much He cares for us.
*God is paying close attention to your life. And that matters, because as Bruce Ball says: “The deepest expression of love is attention. When you give somebody your attention you’re giving them your love. When you don’t pay attention to your husband or wife or kids you are actually being unloving. (2)
*God is always paying attention to us. It may not seem like it to us, because we often aren’t paying attention to Him.
-But God is always focused on us, because He cares so much about us.
-God proves that He cares by paying attention to our lives.
-So feed your faith on God’s unwavering attention.
2. And feed your faith on our unseen allies.
*We certainly need allies, because we are certainly going to be attacked. We see an example in vs. 13-15, where the king of Syria was trying to attack the Prophet Elisha:
13. So he said, "Go and see where he is, that I may send and get him.'' And it was told him, saying, "Surely he is in Dothan.''
14. Therefore he sent horses and chariots and a great army there, and they came by night and surrounded the city.
15. And when the servant of the man of God arose early and went out, there was an army, surrounding the city with horses and chariots. And his servant said to him, "Alas, my master! What shall we do?''