WISDOM FOR LIVING DEVOTIONAL
NOVEMBER 20, 2020
TOPIC: WHAT IS YOUR ATTITUDE TO THE LORD’S ANOINTED?
BY T. O. BANSO
“Then he went up from there to Bethel; and as he was going up the road, some youths came from the city and mocked him, and said to him, “Go up, you baldhead! Go up, you baldhead!” (2 Kings 2:23 New King James Version).
In 2 Kings 2:19-22, the servant of God, Elisha, the successor of the prophet Elijah, healed the water of Jericho that was bad and made the land barren or unproductive. He performed the miracle because the men of the city, acknowledging the anointing of God upon Him, visited him and told him their problem.
2 Kings 2:19 says, “Then the men of the city said to Elisha, ‘Please notice, the situation of this city is pleasant, as my lord sees; but the water is bad, and the ground barren’” (New King James Version). Their visit showed their regard for him and belief in his ministry.
From what they said, Elisha knew they wanted a divine solution to the problem. Hence, they drew his attention to it. “And he said, ‘Bring me a new bowl, and put salt in it.’ So they brought it to him. Then he went out to the source of the water, and cast in the salt there, and said, ‘Thus says the LORD: ‘I have healed this water; from it there shall be no more death or barrenness.’ So the water remains healed to this day, according to the word of Elisha which he spoke” (2 Kings 2:20-22 New King James Version).
What was the relevance of a new bowl and salt that Elisha asked the men of Jericho to bring to the problem? But these men didn’t query him. Therefore, they did what he asked them to do. The end result is that the bad water was healed and the barrenness being experienced in the city ceased. The attitude of the men of Jericho contributed to this. What is your attitude to the anointed servant of God?
The words of Mary, the earthly mother of Jesus, are relevant here. After the wine was exhausted at the wedding in Cana of Galilee, and the other of Jesus wanted Jesus to come to their rescue, Mary, told the servants at the wedding, to do whatever Jesus said to them. When Jesus eventually decided to help, the servants did what He told them to do and water turned into wine (John 2:1-10).
If they didn’t have regard for Him, the miracle wouldn’t have taken place. How much you esteem a servant of God may determine how much of the anointing of God upon Him will bless you. That doesn’t mean you should worship any minister of God. Worship only God.
The anointing of God upon Elisha blessed the people of Jericho. A similar thing happened at the wedding of the Cana of Galilee. How you position yourself in relation to the anointed servant of God may determine whether you’re blessed by his anointing or not.
At Nazareth, Jesus couldn’t help them because they were telling stories about Him and his family. They were too familiar with Him because they knew when He was a small boy and grew up in their midst. “Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary, and brother of James, and Joses, and Judas, and Simon? and are not his sisters here with us? And they were offended in him” (Mark 6:3 American Standard Version).
People who tell this kind of story know so much about the servant of God that he can’t bless them. Their problem is that they know too much! It is better they don’t know what they know and they will be blessed. Whatever you know about a servant of God that won’t let you honour him, regard him, or esteem him is your enemy. You must deliberately shift your focus from such information and focus on Jesus in the life of that servant of God. Also, don’t listen to people with such information.
Because of the attitude of the people of Nazareth, Jesus could do no mighty work there, except that He laid His hands on a few sick people and healed them (Mark 4:5). According to Jesus, “A prophet is not without honor except in his own country, among his own relatives, and in his own house” (verse 4 New King James Version). John 1:11-12 says about Jesus that He came to His own, and His own did not receive Him but as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name:
Servants of God are human beings but don’t relate with them in the flesh; relate with them based on the calling of God on their lives. Relate with them in the Spirit. The apostle Paul said, “Therefore, from now on, we regard no one according to the flesh. Even though we have known Christ according to the flesh, yet now we know Him thus no longer” (2 Corinthians 5:16 New King James Version).
The New Living Translation puts it thus: “So we have stopped evaluating others by what the world thinks about them. Once I mistakenly thought of Christ that way, as though he were merely a human being. How differently I think about him now!” (2 Corinthians 5:16).
The servant of God may be your spouse, child, parent, sibling, uncle, or a family member. He could even be your former student, employee or tenant. Never dwell on that, otherwise, you will be robbing yourself, and miss what God could use him to do in your life. The anointing you don’t esteem cannot work for you. If you don’t expect the anointing upon a servant of God to bless you, you may not be disappointed! It won’t bless you.
Peter had to engage the attention of the lame man at the Beautiful Gate of the temple; he raised his expectation before ministering to him. “And fixing his eyes on him, with John, Peter said, ‘Look at us.’ So he gave them his attention, expecting to receive something from them. Then Peter said, ‘Silver and gold I do not have, but what I do have I give you: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up and walk’” (Acts 3:4-6 New King James Version).
After this, Peter took the lame man by the right hand and lifted him up. Immediately, he was healed. He started walking, leaping, and praising God. Everybody was amazed seeing the man they had always seen at the Beautiful Gate begging alms. Suppose the lame man paid no attention to Peter and had no expectation. He might have remained a beggar until he died.
How do you relate with the anointed servant of God? Do you criticize, mock, or despise him? After the miracle that Elisha performed at Jericho, he went to Bethel. Unfortunately, there was another miracle there! It was a negative miracle not performed by Elisha! But it happened because he was despised. He was mocked by some youths whose action showed the spiritual decadence of Bethel.
Bethel means the house of God but it had become a centre of idolatry, as one of Jeroboam’s two calves of gold was at Bethel. 2 King 2:23 says, “Some youths came from the city and mocked him, and said to him, ‘Go up, you baldhead! Go up, you baldhead!’” (New King James Version).
By saying “Go up”, these youths could have been mocking Elisha with regard to the going up of his master to heaven in a chariot of fire. They were probably mocking Elisha to go up the same way his master did. Maybe Elisha considered their utterance as a blasphemy, which provoked him to curse them in the name of the LORD and the LORD responded with a miracle!
The Bible says, “So he turned around and looked at them, and pronounced a curse on them in the name of the LORD. And two female bears came out of the woods and mauled forty-two of the youths” (New King James Version). Did you see that?
The same man whose anointing of God upon his life caused the bad water of Jericho to be healed also caused forty-two youths to be killed by two female bears. The attitude of these youths attracted the negative miracle in their lives. Be careful of your attitude to the anointed.
What is your attitude to the LORD’s anointed? Don’t mock, despise, criticize, and the like. Even when David had the opportunity of killing Saul twice, he refused to because Saul, as the king, was the LORD’s anointed (1 Samuel 24:6, 10; 26:9, 23). David told the Amalekite who claimed to have killed Saul, “How was it you were not afraid to put forth your hand to destroy the LORD’s anointed?” (2 Samuel 1:14 New King James Version). Therefore, he ordered that he should be executed.
What is your attitude to the LORD’s anointed? No servant of God is perfect but never make this the subject of mockery, despise, or even comedy as some comedians do in their search for fame and the attendant financial gain. Any youth who thinks that his talent is in making fun of a servant of God has a bad talent! Or his talent has been perverted by Satan. If he has a pastor, he should warn him because he is positioning himself against the anointing.
Position yourself correctly in relation to the anointed. “He who gives honour to a prophet, in the name of a prophet, will be given a prophet’s reward” (Matthew 10:41a Bible in Basic English). 2 Chronicles 20:20 says, “Believe in the LORD your God, and you shall be established; believe His prophets, and you shall prosper” (New King James Version).
If you are not born again, you need to give your life to Jesus now. I urge you to take the following steps: *Admit you are a sinner and you cannot save yourself and repent of your sins. *Confess Jesus as your Lord and Saviour. *Renounce your past way of life – your relationship with the devil and his works. *Invite Jesus into your life. *As a mark of seriousness to mature in the faith, start attending a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church. There they will teach you how to grow in the Kingdom of God.
Kindly say this prayer now: O Lord God, I come unto you today. I know I am a sinner and I cannot save myself. I believe that Jesus is the Son of God who died on the cross to save me and resurrected the third day. I repent of my sins and confess Jesus as my Lord and Saviour. I surrender my life to Jesus now and invite Him into my heart. By this prayer, I know I am saved. Thank you, Jesus, for saving me and making me a child of God.
I believe you have said this prayer from your heart. Congratulations! You will need to join a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church in your area where they will teach you how to live your new life in Christ Jesus. I pray that you flourish like the palm tree and grow like the cedar of Lebanon. May you grow into Christ in all things and become all God wants you to be. I will be glad to hear from you. The LORD be with you.
PRAYER POINTS: Holy Spirit, teach me how to honour the servants of God so that I will receive a prophet’s reward. Help me to cultivate the right attitude to the LORD’s anointed. I shall not mock, criticize, or condemn the servant of God. Father, deliver our youths from the societal influence of making fun of the servants of God and the things of God.
(For over 300 in-depth and powerful messages by T. O. Banso, visit www.cedarministry.org).
T. O. Banso is the President, Cedar Ministry International, Abuja, Nigeria.
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