2 Kings 5:1-7
Sunday Morning – 13 May 2018 11:14:56 am – Pastor James Yang
When you read the bible, within it is the heart of God. Every time you discover it, people change in the heart. Although you are in the same situation, when the heart of God enters you, your circumstances change into blessings. The power of God has power to defeat everything in the world.
There are two people whom you can focus on. One is the young captive girl who is from Israel. The other is the king of Israel. They faced the same Naaman who was a leper.
When the young maidservant saw Naaman, their perspectives were very different. It is the same person as the king saw. She had hope as she saw Naaman. However, in the eyes of God, Naaman was a huge problem.
With the young captive girl, her heart was connected to the prophet in Samaria. As heart was connected to the prophet’s heart in Samaria, no matter what problem she faced, it was not a problem at all. But for the king of Israel, it was a problem.
The king of Syria wrote a letter to the king of Israel and the king of Israel read it. The letter detailed how Naaman has leprosy and the king asked the king of Israel to help heal him. But the king of Israel questioned and asked if he was the one who could heal. In fact, his heart was connected to himself.
I used to attend another church a long time ago. I was in affliction a lot and I was more afflicted the longer I attended the church. I tried to implement their teaching and doctrine but it ended up being more afflicted for me. So I asked myself what was wrong.
There is a Word in the bible that says “The truth shall set you free” but my heart was no where near it. The more I tried not to sin, the more I was dismayed. I was in so much affliction that I decided not to go to church anymore. My elder sister heard this and both us of us decided not to go to church anymore.
One day, on Wednesday night, after church services, everyone came to our house to check on us. So we ended up going to church again. There was no way out it seemed. Later on, I decided to run away to the army to run away. I went there to stop my spiritual life.
There I met one soldier and through him, I could hear the authentic gospel that really freed me from sin. There is only one thing this man did for me. Rather than connecting my heart to myself, he connected my heart to God. As he did so, hope and thankfulness arose from within me.
Since then, no matter what problems I had, they were all diverted to Jesus.
I testified this many times already. One time, my wife had cancer. I was connected to myself and so I was in despair. She asked me if I had faith and I had none. On the third day she asked and on the fifth day she asked too. On the fifth day, I obtained faith and I told her that her cancer was already healed. That day was unforgettable.
Those of you who have problems will not face it as a problem anymore once your heart is connected to the heart of God. I would like to talk about how to connect to the heart of God.
God is afraid of one thing.
“then you say in your heart, ‘My power and the might of my hand have gained me this wealth.’ “And you shall remember the LORD your God, for it is He who gives you power to get wealth, that He may establish His covenant which He swore to your fathers, as it is this day.”
Deuteronomy 8:17-18 NKJV
God is worried that we gain the wealth with our own power. How is this a problem in our heart? Well, because although it is by God’s grace that we obtain wealth, the focus comes back to us that it is we who gained it. The primary focus comes back to us.
For instance, when one commits sin, one thinks that it is you who did it.
But no where in the bible does it say that you have committed sin. Putting the focus on yourself is wrong before God. Saying “I committed sin” is wrong before God for it is not us. “I gained wealth” is also wrong before God for it is not us.
A lot of people live like this and they are in completely different perspectives from God. For a long time, I lived just like the king of Israel who had the focus upon himself.
I ended up thinking that within the church, there was no truth and so I decided not to go to church anymore. However, as I met the soldier from the army who goes to our mission, I was so shocked.
“Therefore, just as through one man sin entered the world, and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men, because all sinned—”
Romans 5:12 NKJV
As I read these words, I was completely shocked. Until then, I thought that I was the sinner. I thought that I was the one responsible and that if I do well, then I can go to heaven. But as per this Word, it says ‘through one man sin entered the world’. So it is not about me. I am not a sinner because I did something wrong. As the soldier explained to me, I was shocked. I saw how I was connected to Satan and was a slave of his. For I saw how I did not want to commit sins but ended up doing so.
My family name is Yang. As I went to school, I was teased a lot because in Korean, it sounds just like sheep. They said to me “Baah”. I asked my mum if I could change my last name and my mother said jokingly “It would be good if you can change your father then it is possible”. So it is inherited.
“You are of your father the devil, and the desires of your father you want to do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own resources, for he is a liar and the father of it.”
John 8:44 NKJV
This word (above) shocked me too. I was a child of Satan and I lived like that without knowing. I used to think that if I did things well, then I would be able to go to heaven.
Folks, for goats, no matter how they try, they can never be a lion.
I am a person who cannot go to heaven with my works.
The one thought that dominated me was that if I do well, then I would be able to go to heaven. It was all connected to my works. This was how I thought and this was how I thought it worked for me.
For the king of Israel, he also had this thought connected to himself and his own works. He asked “Am I God that I can heal?”
For people who are connected to themselves – they react like the king of Israel and exclaim “Am I God? What can I do in this situation?”
But if you have the same heart as the young captive girl, then you would refer the problems to the man or servant of God.
Where is your heart connected to? To God or two yourself?
If you are connected to yourself, then you will have a lot of problems in your life.
You are supposed to be connected to God but you are connected to yourself and this is what God is worried about.
When people work hard for an achievement, they all believe that it is them who gained the result – e.g. exams, working, etc.). This is the heart God is worried about.
Fact is, we have to clear a draw a clear line that all is from God. Without it, we will not be thankful.
If you are connected to yourself, then you will only trust in yourself. This is sin.
I have met the minister for education from Cook Islands twice. I asked if he has sin in his heart and he said that he did. I did this twice. Then I told him that he was a liar. He was shocked. So I read these words:
“All we like sheep have gone astray; We have turned, every one, to his own way; And the LORD has laid on Him the iniquity of us all.”
Isaiah 53:6 NKJV
I read these words twice. As he read it carefully, he then said to me that in accordance with these words, he has no more sin. Then, he could say that he was righteous. So not only him, but his staff members including the secretary could also hear these words. I would like to meet the minister again.
Problem is that people trust in themselves and they try to classify who they are according to what they do. But in God’s viewpoint, it is not so. God only cares about what Jesus has done for us. God knows clearly that we humans cannot wash our sins away. Therefore, He sent Jesus to us.
“Indeed it was for my own peace That I had great bitterness; But You have lovingly delivered my soul from the pit of corruption, For You have cast all my sins behind Your back.”
Isaiah 38:17 NKJV
This Word “…For you have cast all my sins behind Your back” is written not in the future tense but in the present perfect tense. This was written about 700 years before Jesus was born. Thus this has great meaning.
The bible also says that whatever you have asked in the Lord’s name, believe that you have already received it. This is how the bible is written.
For this reason, how we think and how God thinks is totally different.
After the king of Israel read the letter, he felt that he was not God. His heart and focus was connected to himself. But if you are connected to God, the no matter what problems you may have, these problems will not be yours.
One day in Egypt, there was Pharaoh. He met Joseph who interpreted his dreams which no one could. He was truly pleased in his heart. So he took out the signet ring and gave it to Joseph to rule the kingdom. So when the times of famine came and became very difficult, people came to Pharaoh for food but Pharaoh just sent him to Joseph.
Likewise, when you have problems, you can also just send them to Jesus. If you still worry about your problems, then it means the problems are still yours. Thus, also if you live in this world, you can be very thankful. Even if you have business problems, or health problems like cancer, etc. it is all not a problem before God.
It is all about being connected to Jesus. As the young maid was taken captive, there was nothing she could do for herself. She was in dire straits as she was in a foreign land and she must have experienced a lot of hardships. She probably could not even speak the Syrian language.
However, as she discovered that Naaman was a leper, her heart being connected to the prophet in Israel, allowed her to tell him boldly to go visit the prophet in Israel.
When Adam and Eve picked the fruit of the garden, Satan had already told them that if you eat of the fruit, you will open your eyes and be like God.
So they started to trust themselves.
the reason why I compare the captive girl versus the king of Israel is because I want to show you the difference between people who trust themselves and those who do not.
I ask many people “Why did God give us the law?” And they say to keep it.
“Therefore by the deeds of the law no flesh will be justified in His sight, for by the law is the knowledge of sin.”
Romans 3:20 NKJV
As I read this to them, they say that this was not how they have been taught.
Folks, we cannot keep the law. So why did God give us the law? For the knowledge of sin.
As people get diagnosed with cancer, they just think of death as the end result. They give up.
When you can see how through the law you cannot be saved, then your heart will only be connected to Jesus.
In Korea, we just held the grand bible seminar and many pastors from around the world came. One pastor called Kitonga from Kenya said this “Many people go to hell through the passage of the churches today.” This means that although people go to church, for people the sins still remained in their heart.
Through the Christian Leaders’ Forum (CLF), we deliver the gospel to many pastors. As they receive salvation it becomes easier for them to disseminate the gospel to their brethren.
Through Romans 3:23, we can see how apostle Paul wants to sever off our thoughts.
“But now the righteousness of God apart from the law is revealed, being witnessed by the Law and the Prophets, even the righteousness of God, through faith in Jesus Christ, to all and on all who believe. For there is no difference; for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus,”
Romans 3:21-24 NKJV
This Word clearly cuts off our thoughts and works and redirects us to God.
“My little children, these things I write to you, so that you may not sin. And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous. And He Himself is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the whole world.”
I John 2:1-2 NKJV
The people who are not connected to Jesus. They are only connected to themselves.
When Jesus is alive in our heart, we can transfer our problems to him.
One day when David came back from a raid, he saw how all his possessions and his family were all taken away. He saw everything was burnt to ashes. Then people started to complain about following David and many wanted to stone him to death. David was so much in despair and he wept. But then the amazing thing is this:
David strengthened in the name of the Lord. His heart was connected to the heart of God.
Christians may fall seven times but they get up on the eight time.
If you have experienced God working in you, then in future you can also get up. This is the life of Christians.
Although many say they believe in God, they are still connected to themselves in the heart and deeds.
One day there was a brother names Shin Hong Sock.
Even after he received salvation after 20 years, he was still a strong alcoholic. His wife was so sick of it that she bought four huge bottles of Soju so that he could drink and die. She wanted not more of this situation. However, very thankfully pastor Park once visited that area. Then she brought her husband to pastor Park for fellowship. Pastor Park read this scripture:
“For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified.”
Hebrews 10:14 KJV
Pastor Park then asked “Are you perfect?”
“No I am not perfect. How can I call myself perfect”, the brother replied.
“Let’s do this again. Are you perfect or not?”, pastor Park asked.
“No pastor. In fact, this morning before meeting you, I just drank alcohol”, the brother retorted.
“Let’s do it again. If the Word says you are perfect, then are you or not?” Pastor Park asked and brother Shim got the point. Then onwards, he could accept the word.
Now he is a missionary in Korea.
No matter who you are, if you are able to accept the Word of God, then God works for you.
The brother was looking at himself and not at the Word of God. So for about 15 minutes, pastor Park fought with him regarding this Word. Then the brother concluded that if the bible says so, then you are perfect.
If you can disconnect your thoughts and your heart, then you can live like Jesus as well. In fact, you are like a mini version of Jesus Himself.
I hope you receive these words in to your heart. Then you can live like Jesus and many will receive salvation through you.