Christine Caine - I Can't, But He Can, Part 1
Hey, everyone. I am so grateful that you all have joined us today. Thank you so much for tuning in for a word from God. You know, I am thrilled about this series that we're about to start. And you ever been in a situation where you think, you know what, I'm just going to have a go because I've got nothing to lose? And so why not do it? I feel like that is the whole story of my life. That I'm always jumping into situations that are just so much bigger than me, but I think, you know what, what have I got to lose? I may as well just have a go.
Now my kids get really embarrassed because I'm like that, and they're like, "Mum, you know what? You've got your dignity to lose". And, especially when it comes to posting certain things, you know, I'll post things, 'cause I don't care. I'm out, you know, no makeup in the back of nowhere. And then I'll post something. And my daughter, who is supposed to be in school, like half a second later, Catherine texts, "Mum, get that down right now. That is so embarrassing, you are embarrassing me". I'm like, I'm not embarrassing me. She goes, "Yes, but I'm related to you. And so please take it down". And I just think, you know what, we got nothing to lose, just put it out there. It really doesn't matter.
Now, I've done stuff like that. You know, I've been skiing where I thought I had nothing to lose, but I did lose my knee and my ACL and my MCL, as I snapped it because I thought, let's just go down this mountain, I've got nothing to lose. And I do realize I potentially have my life to lose. So, anyway, there's times when it works really well for you, and there are other times where you probably need to stop and ponder. Well, in this whole series, we are going to assess what it is to actually take some risks, to step out of your comfort zone and say, "You know what, what have I got to lose? If I stay where I am, nothing is ever going to change". But I'm here to say that God can visit you in that broken place, God can visit you in that place that seems so far away from his purpose. And he can pick you up out of that place and he can set you in a pleasant place.
If you trust him, if you continue to reach out to him, if you don't walk away from him, I want you to know that there is a way out of the place you are into the pleasant place that God has for your life. And we're going to a place in the scripture, in 2 kings chapter seven. And I love this text because i, just to give you a little bit of context, this whole story happens during the reign of king Joram, J-O-R-A-M. I haven't heard anyone name their child that, but king Joram, and this was during the divided kingdom in Israel. And it's happening up in Samaria, which was the capital of northern Israel. And Samaria was at war with Aram. And what happens, often, when there's a war, and especially in these times, the attacking force would come in and they would lay siege around a city. And what that meant was that basically they would make sure that no goods and services came in or out. So the goal was to starve the people in the city, so that they would be weakened. And when they attacked, there would be no resistance because they would either be dead or they would be weakened.
So at this point Samaria, the city, is under siege. Now the kings of Israel, at this time, were very, very evil. There was a lot of idolatry. There was just walking away from God and not servicing, and not serving God. So king Joram was not a good king. And a lot of evil things were happening during this time. Famine started to set in the land. People were eating donkey's heads. People were eating children. There is one case where two women came to see the king and we're going to get there in just a moment, just so that you can see how barbaric the situation was. They came to see the king because they had agreed together that they would boil one son one day and eat him and then boil to death another son the other day and eat him. And what they had done was boiled the one son and eaten him, and then the next day, the mother hid her child, so that he wouldn't be eaten.
I mean, when you're turning to cannibalism, you know that things are barbaric. People will do crazy things when they're hungry. People will do crazy things when they're starving. I have never been in that situation where I've been so desperate, where I've felt like I've got no other choice to make, but that's what I imagine that these women were in, this kind of situation, where there was so much hunger. And we're going to pick it up there because the king was so angry with what he had saw, and so this is during the time that Elisha, the prophet, was on the planet. And so the king, in anger at these women, when one, they're coming to him and saying, "You know, what should we do? We ate one child and then she hid her other child". He ripped his robe, which in those days was a sign of great distress and anger. So he came to face Elisha, and he wanted to chop Elisha's head off.
Now, if you're going, this is like really gory, you might've just tuned in right now, and you're like, "Whoa, we've got cannibalism. We've got donkey's heads. We've got other heads coming". I mean, welcome to the Bible, it is not boring. That's all I'm going to tell you. And so, during this time, he goes to see Elisha and he's ready to take off Elisha's head. And this is when Elisha says to him that this famine, this drought, it's about to end. But I want to pick up a little bit about what happened.
It says, the Bible says, "Afterward Ben-Hadad, king of Syria, mustered his entire army and went up and besieged Samaria". Remember we said that Samaria was under siege? And there was a great famine in Samaria as they besieged it, until a donkey's head was sold for 80 shekels of silver and the fourth part of kab of dove's dung for five shekels of silver. Now, I know, this is like complicated, but when people are paying to buy a donkey's head to eat it, you know times are very desperate.
Now, as the king of Israel was passing by on the wall, a woman cried out to him, saying, "Help, my lord, o king". And he said, "If the Lord will not help you, how shall I help you? From the threshing floor or from the wine press"? And the king asked her, "What is your trouble"? She answered, "This woman said to me, 'give your son that we may eat him today, and we will eat my son tomorrow'. So we boiled my son and ate him. And on the next day I said to her, 'give your son that we may eat him'. But she has hidden her son". When the king heard the words of the woman, he tore his clothes.
Now he was passing by on the wall and the people looked, and behold, he had sackcloth beneath on his body and he said, "May God do so to me and more also, if the head of Elisha, the son of shaphat remains on his shoulders today". So we get the picture. This is like very, very serious. There's extreme famine, there's extreme hunger. I mean, we've resorted to cannibalism. We've resorted to eating donkey's heads and it just gets better. So now the king is going to go to Elisha, and Elisha was sitting in his house and the elders were sitting with him. Now the king had dispatched a man from his presence, but before the messenger arrived, Elisha said to the elders, "Do you see how this murderer has sent to take off my head? Look, when the messenger comes, shut the door, hold the door fast against him. Is not the sound of his master's feet behind him"?
And while he was still speaking with them, the messenger came down to him and said, "This trouble is from the Lord. Why should I wait for the Lord any longer"? But Elisha said, "Hear the word of the Lord, thus says the Lord, tomorrow about this time, a seah of fine flour shall be sold for a shekel, and two seahs of barley for a shekel at the gate of Samaria". Then the captain on whose hand the king leaned said to the man of God, "If the Lord himself should make windows in heaven, could this thing be"? He's basically saying this is impossible because Elisha says, "Look, I'm telling you, within 24 hours, a miracle is going to happen. We are going to have goods and services back in the market. This drought, this famine is going to end. People are going to be able to buy food". I mean, it would just sound ludicrous.
And this man is going, "There is no way this can happen". There, because in the natural, it looked impossible. I mean, if there was an absolute famine in the land, you think now in certain regions, perhaps in Africa where there's absolute famine, you don't think within 24 hours, we're going to suddenly have a market economy functioning and everything is going to exist normally. It's impossible. And this man says this is impossible. And so I love this, the captain, he just said, "This cannot happen, this cannot happen". And he was right, in the natural, this could not happen. But he goes on, and then the captain on whose hand the king leaned said to the man of God, "If the Lord himself should make windows in heaven, could this thing be"? But he said, "You shall see it with your own eyes, but you shall not eat of it".
I don't know that there would be anything more frustrating to see a miracle of God and not be able to partake of that miracle. To see God do something amazing and be such a cynic, that you never ever grasp what God has done. So many people miss out on what God has for their life because of cynicism and because of unbelief. Cynicism keeps more people out of the presence and purpose and promise of God, than almost anything else. That sense that it can't happen, it's not possible. As if God is only limited to what is possible in the natural. We have to understand that what is impossible with man, is possible with God, with God all things are possible and nothing is impossible with God. Nothing is impossible with God.
All things are possible with God. It goes on, it says now there were four men who were lepers at the entrance to the gate. And they said to one another, "Why are we sitting here until we die? Why are we sitting here until we die? If we say, 'let us enter the city, the famine is in the city, and we shall die there. And if we sit here, we die also'". I love this, this is the best philosophers I've ever heard of. So here we go, four lepers that are not only lepers, they double as philosophers. They go, "Look, if we sit here, 100%, we're going to die. If we go in there, worst case scenario, we're going to die. Here we die, there we die, everywhere we die die. It's okay, that's what's going to happen. So now come, let us go over to the camp of the Syrians".
This being interpreted says, "Hey, what have we got to lose? What do we have to lose? If we stay here, we're going to die. If we go in there, maybe we're going to die. Best case, worst case scenario. So we've got nothing to lose. Let's take a risk, let's have a go, let's step out of our comfort zone. What have we got to lose? If they spare our lives, we shall live. And if they kill us, we shall but die". I mean, these guys are just geniuses. So they arose at twilight to go to the camp of the Syrians, but when they came to the edge of the camp of the Syrians, behold, there was no one there. For the Lord had made the army of the Syrians hear the sound of chariots and horses, the sound of a great army. It was four lepers, four lepers. Four, I don't even know if that all their limbs, they were four lepers. But they sounded like a great army, so they said to one another, "Behold, the king of Israel has hired against us the kings of the Hittites, the kings of the, of Egypt to come against us".
So they fled away into the twilight and abandoned their tents, their horses, their donkeys, leaving the camp as it was. They fled for their lives. Four lepers. I don't even know if their fingers were falling off. I don't know what was happening, but they left everything and they fled for their lives. And when these lepers came to the edge of the camp, they went into a tent and they ate and they drank and they carried off silver and gold and clothing and went and hid them. Then they came back and entered another tent and they carried off the things from it, and went and hid them. Then they said to one another, "We are not doing right. This is a day of good news. If we are silent and wait until the morning light, punishment will overtake us. Now therefore come, let us go and tell the king's household".
You cannot make this stuff up. Only the Bible can have this, I love this story. So a great time of famine, a great time of injustice, king Joram, who is another evil king, a time of just great, great pain and hunger. And then you got four guys, four lepers, just sitting at the gate. They're just sitting there. This whole land has been under siege and they're just sitting there, and they're just like the most brilliant people, 'cause they're like, "You know what, why, why we're sitting here, until we die"? Like, you know, we're lepers.
Now lepers are the lowest of the low. They're the least of the least. In this time in history, lepers had no rights, no privileges. In fact, if you were walking down the street and there was a leper coming, a leper had to yell, "Leper coming, leper coming". So that you would cross the road and walk on the other side of the road. So you think of the most marginalized people groups in our society today, that's what lepers were. So they're sitting there, they've got no rights, they've got no privileges, they've got no assets. They've got nothing to lose. And they're just sitting there, while everything is happening, Elisha goes, "You know what? This whole thing is going to end. This entire famine is going to end and a miracle is going to happen".
But these guys don't know that. These guys have got no clue that this is going to happen. They don't know that the famine is going to end. They don't know that there's going to be provision for goods. So they're just sitting there with what they do know. What they do know is that we are four of the most oppressed, marginalized, dispossessed, disenfranchised people in our society. In fact, we're not even really considered human beings, that's how marginalized we are. And those four lepers could have just sat there and said, "There's a famine in the land. The conditions are really bad. Man, the economy is really bad. Man, the political system's really bad. Man, the education system's really bad. Society is really bad. The moral condition of our world is really bad. And we're just sitting here.
In fact, I'm just going to sit here and it's so bad, I think I'm just going to tweet about it. I think I'm just going to sit at this gate and I'm just going to tweet about how bad... No, actually, no, I'm going to put a Facebook post. I think that's even better. I'm just going to sit at this gate and I'm just going to Facebook post about it. In fact, no, I'm going to do an instastory. I've got to do an Instastory. Please look at my gate. I'm just, I'm just sitting at the gate. Can you please look at my gate? Look at the color of my gate. Could you just look the texture of my gate? That's right, this is my gate, this is my prison, this is it. It's not my fault that I'm at this gate. I'm just going to be, you know what? I'm just"... Until you get a sense that says I'm going to ask myself a question, why am I sitting here? Why am I sitting here until I die?
I might be a leper, but it doesn't mean that I can't get up and change my condition. Why am I allowing my condition to define me? Why am I gaining my identity from what happened to me? At what point am I going to make what Jesus did for me bigger than what they did to me? At what point am I going to make what Jesus did for me bigger than what they said about me? At what point am I going to believe that Jesus Christ came from heaven to earth, died on a cross and rose again from the dead, so that I didn't have to sit at the gate for the rest of my life? But that I can get up and move on beyond what God has for me, and I can move into the future that he has for me. Why am I sitting here until I die? Why am I sitting here? Until we get to that place where we think I've got nothing to lose, I've got nothing to lose.
So the king came to Elisha, ready to kill him, and Elisha says, "I'm going to turn this whole thing around, I'm going to prophesy to you that the famine is going to be over. 24 hours from now, everything is going to change". But the deal is that the captain did not believe that that was going to happen. He was just like, "No, no, this cannot happen". In verse two, then the captain on whose hand the king leaned said to the man of God, "If the Lord himself should make windows in heaven, could this thing be"? Cynicism will stop you from getting up and taking a risk. Cynicism will keep you at the gate, blogging about your problem, tweeting about your problem, talking about your problem, blaming the system for your problem, blaming everyone else for your problem. Cynicism will not allow you to get up and take responsibility for your future.
See, the truth is, none of us can change the past. Many of us cannot change the circumstances that got us sitting at the gate. The lepers couldn't change the fact that they were lepers, that's what happened. But they did make a decision that their leprosy was not going to define them or limit them, or limit their options for the future. And they made a decision that I'm going to arise and I'm going to move into the future. I'm going to move into the city. I'm not going to allow this disposition to define my position which is going to limit the future and the destiny that I have got. Jesus Christ came from heaven to earth, so you wouldn't have to sit at those gates of your life for the rest of your life. He came from heaven to earth so that you can get up and make a decision, I'm not going to sit here anymore. But you've got to get to a place where you go, "You know what? I've got nothing to lose, I don't care".
Because for some of us, getting up is going to cost us friends. For some of us, getting up is going to cost us our families. For some of us, getting up is going to cost us certain of our support structures. For some of us, getting up is going to mean that we're going to have to get healed from the inside out. For some of us, getting up is going to cost us our comfort zones, it's going to cost us what we know best. It's gonna cost us. But until we get up, nothing changes, and nothing will change until you decide to change. And until you decide to say, "I have got nothing to lose. If I sit here in this place in life, nothing is ever going to change. But I want things to change and Jesus came to bring change, so I'm going to lay a hold of him and I'm going to move into the future that he has got for me".
You do not have to be a product of your past. You do not have to be defined by what was done to you. You do not have to be live in a limited and a contained and a small life, you can rise up and be who God's called you to be. You can rise up and do what God has called you to do. God has not called you to a small life. He's called you to a wide, expansive, open life, full of blessing, full of abundance. God is an abundant God. Jesus came that we might have life and life more abundant.
So many of us are not experiencing life 'cause we're sitting at the gate and we're just going through the motion. We are just existing. Jesus Christ did not come for you to exist. So the enemy comes to steal, kill, and destroy. And that's often what gets us sitting at the gate. That's what his job profile is. But Jesus Christ came that we might have life and life more abundant. It's the will of God for you get up and step into the purpose that he has for you, in Jesus' name. In Jesus' name, hallelujah.