Michael Youssef - It Is Supernatural - Part 6
Unrealistic expectations is like a deck of cards. Literally, it will easily collapse and crumble. Whenever you conjure up unrealistic expectations which is devoid of reality, it's like a set of dominos. They go tick, tick, tick, tick, tick, tick, tick. Unrealistic expectations cuts across the board. Here's the problem. When unrealistic expectations go unmet, when unrealistic expectations go unfulfilled, they can leave us confused, discouraged, depressed, and disheartened. Unrealistic expectations causes devastation. Unrealistic expectations can actually be traumatic, and, listen carefully, unrealistic expectations can torpedo the life of faith.
And so, Michael, how come this whole series you've been talking about supernatural and walking by faith and not by sight, how come? Oh, I need to explain that because it's very important. You see, there's so many people confuse faith with fantasy, they really do. There are many people who confuse faith with selfish ambitions. There are so many people who confuse faith with selfishness. I've been saying throughout this series of messages entitled, "It Is Supernatural" that it is a complete trust in a living God that brings about fulfillment of the promises of God. This is the last, sixth and last in the series, and if you haven't been here, download them. I pray to God, they'll cause, be a cause of encouragement for you.
Here we have an example of how unrealistic expectations nearly, just nearly, nullified the miracle. Here's an example of how unrealistic expectations nearly, I say nearly, robbed the man of God's supernatural miracle. Is an example of a man who nearly became a casualty of his own unrealistic expectations. By the same token, you see an example of a young slave girl, young Jewish girl's faith in action. Turn with me if you haven't already to 2 Kings chapter 5. 2 Kings chapter 5. During that period of time, Syria was a... when you hear Aram, I told you before, it's Syria, Aram, Syria, is the same country. Syria, which is north of Israel, at that period of history was a very powerful country.
And there was a general, actually he was the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Just get it like that, you'll get it. He was a decorated general. His uniform was literally laden with medals. He had a complete, an unfettered access to the king of Syria. He was a national hero as far as they were concerned, but he had one humongous problem. Listen carefully, life is never perfect. When you point to someone and say, oh, he's got it easier than me, she got it easier than me, when you point to someone and you say that, it is because you don't know what their problems are. General Naaman epitomized the song, "Everything is going my way," except for one painful, embarrassing, humiliating, humiliating thing.
The great general had leprosy. Every morning before he puts on the uniform, he would spend hours bathing and dabbing herbs and natural medicine to alleviate the pain. His uniform could cover most of his body, but it cannot cover his hands and his face. Oh, it revealed the disease. Thank God none of us really know or experience leprosy anymore. None of us can understand or comprehend the extent of what leprosy is all about. The symptoms of leprosy start by discoloration in patches in the skin. Then it changes into pink and brown color. And then the skin thickens around these spots, and then it begins to produce foul discharge. The eyebrows fall out, the voice becomes hoarse, and breathing becomes wheezy. Hands and feet are like bleeding stumps, making it difficult to put shoes on. It is no wonder that in the Old Testament in Judaism, they associated or equated leprosy with sin.
Do you know why? Beloved, listen to me. Sin is like a leprosy, it does a total job unless you place it under the blood of Jesus Christ. It's unbearable. I'm sure General Naaman would have given all of his wealth to get his health back. I am absolutely confident that General Naaman would have exchanged his uniform and his medals and everything he has to get healing. Ah, but it took the faith of a little Jewish girl who's serving in his house. It took the faith of a young Jewish girl, it took the faith of a young girl who was captured by the Syrians in one of their raids on Israel. It took the faith of that little girl, faith in the power of God, the God of power and might to witness to her master.
This young slave girl, she had every right to be wrapped up in herself, to be wrapped up in her pain, to be wrapped up in her loneliness, to be wrapped up in her suffering, to be wrapped up in her estrangement in a strange country and the condition of slavery that she was in. She had every right to be wrapped up in her separation from her family and from the isolation from home. She had every right to do that. She could have looked at her master and said, why should I witness to him? Why should I? Why should I tell him about our God? Why should I tell him about the man of God, the prophet Elisha? And yet, she in faith stepped out and said, verse 3, underline it, verse 3, "If only my master would go to the prophet who is in Samaria," Samaria is, you remember after Solomon that Israel split northern kingdom, southern kingdom, the southern kingdom Judah, and the northern kingdom is Israel, and the capital was Samaria.
If he goes to the man of God in Israel, in Samaria, he would be cleaned from his leprosy. She didn't say, there is a possibility that he may help him. Well, he may see him. No. That faith was real. This little girl, this Jewish girl had confidence, not just in Elisha, but in the God of Elisha. This little girl has the assurance that her God is Yahweh-Rapha. This little girl was not intimidated by the general's uniform as much as she had compassion for his pain. This little girl that was not afraid of the general's bodyguard as much as she wanting to bring glory to Yahweh. And when the general finally comes to Israel for healing, he comes with three, how many? Three unrealistic expectations, and then one of them nearly torpedoed the miracle. Unrealistic expectations can hinder the miracle. I'm gonna explain that. It's very important, very important.
First of all, unrealistic expectation number one, he takes a letter from the king of Syria, letter of introduction, and he takes it to the King of Israel. That's unrealistic expectation number one. Secondly, he comes with a preconceived idea of how he should be healed. He comes with silver and gold and he thought he gonna buy, pay for the miracle. And unrealistic expectation number three, he did not like the way God was gonna perform the miracle. And that is why it was a travesty.
It literally gives me goosebumps every time I read that part, that Gehazi's greed, that Gehazi's blindness for material things got the leprosy that Naaman was healed from stuck to him and his family. This is a man who was the right hand man of God, he's the right hand mind of Elisha, he's been with him, we've been seeing it throughout this series of messages. I said to you, I said, you gonna see him in 4-D today. And here it is. Here it is. Let's look first of all at unrealistic expectation number one. He goes to the wrong address. Be careful, don't go do the wrong address. You know where you should go, right? Don't go to the wrong address. Instead of going to the man of God just as the little girl testified to him, he goes to the king of Israel.
Verse 8, the king of Israel, thinking that this is basically an act of international provocation, that's really how, that puts it in the vernacular, he said this is an act of international provocation. He's provoked, and he tears his clothes, a sign of sadness and sorrow. Ah, but when Elisha heard about this fiasco, he send his messenger to the great general and said, hey, you went to the wrong address. Come here, not there. Verse 9, the general turns his camel motorcade, have you ever seen a camel motorcade? They're very slow, but I think he had some horses and chariots. He turns it around, and he goes to Elisha.
And so, Naaman, unrealistic expectation number one, he went to the wrong address, he went to the king of Israel. Unrealistic expectation number two, which was really shattering to the general. It was shattering. How come he wouldn't come down and greet me? Instead, Elisha sends him his assistant, and he said, go and tell the big shot, that's a Youssef translation. But you get the meaning, right? Go and wash seven times in the River Jordan, and your body will be restored, and you will be cleansed. Hmm. Before I explain this or even get to three, I need to explain a geographical fact, a true fact. The Jordan River is very murky, it's very muddy. Your feet will really dip deep in the mud. It is like a little muddy water puddle in comparison to the beautiful River Euphrates.
The River Jordan is shallow and murky and muddy in comparison to the beautiful rivers in Syria, and the great general Naaman becomes furious, I mean he was furious. And that is unrealistic expectation number two. First, the man of God would not even come to lay hands on him and heal him, he thought, this is the way to do it. Unrealistic expectations. As if he'd say to himself, he's telling me to go and dip in the River Jordan seven times? He wants me to go where? He wants me to do what? He wants me to dip how many times? If he's a Southerner he would say, "Is he out of his mind"? Does he know who I am? Oh, yes, he does. Just Elisha ain't impressed with what impresses people. After all, he is the servant of the living God, the God of Israel, the God of power and might.
Look at verses 11 and 12. You can almost visualize the smoke coming out of Naaman's ears. He was steaming, I mean he was hopping mad, he was fuming, he was fussing, and he's furious to say the least. Now, don't miss this, don't miss what I'm going to tell you. Let me summarize first. Unrealistic expectation number one, he went where? The wrong address. Unrealistic expectation number two, Elisha does not come down and meet him as he expected. I thought that he would come down, lay hands on me, call upon his God, and I would be healed. Can you see the fallacy here? Completely closed his mind because of the method that God used for his miracle. He had different expectations. He's sending me to the murky water of the Jordan?
Come on, no way. If I'm clean and get into that river, I will get dirty. And so he gets his camel motorcade turned around, and he's going home. He's going home, he's going home to Syria. He's heading home now, in addition to his disease, he's heading home disappointed, and he's heading home angry. Look at verse 13, 2 Kings 5. These general bodyguards and traveling companions, all these people are with him, they must have picked up some courage because you don't talk to a guy like this in the fear of he might lop your head off, I mean, that's just the way things were. But they picked up courage and said to him, "Boss, what have you got to lose? Boss, don't be stubborn," that's a Youssef translation.
And so, reluctantly, the great general goes into the River Jordan, turns around, go back to the River Jordan. Don't forget what I'm gonna tell you, if you're writing, write it down. Naaman's healing was not in the Jordan River. Naaman's healing was not even in Elisha's words. Naaman's healing was on the trip to the River Jordan. Did you get that? It's on the trip, that's where the healing was. This great general was reluctant to obey, but begrudgingly he gets into the River Jordan. First dip. Nothing happened. Second dip. Surely something should've happened by now, right? Third dip. Fourth dip.
I am absolutely convinced in my mind, the sixth dip, at the sixth dip he nearly gave up. That's my personal, don't, don't, don't, don't try to find it in the Bible. It's only human nature. Surely if something is gonna happen it would've began now at least to take place. Nothing! And then he takes his seventh dip, and then he comes up, wow! The body's healed. Wow, the God of Israel is the only one true God, the God of Israel is the one who is the God of power and might. He is the God of the supernatural, and don't you ever forget it. The problem is so many professing Christians are living just like the secular people are. They do nothing, practice nothing that would distinguishing them to be men and women, boys and girls of faith.
There may be someone here today who might never have experienced what a joy of knowing that all of your sins are forgiven, and that you have been set free and received the gift of eternal life. You may be adamant in thinking, like I said, that you're going to heaven because you're a good person, or because of your charitable work, or because of all the weighing of the good things are gonna be more than the bad things, or maybe because you think your denomination or your church is gonna make you, is gonna allow you to get to heaven.
Jesus never, never, never said that a church can save you. Church can never save you. He said, "Come unto me," come directly to me. I am the one who paid the penalty of your sins, I am the only one who can save you eternally and assure you of heaven. One more thing before I close, very important, very important thing. Naaman's obedience was so significant, it was so important, not only did he become sensitive, but this obedience of this gentile was so significant that the Lord Jesus Christ himself mentions him by name.
In Luke chapter 4, Jesus said in a synagogue in Nazareth, he points to Naaman and he points to the gentile woman in the time of Elisha, both gentiles, those are the people saved by grace. Man, you mean the Messiah's gonna save gentiles as well? And they got so angry, they grabbed him, and they took him to the precipice, and this is what I do the teaching from Luke 4, and they stood there, it's a very sheer, amazingly sheer drop, and they wanna push him out there. Because his time was not yet, Jesus walked straight through them.
But that's what obedience did, caused our Lord of Glory to even give Naaman a mention. See, it's always been like that. Old Testament, New Testament, it's by grace. Abraham was saved by faith and grace 400 years before the Law, and we see here a man saved by grace in the Old Testament. The Bible said in the Old Testament that it is obedience, not sacrifice, that God desires. Now, sometimes obedience lead to a sacrifice, but that's different. One comes first and the other one follows. Obedience comes first.