Back to Bethel: Vital Communion With God (ZT Fomum)
There are many things that a person can do outwardly, things that are quite good in themselves but, because the person lacks vital fellowship with the Lord, these outward deeds produce no life. Life flows from the inside and then it comes to the outside.
It would seem as if Gehazi did not maintain his place in the heart of God. He did not maintain communion with God. His service for Elisha demanded that his heart be right towards God. Something went wrong somewhere in Gehazi’s heart. With increasing time, instead of growing closer to God, he grew away from the Lord.
The Bible says,
“The child grew, and one day he went out to his father, who was with the reapers. `My head! My head!’ he said to his father. His father told a servant, `Carry him to his mother.’ After the servant had lifted him up and carried him to his mother, the boy sat on her lap until noon, and then he died. She went up and laid him on the bed of the man of God, then shut the door and went out. She called her husband and said, `Please send me one of the servants and a donkey so I can go to the man of God quickly and return.’ `Why go to him today?’ he asked. `It’s not the New Moon or the Sabbath.’ `It’s all right,’ she said. She saddled the donkey and said to her servant, `Lead on, don’t slow down for me unless I tell you.’ So she set out and came to the man of God at Mount Carmel. When he saw her in the distance, the man of God said to his servant Gehazi, `Look! There’s the Shunammite! Run to meet her and ask her, ”Are you all right? Is your husband all right? Is your child all right?”‘ `Everything is all right,’ she said. When she reached the man of God at the mountain, she took hold of his feet. Gehazi came over to push her away, but the man of God said, `Leave her alone! She is in bitter distress, but the Lord has hidden it from me and has not told me why.’ `Did I ask you for a son, my lord?’ she said. `Didn’t I tell you, “Don’t raise my hopes”?’ Elisha said to Gehazi, `Tuck your cloak into your belt, take my staff in your hand and run. If you meet anyone, do not greet him, and if anyone greets you, do not answer. Lay my staff on the boy’s face.’ But the child’s mother said, `As surely as the Lord lives and as you live, I will not leave you.’ So he got up and followed her. Gehazi went on ahead and laid the staff on the boy’s face, but there was no sound or response. So Gehazi went back to meet Elisha and
told him, `The boy has not awakened.’ When Elisha reached the house, there was the boy lying dead on his couch. He went in, shut the door on the two of them and prayed to the Lord. Then he got on the bed and lay upon the boy, mouth to mouth, eyes to eyes, hands to hands. As he stretched himself out upon him, the boy’s body grew warm. Elisha turned away and walked back and forth in the room and then got onto the bed and stretched out upon him once more. The boy sneezed seven times and opened his eyes. Elisha summoned Gehazi and said, `Call the Shunammite.’ And he did. When she came, he said, `Take your son.’ She came in, fell at his feet and bowed to the ground. Then he took her son and went out” (2 Kings 4:18-37).
Gehazi had lost touch with God. He could tuck his cloak into his belt, take Elisha’s staff in his hand and run, greet no one on the way and lay Elisha’s staff on the boy’s face, but he could not impart life.
There are many things that a person can do outwardly, things that are quite good in themselves but, because the person lacks vital fellowship with the Lord, these outward deeds produce no life. Life flows from the inside and then it comes to the outside. If there is no vital relationship with the Lord, then the practice of external deeds of fasting, prayer, Bible reading and giving to God, is a waste of time! When fasting, prayer, Bible reading and giving to God are an overflow of a deep communion with God, then they are a real blessing.
For the raising of the child, the ministry of life was needed. A ministry of a living mouth to a dead mouth, a living eye to a dead eye, a living hand to a dead hand, and so on, was a must. Gehazi did not have overflowing inward life, and so he had nothing to offer. He could make noise, but he lacked the communion with God that makes prayer to God possible.
Elisha was alive and he was flowing with life. He could pray to God because he was in communion with God. Consequently, he was able to pray, impart life to the dead boy, and see him come to life.
Are you in vital fellowship with God? Is there any barrier between Him and you? If there is, then all you are doing: singing, praying, fasting, giving to God, preaching the gospel and the like, are acts of falsehood. You are wasting your time. Stop them. Stop all of them and remove the barrier that stands between you and God, then you will be restored into fellowship with God, and only then will your activities make sense.
YOUR SINS WILL FIND YOU OUT
Gehazi had lost God. He did not seek restoration to God. His singleness of heart towards God was gone. The love of the things of the world had come into his heart; the love of money had eaten deep into him. The Bible says,
“Then Naaman and his attendants went back to the man of God. He stood before him and said, `Now I know that there is no God in all the world except in Israel. Please accept now a gift from your servant.’
The prophet answered, `As surely as the Lord lives, whom I serve, I will not accept a thing.’ And even though Naaman urged him, he refused.... After Naaman had travelled some distance, Gehazi, the servant of Elisha the man of God, said to himself, `My master was too easy on Naaman, this Aramean, by not accepting from him what he brought. As surely as the Lord lives, I will run after him and get something from him.’ So Gehazi hurried after Naaman. When Naaman saw him running towards him, he got down from the chariot to meet him. `Is everything all right?’ he asked. `Everything is all right,’ Gehazi answered. `My master sent me to say, “Two young men from the company of the prophets have just come to me from the hill country of Ephraim. Please give them a talent of silver and two sets of clothing.” ‘`By all means, take two talents,’ said Naaman. He urged Gehazi to accept them, and then tied up the two talents of silver in two bags, with two sets of clothing. He gave them to two of his servants and they carried them ahead of Gehazi. When Gehazi came to the hill, he took the things from the servants and put them away in the house. He sent the men away and they left. Then he went in and stood before his master Elisha. `Where have you been, Gehazi?’ Elisha asked. `Your servant didn’t go anywhere,’ Gehazi answered. But Elisha said to him, `Was not my spirit with you when the man got down from his chariot to meet you? Is this the time to take money, or to accept clothes, olive groves, vineyards, flocks, herds or menservants and maidservants? Naaman’s leprosy will cling to you and to your descendants for ever.’ Then Gehazi went from Elisha’s presence and he was leprous, as white as snow” (2 Kings 5:15-27).
Elisha refused Naaman’s gifts. That ought to have settled the matter for Gehazi also, were he a true servant. However, Gehazi had lost God and, with the loss, the loss of the heart of a servant. He began to serve Gehazi. Covetousness led him to:
run after Naaman,
lie to Naaman,
receive two talents of silver and two sets of clothing,
lie to the prophet,
reap the leprosy of Naaman for himself and his progeny.
Before that day, the love of the world and the love of the things of the world had entered his heart. He could have dealt with them, but he did not. He allowed them in his heart and they developed until they killed him! The Bible says,
“But each one is tempted when, by his own evil desire, he is dragged away and enticed. Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death” (James 1:14-15).
If there is an illegitimate or an unholy desire in your heart, please deal away with it. It will ruin your communion with God and, finally, destroy you and your progeny.
WHAT GEHAZI LOST
Gehazi would have become the next prophet.
He might have asked and received a double portion of the spirit that rested on Elisha. He would, consequently, have performed twice the number of miracles that Elisha performed, that is, twenty-eight. The purposes of God for him would have been established.
He lost all these and, in place of them, had leprosy!
WHAT THE NATION LOST
The tragedy of Gehazi’s sin was not only personal. First of all, Elisha lost his valued servant and the Bible does not bother to name the one who took over from where Gehazi failed (2 Kings 6:15).
All failure of servants is, first of all, personal. However, it could also result in the failure of a
Your place as a servant may affect the destiny of
the planet Earth.
Guard it jealously!
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