Spiritually Woke

Spiritually Woke

Photo by Eniko Kis on Unsplash

2 Kings 5:1-8 1 Now Naaman, commander of the army of the king of Syria, was a great and honorable man in the eyes of his master, because by him the LORD had given victory to Syria. He was also a mighty man of valor, but a leper. 2 And the Syrians had gone out on raids, and had brought back captive a young girl from the land of Israel. She waited on Naaman’s wife.

3 Then she said to her mistress, “If only my master were with the prophet who is in Samaria! For he would heal him of his leprosy.” 4 And Naaman went in and told his master, saying, “Thus and thus said the girl who is from the land of Israel.”
5 Then the king of Syria said, “Go now, and I will send a letter to the king of Israel.”So he departed and took with him ten talents of silver, six thousand shekels of gold, and ten changes of clothing. 6 Then he brought the letter to the king of Israel, which said,Now be advised, when this letter comes to you, that I have sent Naaman my servant to you, that you may heal him of his leprosy.
7 And it happened, when the king of Israel read the letter, that he tore his clothes and said, “Am I God, to kill and make alive, that this man sends a man to me to heal him of his leprosy? Therefore please consider, and see how he seeks a quarrel with me.”
8 So it was, when Elisha the man of God heard that the king of Israel had torn his clothes, that he sent to the king, saying, “Why have you torn your clothes? Please let him come to me, and he shall know that there is a prophet in Israel.”

Matthew 5:14 14 Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid.

Acts 4:13 13 Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were unlearned and ignorant men, they marvelled; and they took knowledge of them, that they had been with Jesus.

This is a message about identity.  I believe that the earth is crying out for world changers.  Unfortunately though they are looking in all the wrong places.  The darker this world becomes the more it needs that Light that Jesus talked about.  That City on the Hill.  (See Matt. 5:14)

The world is not going to change following it’s own set of rules.  In order the world to change for better the church has to identify itself with Jesus Christ as both Lord and Savior.   I think that most people understand that the times we are living in today are not normal times. This is what people talk about today:

The new normal, loss of civility, law and order, being one thing but ‘identifying’ as something else.

Because the world has rejected God chaos has become the order of the day.  So where is the church?  Do they even know we are here?

Remember that the church was born in a prayer meeting, not a board meeting.  (See Acts. 1).  Until we come out of board meetings and go back to ‘prayer with power meetings’, we will continue to exist, but not become a power player in the world we live in, nor a power player in the things happening around us.

Acts 4:13 13 Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were unlearned and ignorant men, they marvelled; and they took knowledge of them, that they had been with Jesus.

Spiritual ‘boldness’, and being ‘woke’ come from spending time with Jesus!  Peter and the other original apostles understood this.   Beginning in Acts chapter three and through out the book of Acts, they made it clear that by the power that is in the name of the Crucified Savior things had to change.

This transformation included things that we may consider negative events such as persecution, but even in those things the world was being changed. The things of God were being birthed through the hard labor of His church. They put Paul and Silas in prison, but the result was that everyone’s bonds were loosened, and souls were saved.  Disciples of Christ were beaten, but the result was the people were healed.  Entire cities were transformed by the preaching of the word, and by the actions of just a few spirit-filled believers.

My question to the church today as we rethink who we are and what we are doing because of the pandemic, and the unrest around the world is this.  ‘Does anyone take us seriously anymore’?  Does anyone know we are here?

The church has gone through many modifications over the centuries.  In these periods of time we have become more sophisticated, and refined.  We have amassed great sums of money.  We have become ‘king makers’, and law makers.  We are in fact a worldwide conglomerate corporation with a presence in almost every country.  And in spite of all of this, the world is still a mess.  I believe this is because we have lost the one thing the Lord told is that we cannot live without.  That is the power of the Holy Ghost.  (See Acts. 1:8, Acts 2:4).

Because we are not moving in God’s power we have become somewhat hidden in plain sight.  But, this is about to change because the times we are in are causing the church to become ‘woke’ again.

Remember what Jesus said before he went to the grave site of Lazarus.

John 11:11 11 These things said he: and after that he saith unto them, Our friend Lazarus sleepeth; but I go, that I may awake him out of sleep.

You don’t have to be dead to be rendered ‘ineffective’. The Apostle Paul urged the church to wake from it’s status of sleeping to become the power house that the Lord wants in the earth.

Ephesians 5:14-16 14 Wherefore he saith, Awake thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light. 15 See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, 16 Redeeming the time, because the days are evil.

Simply put, the church should become so hyperactive in God’s power that the world has to stop and take notice.

In our text scripture Naaman the commander of Syria’s army was a celebrated figure in his country.  A great commander giving Syria victory over their enemies.  The bible called him a great man of valor.  It would seem that Naaman had it going on, but there was a problem.  Naaman was a leper.

For the sake of being brief I will only say that leprosy continues to be a horrible disease even today.  But throughout the bible, leprosy has also been typical of a spiritual disease as well.  That disease is called ‘sin’.  Suffice it to say that Naaman’s condition was similar to the state of the world today.

On the outside things look good, but there is a problem.  And even though there are physicians, politicians, theologians, builders, poets, philosophers, educators and more,  we still have a problem.  And year after year as we learn to live with the issues that sin produces, we tend to become desensitized to it, even to the degree of pronouncing that horrid conditions are the ‘new normal’.  Now this state of affairs might be natural for the world.  The real problem is when the church excepts these conditions as well.  This is where we are today, and this was also the state of Naaman’s world.  Perhaps he would have been a leper for the rest of his life until something wonderful happened.  He was put in touch with a true Man of God in Elijah.

As God would have it, Naaman’s wife had a servant girl who was from Israel.  The young lady told her mistress, ‘It’s too bad that Elijah is not here.  Elijah would heal Naaman by the power of Our God’.

I want you to consider the fact that many of us simply would not care about enough about others to suggest that try Jesus.   And how many of us would care that someone in authority, or that a superior might benefit from knowing God.  In order for people to see God’s power, you must first show that you care enough about people to help them.

I believe that the Lord is saying to us today that even the most adverse of situations we find ourselves in are sometimes orchestrated by God in order for Him to get glory from someone who does not know Him as we do.  God wanted you ‘here’ so that even those who don’t believe will know that He is God.

The King of Aram send Naaman to the King of Israel with a note, and 10 suits, and several thousand dollars as a gift.  This man wanted his commander healed!  The king of Israel was supposed to know God, and his power.  But his reaction was like that of so many people in the church today.

2 Kings 5:7 And it happened, when the king of Israel read the letter, that he tore his clothes and said, “Am I God, to kill and make alive, that this man sends a man to me to heal him of his leprosy? Therefore please consider, and see how he seeks a quarrel with me.”

In other words the king was saying this.  ‘What am I supposed to do about this disease?  I am not God!  I have no power.  Is this king trying to start war with me? Oh gosh! What am I going to do?’  Does this sound familiar?

The king of Israel, the servants of the only true God on earth was so depressed about the request to heal a leper that he tore his clothes.  This means he went into mourning, because woe is us.  This sad state of affairs only improved when Elijah the man of God heard that the king tore his clothing.  Elijah was perturbed.  He knew that his God was God.  Elijah was spiritually woke.  So he told the king to send the leper to him.  This leper was going to find out that there IS A GOD in Israel.

Of course you know the story.  Elijah gives Naaman a word from the Lord.  When Naaman finally does what God told him to do his skin becomes completely healed.

How many of us really believe that there is a GOD IN THE CHURCH today?  Really.  Church Board meetings help us to come up with natural solutions, but those ‘prayer with power’ meetings give us solutions from heaven.  Do we still believe that?

We claim Jesus Christ as savior, but do we really believe that He is LORD?  And not just OUR Lord, but Lord of all?  Do we have the faith to tell the world to bring their problems to us, we have a God that can fix them?   In other words are we woke yet.

Matthew 17:17 17 Then Jesus answered and said, O faithless and perverse generation, how long shall I be with you? how long shall I suffer you? bring him hither to me.

To tell someone to bring problems to you means that you have to be willing to ‘hang in there’ with them until the Lord comes through.  It means putting your reputation on the line.  It means that you have faith IN GOD to the degree that you really expect things to change.   Allow me to remind you of the words of the Lord;

Luke 11:9 9 And I say unto you, Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you.

I pray that NCCI, and the true church of Christ at large would become more like Elijah.  I pray that we will be so ‘woke in the spirit’ that people will know that there is a church of God in every city.  A church that heals and delivers by the power of Our God.  A church that says send them us.  We have solutions from heaven.  A church that is not part of the problem but part of the victory over the problem.  A church that doesn’t call sin, and it’s affects the new normal.

A church like this is filled with people that identify with Christ.  Powerful people that the neighborhood knows we are in it, and is better for it.

Does anybody know you are here?

Bishop Horace Ransom Jr.

Bishop Horace Ransom Jr.

Senior Pastor, Board of Directors

Bishop Horace Ransom Jr. is the Senior Pastor and Founder of New Covenant Church International in Detroit, Michigan. He is a Jurisdictional Bishop and serves on the Board of Presbytery for the Jabula International Network, North America. Bishop Ransom is an outstanding teacher of the Word of God with a passion for challenging believers to become the best that they can be. Faith, Purpose and the Kingdom of God are frequently the subject matter of his dissertation.