“And he (Naaman) returned to the man of God, he and all his aides, and came and stood before him; and he said, “Indeed, now I know that there is no God in all the earth, except in Israel; now therefore, please take a gift from your servant.” But he said, “ As the LORD lives, before whom I stand, I will receive nothing.” And he urged him to take it, but he refused.
When he came to the citadel, he took them from their hand, and stored them away in the house; then he let the men go, and they departed. Now he went in and stood before his master. Elisha said to him, “Where did you go, Gehazi?” And he said, “Your servant did not go anywhere.” Then he said to him, “Did not my heart go with you when the man turned back from his chariot to meet you? Is it time to receive money and to receive clothing, olive groves and vineyards, sheep and oxen, male and female servants? Therefore the leprosy of Naaman shall cling to you and your descendants forever.” And he went out from his presence leprous, as white as snow.”
II Kings 5:15-16, 24-27 NKJV
I remember watching all those Star Wars movies and all the talk of the force. I used to wonder what it would be like to have such power. As a maturing Christian, I have learned to surrender my will to God, and as a result, I have learned to walk in the Spirit.
As I read of the account of Naaman being healed in II Kings chapter 5, I thought of the power of the Holy Spirit in the life of believers. He gives us spiritual insight into people, allowing us to use our gifting more effectively. These gifts are magnified as we walk in the Spirit.
Elisha had refused payment from Naaman, but his assistant Gehazi decided he wanted some for himself, thus casting dispersions on Elisha and God he represented. Elisha was aware of what Gehazi had done, as “his heart” had gone with him.
One of the biproducts of walking by the will of God and not the flesh, is an heightened sensitivity to the intents of the human heart. I am by no means omniscient, or psychic, but I am more aware of what life devoted to God looks like. As a result, the life that is against God stands out in high contrast and is easier to discern. The Holy Spirit has given me the gift discernment.
This is the protection that the Lord provides those who call upon the name of Jesus for salvation and have been filled with the Holy Spirit. We who believe and obey, walk in a world full of people with motivations and agendas bent on fulfilling personal appetites, and not seeking after the will of the Father.
As we seek the counsel of God in His word, we lean not on the understanding of men. The Lord becomes our guide, our path to seeking truth. His holiness illuminates what is holy and what is evil, allowing us to see the contrast.
“Blessed is the man Who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly, Nor stands in the path of sinners, Nor sits in the seat of the scornful; But his delight is in the law of the LORD, And in His law he meditates day and night. He shall be like a tree Planted by the rivers of water, That brings forth its fruit in its season, Whose leaf also shall not wither; And whatever he does shall prosper.”
Psalms 1:1-3 NKJV
Because I seek the counsel of God, it is much easier to see the evil intents of people I encounter, and I stay far from them. It is an ongoing battle as those with wicked hearts seek after those they desire to devour. Evil cannot simply leave people alone.
We are entering a time when it will be much easier to discern the wicked from the good, as the wickedness will be on open display and will be triggered by the slightest perceived offense. These are truly perilous times.
“But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come: For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having a form of godliness but denying its power. And from such people turn away! For of this sort are those who creep into households and make captives of gullible women (and men) loaded down with sins, led away by various lusts, always learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.”
II Timothy 3:1-7 NKJV
In these times, I am blessed with my desire for isolation, as I am able to establish a fortress of holiness about myself, maintaining protective boundaries against those who are sadly being used by the evil one, and having no idea of the destruction that awaits them.
We talk often about the love of God, but we seldom talk of His hate. He does hate and He does destroy. He is loving, yet just and sovereign.
“These six things the LORD hates, Yes, seven are an abomination to Him: A proud look, A lying tongue, Hands that shed innocent blood, A heart that devises wicked plans, Feet that are swift in running to evil, A false witness who speaks lies, And one who sows discord among brethren.”
Proverbs 6:16-19 NKJV
Even as the Holy Spirit has given me insight on who I should avoid, I must also pray for those, for they are being held captive by the evil one and are ensnared unaware.
They are people being used as pawns by the devil, and bound toward great pain and personal destruction. In a spirit of unbelief they have forgotten that God sees all.
“Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.”
Ephesians 6:10-13 NKJV
I have learned to fear the Lord and know of His power. He does not let things slide by without being addressed. I have felt His correction, and my life of refinement has given me great pause before I even address people, especially other believers, because I know that they too are His.
I put on the the armor of God daily, as I seek to endure and to love. I pray with a knowing heart that adversaries come to repentance because the days are short and souls hang in the balance, especially those of the innocent who are watching us.
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