The Outcasts

The Outcasts

Psalm 63:1-3 (NLT) O God, you are my God; I earnestly search for you. My soul thirsts for you; my whole body longs for you in this parched and weary land where there is no water. I have seen you in your sanctuary and gazed upon your power and glory. Your unfailing love is better than life I tself; how I praise you!

My soul thirsts for you. Are you thirsty today? Not naturally or physically, but spiritually thirsty for more of God. The common answer of every Christian would be “yes” or “amen”. However, is our thirst enough to be defined as desperation? When a need is prolonged, it moves from desire to desperation. I need God every day. I want Him. I desire Him. The longer it takes to finally reach the depth of my desire, the more desperate I become.

My whole body longs for in you in this parched and weary land where there is no water. If my soul is thirsty for the Lord, it will soon begin to impact the rest of body and spirit in an attempt to attain the fulfillment it desires. If my thirst is not sufficiently satisfied naturally, my body will begin to manifest many physical symptoms. Dehydration impacts us mentally and physically as the body goes into overload due to its overwhelming need for water. For example, mild dehydration produces symptoms such as dry mouth, sleepiness, thirst, decreased output, dry skin, headache, and dizziness. These warning signs are an indication that there is a physical need that is becoming urgent. When not addressed, mild dehydration turns into severe dehydration which becomes a medical emergency. Severe dehydration is marked by the same symptoms which now become extreme. Additionally, it is associated with low blood pressure, rapid heartbeat, as well as, rapid breathing. There are no tears when crying. In the most severe cases, delirium or unconsciousness may develop. If these symptoms are ignored, the person will die.

The earth’s surface is covered by roughly 71% water. Water even exists in the air as water vapor. Yet there are still those who die of dehydration every day. Equally, there are many who will succumb to desperation today rather than tapping into the Life Source of Jesus Christ. They hunger and thirst. Their need turns to desperation. Doubt and disbelief coupled with ignorance and pride keep them from immersing their entire being into Living Water. “Anyone who believes in me may come and drink! For the Scriptures declare, ‘Rivers of living water will flow from his heart!’” Are you dry today? Are you thirsty? Is your soul dehydrated? Are you desperate for the Lord today? I am.

Matthew 5:6 (NKJV) Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be filled.

There are many dedicated Christians. People who attend church regularly. Reading God’s Word and applying it to their life, they live in a comfortable relationship with the Lord. They are committed to basic obedience that yields more blessing than they ever thought possible. However, in their routine structure of life Jesus bears a certain role rather than becoming the Source of Life. When trouble comes or chaos hits, it is met with a natural reaction rather than confident hope. I don’t want to be a dedicated Christian.

It is my life goal to be a desperate disciple. I do not want to stop until I discover the width, length, height and depth of the Love of Jesus Christ for me. I want to know what He means in His Offer to do exceedingly abundantly more than I can ask or think according to His Power at work in me. The Love of Christ that surpasses earthly knowledge so I may be filled with the fullness of God. I am desperately seeking the kind of relationship with Jesus that brings His Kingdom to the earth along with every sign, miracle and wonder that the Realm called Hope promises to produce. I want to experience the impossible made possible at His Word. I want to be the one who goes against the flow of religion and tradition who, just like Peter, jumps out of the boat by faith as many times as it takes to make it to Jesus Christ. I am hungry and thirsty for righteousness or right standing with My God. He promises me that I will be filled. I will find satisfaction.

2 Kings 7:3-4 (NLT) Now there were four men with leprosy sitting at the entrance of the city gates. “Why should we sit here waiting to die?” they asked each other. “We will starve if we stay here, but with the famine in the city, we will starve if we go back there. So we might as well go out and surrender to the Aramean army. If they let us live, so much the better. But if they kill us, we would have died anyway.”

The King of Israel had made pact with the Arameans. The King of Aram was at war with Israel. He would plan an attack with his officers which the Lord would convey to Elisha who then would warn the King of Israel. Time and time again saving Israel which infuriated the king of Aram. So the Aramean king plotted to capture Elisha. Elisha’s servant was afraid so the prophet asked the Lord to open his spiritual eyes. When God did the servant saw the hillside filled with horses and chariots of fire. When the enemy troops approached, they were struck blind and led right into Israel’s hands. The king of Israel wanted to kill them but the Lord had other plans. Instead, a great feast was prepared for them and they were sent home again.

When King Ben-Hadad of Aram mustered up some courage, he sent his army into Samaria to besiege Israel. This time his invasion brought a great famine to the land. New devil, new level. The king of Israel encountered a woman who had made a pact with another woman to eat their children. She had gone through with it and the other woman reneged on the pact. He was overwrought by this news. Tearing his clothes, he wanted to kill Elisha as he blamed him for this disaster. (II Kings 6) When the messenger arrived at the home where the prophet was staying, the Lord had already let his man know that they were after his head. He sent him back with a message that then next day the famine would end. The officer of the king persisted and Elisha assured him that he would not partake. This brings us to four lepers sitting just outside the gate.

The four lepers were in a desperate situation. They were hungry, thirsty and literally starving. In their desperation rather than trying to seek help from their people who obviously could not help themselves, they decided to surrender. For if the enemy let them live, it would be better than this. If they were killed, what did it matter for they were dying anyway? When they arrived, they found the camp was deserted. The soldiers were gone yet all their belongings remained. The Lord had come and scared away the enemy but left the blessing for His People just as Elijah told the messenger. The four lepers went back to tell the gatekeepers the news who shouted it to the people. The king still not convinced sent out scouts who confirmed the news. In their hunger and haste, the officer of the king who doubted was trampled at the gate by the people rushing out for provision. Everything happened exactly as Elisha told them it would.

Our response to desperation reveals the contents of our heart. What we do in desperation determines our destiny. The king became desperate and turned on God. His inability to believe the God of the Impossible caused great despair so he turned his heart and hand against the Lord. The four lepers were desperate before the famine. Their condition created a great need anyway complied with famine left them nothing. Their situation was impossible. Yet rather than rising up against God – they chose to surrender. They went to the enemy’s camp and took back what the enemy had taken from them. What is your response to the desperation of your soul, mind and body today? Will you blame the Lord? Will you surrender and take back what the enemy has taken from you? I am desperate to take back so many things that the enemy has stolen from my life. I am desperate for the victory and fulfillment of God. Am I desperate enough to surrender my entire life to faith in the Living God? Will I hunger and thirst for right-standing with Him day by day, moment by moment, crisis to crisis?

Judges 15:18-19 (NLT)  Samson was now very thirsty, and he cried out to the Lord, “You have accomplished this great victory by the strength of your servant. Must I now die of thirst and fall into the hands of these pagans?” So God caused water to gush out of a hollow in the ground at Lehi, and Samson was revived as he drank. Then he named that place “The Spring of the One Who Cried Out,” and it is still in Lehi to this day.

Believers and followers of Christ are promised a life of transformation from glory to glory. The Lord works in us constantly turning our heart back to Him. With each new revelation accepted by faith and confident hope, there will be victories. Will we rest on our laurels? Samson had just killed 1,000 Philistines with the jawbone of a donkey filled when the Spirit of the Lord came upon him. After the battle, he was very thirsty. With great victory comes added desperation as the Lord fills us again because we live victory to victory. It is hard to imagine a single person killing 1,000 attackers yet it happened. When Samson cried out to the Lord, God immediately responded with water and he was revived.

It is human nature to control certain things. To believe natural outcomes are physical results and forget that our spirit man (or woman) needs nourishment. Even living as an overcomer, it is easy to lose sight of where our source of strength began all in fighting the good fight of faith. We do not seek replenishment from the Lord but allow our soul to run dry, become dehydrated creating desperation. God will meet your need today. Just because you are weak doesn’t mean you have failed or lost a battle, it simply means you need more of Him. God doesn’t make bad things happen. He uses the attack of the enemy to renew us, restore us and revive us because it increases our dependency on Jesus so we surrender more of ourselves to Him.

Psalm 145:13-16 (NLT) For your kingdom is an everlasting kingdom. You rule throughout all generations. The Lord always keeps his promises; he is gracious in all he does. The Lord helps the fallen and lifts those bent beneath their loads. The eyes of all look to you in hope; you give them their food as they need it. When you open your hand, you satisfy the hunger and thirst of every living thing.

In Genesis 17:7, God confirms His Covenant as an everlasting one. “This is the everlasting covenant: I will always be your God…” Everlasting is without end. His Kingdom is an everlasting kingdom which means it is the supreme authority and most powerful of all because it will never end. It will outlast every other authority and power ever known. We are members of that kingdom. We have all the same power in us that overcame death and the grave. Greater is He who lives, breathes and exists in us.

Why the desperation? Why the great need? Why do we have unfulfilled desires? We have not brought His Kingdom to earth…yet. I hear the cry for revival and join in the song. It will not come until men and women of God become desperate for the Lord again. Not just a good life with good things, but with a God Life where the impossible is always possible. The kind of faith that accepts nothing less than the full satisfaction of God. Those who will tarry until His Spirit comes. Pray until each request completely answered. It will take full surrender of our current condition, abandonment of comfort zones and for committed Christians to become desperate disciples of the Living God.

Some translations refer to the four lepers as outcasts. There were only four of them. This is not a popular lifestyle because it means giving up this life to save our soul. These men bravely were willing to face death to take back what the enemy had stolen from them. What has the enemy taken from you today? Does he have your joy? Has he hidden your hope? Did the enemy rob you of heath? Captured your thoughts? Is he messing with your kids? Has he helped himself to your stuff? It’s time to take it back. Take it all back.  I want to be an outcast of this world and a citizen of God’s Everlasting Kingdom. The Lord always keeps His Promises. He has promised to satisfy the hunger and thirst of every living thing. Lord, let that be me. Is that you? It is definitely me. Lord, I am desperate for you today!

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