The Healing Touch Sermon Summary
Bishop Ronald F. Kimble
- Isaiah 55:6-9
- Jeremiah: 29:10
When you seek God, what are you looking for and how do you know when you’ve found Him if you’ve never seen him before? How do we know when we’ve found God’s face? I find that at my age, it’s really, really difficult for me to change my mind about things. It’s not easy. I guess that’s what you call a phase that we go as being a senior age. My mind doesn’t switch as easy as it once did.
We find God asking the children of Israel to change their minds about something they have been rooted in and it was not easy for them to do it. God uses himself as the reason for them to change their minds. God is enough.
The children of Israel were sent into Babylonian captivity for their idolatry against God. They went into a culture that was:
- The world leader in trade
- Babylon was the place where the Hebrews developed a mercantile spirit
God wanted the Hebrews to be priests. (Exodus 19) They wanted to be merchants. This happens to people today. We are recreated in Christ Jesus for good works. A lot of people today believe they were born for another purpose. What happened to the Hebrews is one word, money. God tells them to go to Babylon and not to expect to come out soon.
He told them the peace of Babylon depended on them. He wanted them to build houses, get married and plant vineyards. He never told them to abandon him or to give up the Torah. He told them in Jeremiah, I know My thoughts, I know what’s on My mind.
It was God’s intention for Babylon to correct Israel, not draw them in! God took them out of their land because of idolatry. He said after 70 years he was coming to get the Hebrews and that he was going to punish Babylon. God made a promise to the children of Israel to:
- Bring them out and to the land
- Bring them back from every place they were dispersed
The culture of Babylon caused the Hebrews to forget who they were. They lived in luxury. They ceased to think about Zion. It was brought to their remembrance in Psalms to sing one of the songs from Zion and their response was, how can we sing the Lord’s song in a strange land? In Babylon money was good. It gave them pleasure and enjoyment, but it never gave them what God wanted them to have. It never gave them true life.
The heart was created to hunger for the word. Proverbs tells us to guard our hearts, for out of it flows the issues of life. You have to be very careful. The heart was created by God to hunger for his word. Your appetite comes from deep within you. Now even though we have a natural appetite, that appetite is not kept alive by the digestion of food. Your body digests the food to keep the other parts of your body alive. So the heart was created to hunger for the word. In the word of God, the soul was to find the true fatness God wanted it to have. That is the only satisfaction for the soul – the word of God. Nothing else can satisfy the soul because God made it that way and it will remain that way as long as we are humans. Success and comfort will never satisfy the soul. Your soul was not created that way. Your soul was created for obedience. As the word is accepted and obeyed, it produces obedience. Something follows obedience.
Of all the things God gives us, something always follows it.
- The heart hungers the word.
- What follows the word? Nourishment for the soul.
- What follows nourishment? Obedience.
This is what God wanted Israel to have. He is revealing his mind to us. He is letting us know, I’m not only asking you to obey me, I’m asking you to obey me so something else can happen. It is never one thing with God. It is a chain of events. If it was only one thing, it would not be abundance. When the promises of God are given, always remember it is a chain of events that happen.
Success and comfort can not satisfy the soul. The Bible says the eyes are never full. Solomon says- the more you see, the more you want. In Isaiah 55, He is speaking to some Hebrews who knew how to make money. On the eve of them coming out of captivity, God speaks to them letting them know that in order to come back to Zion, I can’t bring you back as businessmen; I have to bring you back as priests. If we are going to serve God properly, we must come to him as his children, servants of the Most High God! We can not come to him as executives with all our worldly trappings. We must come humbly telling Him, I am your servant.
Now back to the Hebrews, in seventy years God was going to bring them out. They are on the eve of coming out, but their minds have to change! Well you know what happened in Jesus’ day. This sprit followed them. Remember the day Jesus had to run the money changers out of the temple? They picked that up in Babylon, not in the wilderness. In Isaiah 55:2 God says, why do you spend money for what is not bread, and your wages for what does not satisfy? Why are you constantly buying what will never satisfy you? Isn’t it amazing that what we borrow money for today only to find out a year later we do not want it anymore? And – watch what he asks them – your wages for what does not satisfy? Good question God. God is calling for surrender and obedience. He asks it in a series of questions. Then He says listen carefully to Me and eat what is good. He did not say listen and hear. He says listen and eat what is good, and let not your soul delight itself in abundance. He tells the Hebrews you are not living yet. Your soul does not know what fatness is, because you’re living off your success and comfort. You haven’t lived off the Word. So you don’t know what to compare what you’ve got against what I’m offering you. Try my way. You know, forsake your thoughts for just a little while, is what he is telling them. If I never knew what it was like to have abundance, then I have nothing to compare it with. He tells the Hebrews they are not living yet. Your soul does not know what fatness is, because you are living off success and comfort. You haven’t lived off the Word, so you do not know how to compare wha tyou have against what I’m offering you. God is saying a number of things to the Hebrews:
- Incline your ear and come to Me.
- Hear and your soul shall live.
- I want you to surrender so I can take you to a new level of living.
God is getting them to change their minds. Isn’t God wonderful when he makes his appeal to us?
Listen, He makes an appeal to us.
- Listen, I want to do something for you.
- Are you willing to change your mind?
He did not force them. He approached them the way he would any human. He then asked them to change their minds for something better. He then says, Hear and your soul shall live and I will make an everlasting covenant with you. Instead of being merchants, God is saying if they obey him, they will be priests and prophets to the people. WOW! What a transition from merchant to prophet; from trader to priest.
Let’s look at the benefits God is offering. In Isaiah 55:3 God is saying, I will make an everlasting covenant with you – the sure mercies of David. How did He protect David? David committed two capital offenses, both punishable by death and God did not let David be executed.
- David murdered a man and the law of lextalianos says if you take a life, you must forfeit yours.
- He also committed adultery with Bathsheba and God said the adulterer and adulteress shall be put to death.
So he is telling the children of Israel, listen I will do the same thing for you. He says, I have given him as a witness, as a prophet to the people. That is what a prophet is, a witness. God is telling them, I want you to be a witness for me. I want people to see this nation – the nation that represents me. Surely you shall call the nations you do not know and nations who so not know you shall run to you. What is God saying?
- If you obey me, you shall have influence.
- God will give you influence.
We ask God to give us favor. Favor comes through obedience. God does not just throw favor on everyone. We must be obedient. Paul tells Timothy the same thing. He says those who serve well as deacons heap unto themselves big basmuth. People respect leaders because of their service. It is through service people respect you. You do not make people respect you! They give you respect through service. This is what the scripture teaches.
God wanted them to be leaders of the people! Now, how do we know when our minds are set on other things? This was not the first time God had talked to Israel about this. Earlier the call of God was falling on deaf ears and Isaiah, the prophet, was called out of public life. How does God respond to death ears? He takes his offer back. He says to bind up the testimony, they do not want it. Seal the law among my disciples. This is what he tells the prophet and the prophet in turn says he will wait on the Lord who hides his face from the house of David. This means Jacob can not find God. I do not care what you do, I will not be there. After Judah sinned against God, he said, I will take my name from among them and the prophet had to seal the testimony among the disciples. The prophet now has to wait on the Lord. He says he has to wait until God speaks.
When God releases us, everything we do is going to point to something, because we failed to listen. Now God has to give Israel visible representations. He never gives up on us! God continues to call Israel to Him. They need to listen and respond because the offer won’t be on the table long. So God is asking these businessmen, do they know when they have a good deal. Now let’s see what the deal is. God says to them; seek the Lord while he may be found. Romans 11:25 talks about a door being open until the time of the Gentiles be come in. This door will not always be open. It is a good deal now to get salvation. It may not be offered next week. You may not be available to take it and if you are not, then it is not a good deal. Seek the Lord while he may be found. Let’s paraphrase that a little, seek the Lord while he permits himself to be found. I don’t ever want God to hide himself from me, because I refused Him or I refused to learn his lesson! I need God and I want God to know I need him. God is telling Israel the world can not give them the satisfaction he wants them to have. Isaiah 55:7 says, let the wicked man forsake his way and the unrighteous his thoughts. God is telling Israel they are thinking and acting like unrighteous men. The way has been opened to everyone and anyone could return to the Lord. The promise was – He would abundantly pardon every wicked act and unrighteous thought. Now, anybody could come and receive God.
All sin is rebellion against God. It puts us against God and messes up our environment. A lot of things going on in a person’s environment are connected to his relationship with God. When we see a lot of national disasters, military defeats, diseases, etc., you have to look at these things. God is trying to get us to see something we do not want to see. Anytime we see it in the scripture, it is a result of man going away from God and leaving himself unprotected. The only battles Israel lost was because of their relationship with God, not weakness. It was because of being out of relationship with God. The only way we will lose in life is related to our relationship with God. It is what everything hinges upon. It’s not black, white, the economy, debt, interest or any of that stuff! God is stronger than all of that!
When God said seek Me, He knows that no one comes after Him, but a sincere individual who is tired of the sin they are living in. So when God says seek Him, that is a sign that you are tired! That’s an indication that you want out. The offer is to come to me now! And every sincere person would understand when you come down this altar and we say do you want to be saved and you say yes, you have let God know you need help. This is how you repent. You don’t come with a few tears in your eyes and quote the church’s prayer and walk through the door now saved! You are not saved until you call on God and your heart is broken. Listen to Jesus when He says you can’t come to me unless God draws you. In other words, He has to enlighten you. And that enlightenment can take place at any time! A prophet was not sent to bring you salvation. God came Himself! He didn’t send a prophet to heal you, He sent Himself. See you are just that important to God. Your salvation, your coming out, your mind change was so important to God and He said, no I don’t want you to think like this, I don’t want you to do meditation; I want you to take my thoughts now. My thoughts for your thoughts, that’s all communication is.
We are priests and prophets unto God. Priests unto the Most High God and we have a High Priest Jesus who is in the heavens in the very presence of God making intercession for us right now. Out of our obedience we have influence is the world. He said you can clear up your environment; you can start blessings flowing in your life that you thought would never come. All I ask you to do is to change your mind about who you think you are. Look at yourself as being a saint unto the Most High God. You are not that broke down person that’s struggling trying to make it! For you are living by the grace and the mercy of God. Jesus is offering you abundant pardon; He’s offering you more than enough. I know what you were into in the world. I know what you got into when you were without me, but listen to what he said. I will break all of that off you if you’ll just change your mind for my mind. God is saying, for you shall go out with joy, and be led out with peace; the mountains and hills shall break forth into singing before you. You’re not coming out sad. You are not walking anyway from anything! You think that’s pleasure? You think that’s comfort? Come out of Babylon! Let me show you what it’s all about! Come out of your fears and frustrations! Start obeying God and let God’s word communicate to your spirit. I’ll show you what abundance is! I’ll show you what peace is!
We are on the verge of something. People of God, hear God today. This is on the eve of them coming out of Babylon. As God gets ready to bring you into a new dimension of life, what he is asking you to do is change your mind. He wants to communicate with you. He wants you to know that I want you to think differently. I’m asking you to think differently. I want you to see value only in me and what I am offering you. Let my thoughts take predominance in your mind! Do not look at prestige or money above Me. Look at nothing above Me!
A soul will live throughout eternity. You won’t need money in heaven. God is saying call unto Him until a transformation takes place. We should want Jesus more than any thing, not just good gifts. Having a gift and having Jesus is two different things. I want more than just a blessing from God. I need Jesus! God said he rains down on the just and the unjust. Oh but you have got to understand something – he that hath the Son hath life. They may hay the blessings of God, but they don’t have life. I want life! I want to live! Glory to God! My thoughts are not your thoughts! My ways are not your ways! I think in terms of eternal! You think in time, you think in terms of need. I think in terms of eternity! And everything you need, I could give it to you far greater than any earthly pleasure can give you. Father we thank you now. We thank you. May God Bless You.