2 Kings 5:11 But Naaman went away angry and said, “I thought that he would surely come out to me and stand and call on the name of the Lord his God, wave his hand over the spot and cure me of my leprosy.”
How often we specify how God is to bless us, and accept nothing else! This story is quite well known, particularly because it plays so well in Sunday School, with a little girl playing prominently in the beginning of it, but I really don’t think we learn the main lesson from it. We do this sort of thing all the time, building up scenarios in our mind of what we want to happen, and then asking God to bring it about. Jesus, as usual, had it right when He prayed, “Not my will, but Yours be done.” (Luke 22:42) It wasn’t that Naaman wasn’t willing to do things to gain his healing, it’s just that he saw himself as the center of the show – as we all tend to do. The fact that Elisha didn’t even come out of his house, but just sent word as to what Naaman was to do, hurt his pride. After all, he was an important general! We need to realize that our value comes from God, and is not generated by anything we do and are on our own. We need to remember that we are indeed but dust – and be able to laugh at the joke about butt dust – but that God loved us so much anyway that He sent His Son to die for us to redeem us to Himself. We aren’t to take ourselves so seriously, but rejoice that God loves us so incredibly and trust Him to give us what we need, in the way and at the time that we need it. We are told to ask, seek, and knock, (Matthew 7:7-8) but we need to do so with humble hearts, or we won’t recognize God’s provision when it comes.
I’ve tripped up in this area numbers of times, and as a pastor I am constantly dealing with people who are hung up on it. Human nature hasn’t changed since the days of Elisha and Naaman! At times I am tempted to put people down for their blindness in this area, but then I remember my own track record. I am to keep my own focus on God, for how can I expect others to do so if I’m not doing it? Patience is a major issue, but I’m not to confuse patience and passivity. There can be a fine line between being submitted to God and being passive. At times, God tells us to be very active! That can be a real issue for me personally. There are numbers of things that I want to be different in my life, and I feel God wants them to be different as well, but I’ve got to be willing to do whatever God says in order to make the necessary changes. Things like exercise for health, or tackling the clutter in my study. I am to remember that everything good comes from God, but I am to be active in receiving it, for His glory.
Father, thank You for this Word. Right now my schedule isn’t crowded. Help me recognize Your plans for each moment and follow them, just as You had me preach this past Sunday, so that I may be Your agent for Your will being done, for Your glory. Thank You. Praise God!