Last week, Whitney shared with the staff the sessions from the Seeds Conference she attended. She said there was one we should listen to, even if we don’t listen to any of the others. So, I put on the message by Steven Furtick while I was working one day. His message was from 2 Kings 5, about Naaman, a man who was a great fighter but had leprosy.
The first part of the message was focused on the “but” in that last sentence. He talked about how many of us hide our mess behind our gifts. We use our talent but underneath that ,we have problems that eat us away. That is an awesome word and something that deserves consideration. However, the second half of the message is what resonated most with me.
After Naaman’s leprosy was found out, he went to see the prophet Elisha about it. Naaman went to Elisha for healing but left “in a rage” because his expectation of what his healing would involve was different than the instructions he was given by Elisha. The scripture says that Naaman thought the prophet would “come out to him” and he thought that the man would “wave his hand” over him. In essence, Naaman wanted to sit back and watch someone else magically make his problems disappear.
Instead, Elisha instructed Naaman to go to the Jordan River and dip in it 7 times. Naaman had to take active steps of faith and participate by being obedient to the instruction given to him. These steps of obedience seem simple enough and would bring about the healing he was looking for but, initially, Naaman turned away “in a rage”.
So many times, we want to sit back and watch God miraculously make our lives better but often God says to us, “take your simple steps of obedience, and we’ll get there.” Now, I’m not discrediting that God can and does work miracles but sometimes we are standing at our “Jordan” waiting and God is asking for our faith and obedience to step in and join him in the miracle. We let our misguided expectations keep us from seeing the work of God.
I know I’m guilty. I’ve turned away in a rage because God wasn’t doing what I thought he would. And, he was asking me to participate in a way I didn’t really think I wanted to. I can say, like Naaman, I’ve gotten past my anger but I still feel like I’m hesitating to fully get in the water. Today, I’m praying for the faith to fully surrender to his ways so we can experience something miraculous.
Will you join me? Lay down what you think should happen. Lay down your sit and watch mentality. Let’s take active steps of obedience by living a life like God asks us to live throughout the pages of scripture (forgive a relative, join that small group, say yes to that mission trip, be kind to that irritable sales person, say no to that temptation, let go of control and trust God, etc.) and believe that he can take our simple obedience and work something miraculous through it and maybe experience a little healing.
– Jamie R