Thursday, January 10, 2013

Anything But That


Today we are going to take a glance at 2 Kings 5.  2 Kings is probably not the book you most often go to during your quiet time, at least it isn't the book I most frequent.  However, there are priceless nuggets of gold in 2 Kings.

I want to encourage you to read all of 2 Kings 5, it is all good!  For the sake of time, I am going to just give some quick background on the star of our story, Naaman. 

"Now Naaman, commander of the army of the king of Syria, WAS A GREAT AND HONORABLE man in the eyes of his master, because by him THE LORD had given victory to Syria.  He was also a MIGHTY MAN OF VALOR, but A LEPER." 2 Kings 5: 1

It is also worth noting that Naaman's sickness was not due to sin.  He is called a "mighty man of valor" and "great and honorable".

He must have been a good man, for a servant of his wife desires to help him. 

"Then she (the servant) said to her mistress, 'If only my master were with the prophet who is in Samaria!  For he would heal him of his leprosy.'" 2 King 5: 3 parentheses added

Next, Naaman goes to his boss, the king of Syria, and tells him what the servant girl said to his wife.  The king tells him to go to the prophet.  Naaman then travels to see Elisha, the prophet. When the prophet hears Naaman has come to be healed, he does the following:

"Elisha sent a messenger to him saying, 'Go and wash in the Jordan seven times, and your flesh shall be restored to you, and you shall be clean.'"  2 Kings 5: 10

Seems simple enough, just go wash in the river.  After all, he had traveled all that way with faith in his heart to be healed.  Nothing hard, just go wash.

"But, Naaman became furious, and went away and said, 'Indeed, I said to myself, He will surely come out to me and stand and call on the name of the Lord his God, and wave his hand over the place, and heal the leprosy. Are not the Abanah and the Pharapar, the rivers of Damascus, better than all the waters of Israel?  Could I not be washed in them and be clean?' So he turned and went away in a rage."  2 Kings 5: 12

Naaman had his own idea on how God should heal him.  He no doubt had faith that God would heal him, but He just thought He knew how it would happen.

Sometimes, we have an idea in our minds how God should do things.  We think we know how He should do something and we may even get impatient or angry when His plan doesn't line up with our thinking.

Naaman must have been a very good man because again, one of his servants stepped in to help him.

"And his servant came near and spoke to him, and said, 'My father, if the prophet had told you to do something great, would you not have done it?  How much more then, when he says to you, 'Wash and be clean.' So he went down and dipped seven times in the Jordan River, according to the saying of the man of God; and his flesh was restored like the flesh of a little child, and he was clean." 2 Kings 5: 13

Naaman almost allowed pride and disobedience to hinder a tremendous blessing from God. 

How about you?  What is the Jordan River in your life?  Is there something God is asking you to do that seems ridiculous to you?  Is there anything to where you think, "Yes, Lord, I will do anything you ask...but, just not that."?

I have something and I am VERY embarrassed to admit it to all of you. {Deep Breath} Ok, here it is...

I REALLY like Diet Coke.  I know it is silly.  Every once in awhile I get a prompting from the Lord to give it up and I haven't been able to do it.  I have tried and failed and tried and failed.  It just seems ridiculous to me.  I know, it really does sound silly.  Why Lord?  Why do I have to give up Diet Coke?

Ask me to sell everything and move to China.  Ask me to go on a month long mission trip.  Ask me to quit my job and do Bible studies full time.  Ask me to do anything, but don't ask me to give up my Diet Coke! 

Well, I heard the Lord say to me, "Sue, if giving up Diet Coke is the one thing you won't do for me, that is the very thing you must do."  Again, I am very embarrassed by this and I hope you don't think less of me. 

I am now on a thirty day fast of Diet Coke.  I am currently on Day 3 and so far so good.

What God asks us to do may not make sense to us at times.  That is ok.  He doesn't promise that it will be logical, he just tells us to obey.  Sometimes he doesn't require us to give up things forever, He just wants to see if we will be obedient (e.g. Abraham and Isaac).

Again, I ask you.  Is there something God wants you to do?  Obey Him.  What if Naaman wouldn't have obeyed God and washed in the Jordan?  God rewards obedience.  

"Obey My voice, and I will be your God, and you shall be My people.  And walk in all the ways that I have commanded you, that it may be well with you."  Jeremiah 7:23

Oh dear Heavenly Father, how we want to obey You.   Forgive us when we have looked to our own selves and thought we knew better than You.  Forgive us for areas where we have not been obedient to you out of pride, stubbornness, or just wanting to have our own way.  Please help us to identify if there is anything we are unwilling to surrender to You.  Please help us identify if there is a Jordan River in our lives. Help us to lay it down at Your sweet feet, oh Jesus. Search our hearts oh God, and renew a right Spirit within us. Help us to surrender all to You. We don't want to miss out on the blessings You have for us.  Help us, oh Lord.  In Jesus' Name, Amen.   








5 comments:

Jennifer

I love the part where you said that sometimes we have an idea of how God should do things. How OFTEN do we do that--me especially. We think He should act/do things in a certain way. Thank you so much for this! Love it!!

Love,
Jennifer N
OBS Group Leader

jamywhitaker.org

Sue, I absolutely loved your blog post. It is not easy to share your true self. However, the truth is many of us will eagerly to the "big" things for God, but hesitate when He asked us to give up something small. Just like Naaman, we think we know how God should take care of things. Many times it is in those moments that He sees how much we truly trust Him. Thanks so much for sharing!

mommymessage

Love!

Blogger Loves The King

Sue love your post. Diet coke, Diet Dr Pepper, Diet tea - oh I have tried to give it up and fail like you. I wish you well and maybe someday I can. Blessings. Debbie W. (OBS Leader)

Sue Molitor

Thank you Jennifer, Jamy,Mommymessage and Debbie! I loved how you pointed out Jamy that many times we are so willing to do the BIG things, but God wants us to obey Him in all things. Debbie, I know it is hard! If I can, you can! : )

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