Irvin Wasswa- Tylertown Campus Pastor LHBC
2 Kings 5:8-14
But when Elisha the man of God heard that the king of Israel had torn his clothes, he sent to the king, saying, “Why have you torn your clothes? Let him come now to me, that he may know that there is a prophet in Israel.” So Naaman came with his horses and chariots and stood at the door of Elisha’s house. And Elisha sent a messenger to him, saying, “Go and wash in the Jordan seven times, and your flesh shall be restored, and you shall be clean.” But Naaman was angry and went away, saying, “Behold, I thought that he would surely come out to me and stand and call upon the name of the Lord his God, and wave his hand over the place and cure the leper. Are not Abana and Pharpar, the rivers of Damascus, better than all the waters of Israel? Could I not wash in them and be clean?” So he turned and went away in a rage. But his servants came near and said to him, “My father, it is a great word the prophet has spoken to you; will you not do it? Has he actually said to you, ‘Wash, and be clean’?” So he went down and dipped himself seven times in the Jordan, according to the word of the man of God, and his flesh was restored like the flesh of a little child, and he was clean.
Growing up in the Wasswa household there were a few no-nos that were established early in my life. One of those was choosing to openly criticize what my mother decided to cook for dinner. There were many times I would make the bold decision to complain about what she would cook, and as you may expect, my decision would end poorly. Oftentimes she would respond with answers such as– Well, you can just go to bed hungry, or You can walk to the store and get something to eat for yourself, knowing I had no money. Nearly all of the conversations ended with me making the wise decision to sit and eat my dinner with gratitude, even if I wasn’t the biggest fan of the dish.
Neither one of my parents understood the concept of being “picky” eaters. They both came from an impoverished country and so they learned (and taught their children) how to be appreciative of the provision given to them. We see in 2 Kings 5 a man by the name of Naaman who was picky. He is a pagan commander of the army of Aram who was battling leprosy. He was told of the good news about how he could receive healing (5:1-7). He meets the prophet Elisha and he is given instructions that he must wash himself in the Jordan River seven times to be made clean. Naaman’s response was rather puzzling in nature. One would think if they were given the answer to a terminal disease their response would be to do that very thing immediately wouldn’t they? For Naaman, the offer was received with anger and confusion. He wanted the healing but he wanted it done HIS OWN way.
Beloved, if we are not careful we can fall guilty to responding like Naaman when it comes to our faith. We seek the Lord in prayer and ask for Him to respond and when He does, we leave upset because in our mind He didn’t respond the way WE wanted Him to respond. You been there? I know I have fallen guilty of that. I have brought my preconceived notions about how I think God should answer my prayer, or how He should direct my life when I go to Him. When we choose to do that, we end up playing a very dangerous game. God is not a genie in a bottle, nor is He Burger King in that He gives us everything in our own way. Though He is good, He is faithful to keep His promises (2 Timothy 2:13), and is faithful to hear and answer when we call on Him, Psalm 115:3 tells us the Lord is in Heaven and He does what He pleases. He is sovereign and in control. What that means for us is that we must choose to trust in Him and His course of action in working in our lives, even if it isn’t exactly how we had it mapped out for Him to answer.
It has been said before that the God of the universe is the expert of life. He knows what is best for us since He created us. He knows what we need and what we need to do before we even do. He knows what will stretch our faith and grow us in Him. So our response ought to be to seek Him and then trust and obey. When we choose to seek Him and He answers, we choose to accept the invitation to jump in the Jordan River and receive the provision given to us.
Naaman was fortunate enough to have his servants talk some sense into him by encouraging him to listen to Elisha and wash in the Jordan River. As a result, his life was forever changed. He was physically healed but also got saved (v.15). What is the Lord leading you to do today that you’ve ignored because it’s not what you wanted? What has He provided for you that you have yet to accept because it’s not exactly what you envisioned receiving? Can I encourage you today? Choose to not be a “picky christian”, but rather choose to trust in the Lord who is able to do exceedingly and abundantly more than what we could ask or think. Choose to trust in the God who is the expert of life and walk in obedience. He is good and He knows what is best for us!
PRAYER FOR TODAY: Dear Heavenly Father, I come to You open-handed. Thank you for being sovereign and in control of my life. Help my unbelief today. Teach me how to not be a picky christian, but rather to trust and obey You no matter what. In Jesus’ name, Amen!
MEMORY VERSE OF THE WEEK:
1 Thessalonians 4:1- Finally, then, brothers, we ask and urge you in the Lord Jesus, that as you received from us how you ought to walk and to please God, just as you are doing, that you do so more and more.