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Faith

A picture of the Jordan River.

This last week, one of our morning devotions was about the story of Naaman (2 Kings 5:1-19)  What an amazing story.  If you are unfamiliar with it, please go and read it!  It is a story full of so many different truths and issues.  Quick synopsis, there was a very powerful man who had an incurable disease of leprosy.  He traveled a distance to a prophet to heal him.  When the prophet spoke, he told him to go dip in the Jordan River 7 times.  Naaman was appalled at this thought!  Not only that, he just plan out didn’t want to do it, and grumble intensely about his directions for healing.  He was full of pride.  He was ready to leave, but his advisors kindly encouraged him to do what the prophet had said.  Naaman obeyed!  NAAMAN WAS HEALED!!!

This story spoke volumes to my heart.  As I read more in depth about it.  Of course the first thing that caught my attention was the story of healing.  Somehow having a child that needs healing makes every story in the Bible concerning healing really interesting to me.  But the other issues in this story are so intriguing to me as well.

There were many interesting things here.

(1) God is constantly at work to lead people to Himself, no matter how dark their condition is,  and whether it is physically or for all of us spiritually.

(2) God uses any committed believer, no matter how ordinary or insignificant he may be. How? Because of the mighty God who indwells us. This makes us significant as His instruments of light, not because of who we are…but rather because of WHO HE IS!

(3) The grace of God cannot be bought with silver and gold or power or position. We must come to God in faith and believe His revelation in the Scripture.  This story relates not only to physical healing, but something so much more significant-a knowledge of GOD’S Saving grace.  I totally get the buying healing with gold and silver (or several thousand dollars of medicine a month toward slowing down Cystic Fibrosis), but there is no amount of money that can buy salvation.

(4) In fact, power and position, silver and gold, can be a hindrance and an impediment to coming to Christ, as well as to effective service.  I am less so that He may be more.

(5) Two of the greatest hindrances to experiencing God’s blessing for believers and unbelievers alike are: our pride–Naaman almost lost out because of his pride, and our opinions–Naaman almost lost out because his thinking was independent of God’s wisdom.  (I know that is so easy for me to do.)

My favorite part of the story.  All appeared to be lost, it appeared Satan had won and that Naaman would go away without healing and without the saving knowledge of the Lord. But something happened. In the following, another part of the picture of how God saves comes into focus.  BOLD BELIEVERS WHO SHARE THE TRUTH!!!  Naaman’s adviser, gently brought the truth into light.

Love this part of the story.  It is a good reminder of our humble part to play in the Lord’s plan for Salvation. Naaman would have never been obedient, and missed out on healing-both physically and spiritually if it weren’t for the respectful way that his advisors interacted with him.  They were courteous. They called Naaman “my father,” showing respect and submission. They chose their words carefully that they might persuade Naaman and help him.

This is a classic illustration of God’s Love, of how He reaches out to a people in utter darkness and uses their afflictions and difficulties to draw them to Himself.  Cystic Fibrosis, other diseases, our sin, and our own depravity… if they will only respond to His pre-salvation work of grace wherein God seeks to bring men to repentance (Rom 2:4 )

We walk by FAITH, it is in our faith in Christ alone and His saving grace that we press forward.  When we are sick or well…It is Him alone that saves.  Our joy is to be used by God to bring others to that saving grace.  God is good!

 

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