ISSUES…We All Got ‘Em Part III
Issues: We All Got ‘Em Part III
2 Kings 5:1 “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.”
Tucked away in 2 Kings 5 we find the story of an enigmatic, Syrian war hero named Naaman. Namaan, the Biblical equivalent to a modern day 5-star general had done great exploits in battle. His successive victories in combat across the Middle East had garnered significant personal recognition, honor and prominence in the nation of Syria and beyond.
Externally, Naaman had arrived. He was the epitome of success and had reached the pinnacle of military conquest. However, just beneath his impenetrable armor and polished brass, Namaan was leprous.
In spite of his public successes, Namaan – like of all of us – had issues.
Beneath the thin veneer of accomplishment, Namaan was wasting away. His leprosy was ravaging his physical body and simultaneously eating away at him emotionally. The longer Namaan waited…the longer he kept this secret, the more ground the leprosy gained. This highly decorated general was about to lose the most important battle of his life because of an enemy far more fierce than the leprosy consuming his body.
An enemy called PRIDE.
Life Lessons we Learn from Namaan
1. Don’t use your position as an excuse to hide your condition – v. 1
When what others might think of you becomes more important than your personal well-being, you’ve got issues.
Pastors, politicians, CEOs, entertainers, athletes, coaches, even so-called Average Joes…we’re all guilty of wearing the mask. We pretend everything is OK, when it’s not. Before long, our issues take on a life of their own and become almost impossible to dislodge, but for the grace. What you don’t deal with now has the potential to destroy you next. Ignoring it or pretending it doesn’t exist won’t make it go away.
Pay the fee now, so you don’t have to pay the fine later (Proverbs 16:18).
2. Listen to the people closest to you. They’re trying to help you, not hurt you v. 2-3
Dont’ take the people in your inner circle for granted. They can see things others can’t. They’re up close and personal. It gives them a better perspective of you and your situation. People who are enamored with you may not be the best source of counsel when you’re in trouble. Notice, God placed the solution to Namaan’s issues in the mouth of a captive servant girl from Israel. Listen for the voice of God, even through seemingly unlikely channels.
God may be using them to show you the solution to your problem, but it requires humility to hear and heed what they’re saying. Just as Namaan had to listen to the servant girl and then travel from Syria to Israel to see the Elisha, you have to be willing to go outside your comfort zone to find the healing you need.
That’s humility; it’s the antithesis of pride. Humility is counterintuitive to our carnal nature, but it releases a tsunami of God’s grace into our lives everytime (James 4:6).
3. Your miracle is in the message; not the messenger or the method v. 9-14
When God gives you an answer to your issues, don’t rationalize within yourself or argue with Him. Just do what He says, regardless of your disdain for the messenger or your confusion about the method He chooses:
The messenger: Namaan was furious that Elisha had the audacity to send a messenger to deliver the message instead of greeting him personally. Namaan was taken aback that the prophet did not honor the general, but instead chose to send a messenger.
The method: dip 7 times in the filthy Jordan River even though there are cleaner rivers where you came from.
Never make assumptions about how God is going to do what He promised to do. Notice verse 13:
“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.’ 12 Are not the Abanah[a] and the 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.”
Who God uses (the messenger) and how He does it (the method) is entirely up to Him. Our part is to listen for the message and simply obey (v. 14).
And we will come up clean and issue-free everytime.
Walking in Freedom,
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