Wednesday, June 13, 2012

When A Wave of A Hand Is Not God's Way

"Then Naaman went with his horses and chariot, and he 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 to you, and you shall be clean.' 

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.’"  
2 Kings 5:9-11 NKJV

Often times, God's ways do not make sense to us. Sometimes His ways can frustrate us...or even infuriate us.  Like Naaman, we know God has the power to heal us or change our circumstances by simply waving His hand.  Why then does He sometimes ask us to do certain things before bringing about His plan?  

In my article "Why Is My Raincoat 'Dry Clean Only'?", I write about how we must follow God's instructions even when they don't seem sensible.

Joshua was commanded by God to march around the walls of Jericho for seven days, have priests blow trumpets and give a battle cry and shout!  This may have made no sense to Joshua, but he obeyed and the walls came down.  "When the trumpets sounded, the army shouted, and at the sound of the trumpet, when the men gave a loud shout, the wall collapsed; so everyone charged straight in, and they took the city. They devoted the city to the Lord and destroyed with the sword every living thing in it—men and women, young and old, cattle, sheep and donkeys."  Joshua 6:20-21

Throughout scripture we see examples of God requiring things that may not make sense at first glance.  In our own lives we see that too.  As I wrote  in my article, "Writing and following my own instructions can seem more efficient and gratifying, but only temporarily.  His instructions for care may require me to wait, sacrifice, experience heartache or to remain silent when I want to speak up.  But as I seek His will and follow His instructions, He sows a beautiful, more valuable product for me."  

Obedience.  Humility.  Reverence.  Gratitude.

With our hearts postured properly before God, as we yield to His ways and not our own, He can choose to bring life and healing and restoration.  His ways are not our ways.  His ways are perfect.  "As for God, His way is perfect; the word of the LORD is flawless."  Psalm 18:30  

God graciously healed Naaman through the prophet Elisha, but it was not by the wave of a hand as Naaman had hoped.  Naaman was required to "go and wash".  Naaman had to obey and labor.  "And his servants 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, 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 5:13-14

Why does He ask us to do things even when it doesn't make sense to us?  We won't know all the reasons this side of heaven.  But I am venturing a guess at three:
1.  God is God.  We are not.
2.  The joy that comes with obedience is unmatched.
3.  Only God gets the glory!

"And [Naaman] returned to the man of God, he and all his aides, and came and stood before him; and he said, 'Indeed, now I know that there is no God in all the earth, except in Israel...'"  2 Kings 5:15

Has God asked you to do something that doesn't make sense?  Follow His perfect instructions and see what His perfect way is for you!  There is none like our God!

"For My thoughts are not your thoughts,
Nor are your ways May ways," says the Lord.
"As the heavens are higher than the earth
so are My ways higher than your ways
and My thoughts than your thoughts."
Isaiah 55:8-9

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Blessed be God. On time encouragement.