Tuesday, August 19, 2008
God In A Box
Last Sunday's message was about Elisha & Naaman. Naaman needed to be cured from his leprosy & he was told by a captive slave that Elisha was a prophet of God & that he should go to Israel & see him. So off Naaman goes, Captain of the guard, a powerful man. He takes a lot of money with him for payment & along the way he must have imagined all kinds of ways that his healing would take place. He was a grand & important man so surely his healing from the God of the Israelites would be a grand thing also. When he gets to Israel & gives the king of Israel his letter from Naaman's own king requesting the healing from the prophet of God Naaman must have been a little upset by the King tearing his clothes at this letter. He is expecting grand things from their God & the prophet. So he is told to go to Elisha's house. Can't we just see such an important man with his whole entourage riding up to Elisha's home expecting a miracle healing. Pomp & ceremony as he enters the driveway. What does Elisha do when a most important man pulls up into his driveway expecting to be healed? He doesn't even come out of his house. He sends a messenger out of his home to tell Naaman to go to the Jordan river and dip himself 7 times & then he would be clean. So Naaman becomes furious. He says that he expected something grand from the prophet of God that he would strike his body where he leprosy was & heal him & make him clean. He had it all worked out in his head how this healing was going to go down. He put God in a box, he put Elisha in a box. How many of us have it all worked out in our heads how God should act in our lives? Do we put God in a box? Does God sometimes wait on us to let ourselves go & our opinions before he acts so then we can see his power & not ours? One of Naaman's servants talked him in to going down to the Jordan anyway. I wonder what would have happened if Naaman had continued to be angry & left for his country leaving Israel with a tricky International Incident on their hands. But the servant talked him into obeying the prophet of God. Seven times he dipped himself & he became clean again. God healed him. He wasn't even a believer or child of God but God showed his mercy. He obeyed & he was healed. He had to strip off everything to dip himself in the river & be cleansed. What do we need to strip off so that God can do his work in us? Have you ever known someone who's "issues" were so obvious to everyone around them but they didn't see them? I think we all do, we all know people like that. My fear is that I am one of those people who have a large issue & I don't see it. Am I putting God in a box? I must be careful to simply not over complicate what God wants to do in my life & let him. Be still & know that He is God. Listen & obey. I am trying. I really enjoyed that sermon & it was certainly a good lesson to remember. Think outside the box.