“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” (2 Kings 5:11-14).
“And there were many lepers in Israel in the time of the prophet Elisha, and none of them was cleansed, but only Naaman the Syrian” (2 Kings 5:11-14).
This proud soldier did not want to dip seven times in the Jordan River in order to be cleansed. No doubt he felt such an act beneath him, not to mention a national disgrace in that he had to dip himself in Israel’s famous river. But his wise servants convinced him to do it, and he arose cleansed of his leprosy. He felt reluctant to follow directions, but in the end, he obeyed.
Most Christians speak openly of wanting to do God’s will. They sing it at worship services, pray it, and even talk to others about it. But as we all too often discover, doing God’s will proves more difficult than we supposed. But the reluctant soldier has one up on some of us: He actually did what he was directed to do.
Notice this verse:
“But the one who looks into the perfect law, the law of liberty, and perseveres, being no hearer who forgets but a doer who acts, he will be blessed in his doing” (James 1:25).
Blessing comes through doing, and not just hearing God’s Word. Our emphasis this season has revolved around having a heart for others. But feeling compassionate stops short of the blessing. We must share God’s love with helpless people in need of a Savior. In fact, we can apply this principle to whatever we do in the Christian life. James writes this in the verse above, “he will be blessed in his doing.”
Even though God saves us through faith alone, He blesses an obedient lifestyle that says “yes” to Him.
1. Make a habit of saying “yes” to God.
You may feel reluctant, but learn to follow through on what you know to be right.
2. Act on what you hear from God’s Word.
No one obeys God perfectly, and even on our good days, we fall short. But in a world of growing pessimism and despair, people need an uplifting word. Pray that God will use you to lift someone today.
3. Make it a solemn matter to pray for an obedient heart.
We cannot do this by our own resolve. God’s Holy Spirit must take His Word and powerfully work through us. Ask God for a heart that obeys.
Lord, I come to You confessing that I do not always want to obey You. I know that I should, but my heart sometimes says no. Please grant me the desire to obey You, knowing You only bless through obedience. Thank you in advance for any way You choose to use me. I pray that You would glorify Your name through my life, and may it be pleasing to You.
Posted on Thu, March 10, 2016
by Sam Petitfils