“But he said to him, ‘Did not my heart go when the man turned from his chariot to meet you? Was it a time to accept money and garments, olive orchards and vineyards, sheep and oxen, male servants and female servants? Therefore the leprosy of Naaman shall cling to you and to your descendants forever.’ So he went out from his presence a leper, like snow” (2 Kings 5:26-27).
Those who have been around for a while, recall “pin ball games,” located at arcades and amusement parks. Some people became rather skilled at these games, learning various techniques. One of those techniques involved “helping” the ball as it made its way down the board. To help it, you would bump the machine slightly, hoping that it would alter the course of the ball to get it to where you wanted it to go. But, if you bumped it too hard, you risked “tilting” the game. When the game flashed “tilt,” the game was over and you lose.
Many people tilt their hearts in the wrong direction. Elisha’s servant wanted to prosper from the Lord’s work. Elisha, on the other hand, refused such rewards. He wasn’t a prophet for sale. He didn’t want Naaman to think he purchased his healing for a price. God healed him as a free gift and demonstration of compassion.
Elisha knew that service comes from the heart. The heart cannot balance these two motives: a heart for God and a heart for this world. He stood ready to hear God’s call, and responded when called upon. He distinguished himself by a ministry of selfless service to God.
On the other hand, his servant craved the material things of this world and paid a costly price. God struck him with the leprosy that formerly clung to Naaman. When we tilt the pin ball game, we risk losing the game. When we tilt our hearts toward this world’s things, we run into all sorts of problems.
1. Meditate on passages that help to remove desires for the material things of this world. Start with these:
Psalm 49 (the entire Psalm), 1 Timothy 6:10, Hebrews 13:5-6
2. Ask God to take away desires for things that He does not want you to have.
3. Pray for a heart on fire for the things of God.
Lord, stifle those cravings I have for things that cannot satisfy, and grant me a heart for You and others. I pray that You will grant me a heart like Yours that cares for people and longs to reach them. Give me eyes that see people the way You do. I pray that I will not be tempted with the glitter and flash of this world, but rather that You will set my heart apart for You. Thank you Lord for the patience and grace You provide in all situations.
Posted on Fri, March 11, 2016
by Sam Petitfils