Recovery Principle: Naaman’s Simple Submission

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Message Magazine’s Online Devotional for Monday, April 25, 2016

Today’s Scripture Focus: 2 Kings 5:1-15

We are focusing on sin recovery principle number one of 12: “We admit that we are powerless against sin and thus we cannot manage our lives without God’s miraculous intervention.”

What a temper tantrum! Human beings are so out of control that we cannot receive the blessings of God, even when they are staring us in the face. Naaman is an example of when people think we are in control, realize we are not, and cannot handle it. Thankfully his story does not end with him in that condition.

Since you have read the story before this devotional thought (hint, hint), you realize that Naaman was in a terrible predicament. Although he was extremely powerful and had great authority, and had much of the king’s resources at his disposal, he was completely powerless to handle his tiny little problem—leprosy. Now, I admit, “tiny” is a matter of perspective. It is true that leprosy was, well, deadly. It is true that whoever had it would eventually see their bodies waste away. But it was a tiny little problem for God. That is perspective. There is no way Naaman could have done a thing about his deadly leprosy problem without God’s intervention. I don’t know if you realize this or not, but sin is compared to leprosy in Scripture (Isaiah 1). Are you getting this? So when Naaman recognized that his life was in jeopardy he sought help.

I will not summarize the entire story here. Please go back to the Bible for a review. Suffice it to say that Naaman was unhappy when he went to the prophet’s house and was not greeted by him personally. He was more than a bit upset that the prophet did not perform some visually spectacular miracle and send him on his way. Do you ever get angry when God does not accept your prescription for your own healing from sin sickness? Do you go to the doctor and tell him/her how to treat you? Why then do most of us try to tell God how to deliver us, especially when we have no idea what we are talking about?

Naaman was also enraged, because he did not like the simplicity of the instructions standing between him and his healing. Are God’s ways too simple for you? Do you wish you could jump through more hoops or find your own path to victory? Thankfully, one of Naaman’s men checked him for his lunacy. He said that if the prophet had asked him to do some complex thing, he would have gladly done it. He implored Naaman to go and do what the prophet said so he could be healed.

Naaman’s position could not heal him. His entourage could not heal him. His hundreds of pounds in silver, gold, and expensive clothing could not heal him. His preconceived notions on how he must be healed could not heal him. Only simple trust in the simplicity of God’s instructions, and actually following those instructions by faith were the way forward to his healing. God fully empowered the powerless.

Such is the case with all of us. Our own human efforts have no positive effect in our recovery from sin unless we exchange those efforts for the simplicity of submission to God. Then, and only then, will we experience the miraculous change of heart only God can effect. The sooner we admit that to ourselves is the sooner we will be on the road to eternal success. Jesus is coming soon and we do not have time to dilly-dally with our own faulty methods. Give His ways a try today and be healed!

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