Thursday, October 9, 2008
Losing My Religion
I was awakened way to early this morning by my woofing, barking dog, I tried to get back to sleep, but it just wasn’t going to happen.
But more than this disturbance, there was something far more disturbing, Papa speaking to my heart. He is so good at disturbing the comfortable, and comforting the disturbed!
I guess I’m going to discover afresh what I might be thinking with regards to Him disturbing me, what I truly believe by living and thinking out loud here one more time.
For whatever reason over the past couple of days I have been thinking of Naaman the leper in the Bible and how his story is what Father is speaking through to me as far as loosing my religion. Let’s take a look shall we?
During the course of his ministry Jesus returned to Nazareth. The people were amazed at how different Joseph’s and Mary’s son had become. They expected him to do miracles as he did in Capernaum, but because familiarity breeds indifference, if not contempt, Jesus told them that God’s special people don’t always receive the blessing: “But I tell you of a truth, many widows were in Israel in the days of Elias, when the heaven was shut up three years and six months, when great famine was throughout all the land; but unto none of them was Elias sent, save unto Sarepta, a city of Sidon, unto a woman that was a widow. And many lepers were in Israel in the time of Eliseus the prophet; and none of them was cleansed, saving Naaman the Syrian” (Luke 4:25-27).
The whole story of Naaman in 2Kings 5 intrigues me. What launched this man on his journey of wholeness was the Father working through a young captured Israelite girl that was a maid to Naaman’s wife. This maid says to her mistress, “If only my lord would betake himself to the prophet in Samaria! He would have cured him soon enough of his leprosy.”
Long story short, Naaman has permission from his master to go and seek out the prophet regarding his leprosy and possibly being healed. There are a great number of hindrances and obstacles that would try to discourage us from stepping out of our comfort zones simply being obedient, and this man was no exception.
Naaman was no different than any of us with his preconceived expectations of how this was all going to unfold.
The prophet doesn’t even appear to this powerful and influential man seeking him, but in fact simply sends his servant out to speak to him. Naaman is instructed to dip himself seven times in the Jordan River, please read 2Kings 5:9-13. This important man is so infuriated with this blatant display of disrespect, he is ready to forget the whole thing and turn around and go home, until, once again a servant says to him. “Then his servants came near and spoke to him and said, "My father, had the prophet told you to do some great thing, would you not have done it? How much more then, when he says to you, 'Wash, and be clean?"
In the process of choosing to be obedient dipping himself seven times in the dirty river, Naaman first lost his anger, then his pride, then his leprosy.
What is it going to take in our discovering all that Father has for you and me apart from simply being obedient to whatever he is saying to us? Remember the foolishness of God is greater than all of man’s wisdom. He continues in this hour to offend our minds in order to reveal our hearts. Not to shame us or condemn us, but to make known to us we do NOT have to remain in our present state whatever that might be, there is a way of escape, and it’s called Grace!
I’m going to close by once again quoting Darin Hufford here, “What are you willing to give up, if it meant by giving it up you would open a part of your heart to know the truth about God? What separates those you get it and then continue to get it and grow in it and continue to get more and more and more of the real heart of God, what separates those people from other people has to do with blockades that we have in our minds that restrict us from hearing or from seeing and actually getting the message.
I’m beginning to see things in peoples lives that don’t get it, and you can see immediately why they don’t get it, like its immediately you can see they don’t get it because they refuse to let go of this that and the other and because of that they will be blinded and until they are willing to give that up.”