Christian Living
Expectations
Michael Youssef, Ph.D.
Mar 11, 2018

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In 2 Kings 5, we're introduced to Naaman, the commander of the Syrian army. He was a decorated general, but he had one problem—he had leprosy.

In verse 10 we are told that the prophet Elisha sent a message to Naaman. He said, "Go, wash yourself seven times in the Jordan, and your flesh will be restored and you will be cleansed." In verses 11-12, we discover that Elisha's instructions were not what Naaman expected: "I thought that he would surely come out to me and stand and call on the name of the Lord his God, wave his hand over the spot and cure me of my leprosy. Are not Abana and Pharpar, the rivers of Damascus, better than all the waters of Israel? Couldn't I wash in them and be cleansed?"

The miracle was in the trip to the Jordan River because there is blessing in surrender.

 

And in a fit of rage, what did Naaman do? He commanded his motorcade to head back for Syria. Fortunately, Naaman's servants intervened and asked him to just slow down, cool off, and give it a try. They said, "If the prophet had told you to do some great thing, would you not have done it?" (v. 13). And when Naaman finally conceded and dipped in the River Jordan seven times, his skin was healed.

It is important to recognize that the miracle was not in the water of the River Jordan or in the words of the prophet Elisha. The miracle was in the trip to the Jordan River because there is blessing in surrender. Naaman wasn't just suffering from leprosy, but from the sin of pride.

Do you know what is stopping the miracle from happening in your life? Scripture is very clear: "If I had cherished sin in my heart, the Lord would not have listened" (Psalm 66:18).

What do you need to surrender today? Perhaps God is asking you to do something that is completely different from what you expected. Will you obey?

Prayer: God, I realize that sometimes You surprise me with the things You ask of me. Help me to be completely surrendered to You, willing to do whatever it is You ask. I pray in the name of Jesus. Amen.

"Does the Lord delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices as much as in obeying the Lord? To obey is better than sacrifice" (1 Samuel 15:22).