“Then Naaman went with his horses and chariot, and he stood at the door of Elisha’s house. And Elisha sent a messenger to him, saying, “Go and wash in the Jordan seven times, and your flesh shall be restored to you, and you shall be clean.” But Naaman became furious, and went away and said, “Indeed, I said to myself, ‘He will surely come out to me, and stand and call on the name of the Lord his God, and wave his hand over the place, and heal the leprosy.’ Are not the Abanah and the 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. And his servants came near and spoke to him, and said, “My father, if the prophet had told you to do something great, would you not have done it? How much more then, when he says to you, ‘Wash, and be clean’?” So he went down and dipped seven times in the Jordan, according to the saying of the man of God; and his flesh was restored like the flesh of a little child, and he was clean.”
II Kings 5:9-14 NKJV
I remember toiling greatly over various sin areas that dominated my life, as I desired more than anything to be clean. There were so many Sundays when I would slink into church, have fallen the previous day. I figured if I did some great act of contrition, that if I followed some complex methodology, that I would finally turn away from what held me in bondage.
I read the story of Naaman this morning, of a gentile general captured by an incurable condition called leprosy. Leprosy is a picture of sin in the Bible, and like sin, it took a move of God to cure and fully restore. We have treatments today that can stop its progression, but the damage is permanent.
Naaman traveled to the doorstep of this man of God that he had been told about, and expected some great task, or act of deliverance. Instead a sent out from messenger from within says:
“And Elisha sent a messenger to him, saying, “Go and wash in the Jordan seven times, and your flesh shall be restored to you, and you shall be clean.””
II Kings 5:10 NKJV
Such a beautiful picture of the Gospel! We have been sent as messengers to share the Good News, God’s prescription for salvation.
I stood distant from God as a sinner, lost and bound for hell, feeling the conviction of the Holy Spirit, but feeling too weak to do all the things I thought I had to do to be saved. Years went by, and only by the grace and mercy of God, I remained, waiting, until the fullness of time when the Lord would save me.
I sat in an Easter service, listing to Mike Barber go through Name of all Names, and the Lord was doing the work. I sat, I listened and the Holy Spirit began chipping away at the boy stony heart. By the telling of the return to Jesus in the book of Revelation, I was ready. The Lord had done all the work.
I can imagine that moment when Naaman arose from the water the seventh time, and he beheld his skin made new. I am sure it was a new birth, with skin now like that of a child. I remember walking the aisle that day, with tears streaming down my cheeks, and years of great pain falling away.
Unlike Naaman, the life of the believer begins to change with salvation, and it is followed by a life long journey of sanctification, as the Lord makes internal changes. It is in this journey, that follower of Jesus can be caught up in legalism, thinking that more is needed to grow, than that needed at the miracle of salvation.
The same Holy Spirit that saves us, sanctifies us. We must only be obedient to fellowship with God as we read His word, pray, and fellowship with God’s people. The more we abide in Him, the easier it is to obey, and mature in the flesh.
“Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling;”
Philippians 2:12 NKJV
“being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ;”
Philippians 1:6 NKJV
The Lord will complete His work, begun when Jesus was ordained to go to the cross from the foundation of the world. The only question, is whether we grow or not. It is a matter of having “fire insurance” or hearing “well done, good and faithful servant.”
Brothers and sisters, let us rejoice that we have a greater healing than that of Naaman, for we have an eternal healing that encompasses our destiny. Our bodies may be faltering, but we know that there is glory awaiting us.
You might be one who feels far away from God, for you have allowed the world to creep in and draw you way. You might be feeling as if you can never make your way back, that there are too many things that you must do to erase the distance.
Know this: the Lord is waiting and it is as as simple as “wash and be clean”. Be washed in the blood of Jesus, saved by His sacrificial death on the cross. Come to Him by faith and repent.
You might be one who has never known the Lord. He has made a way for you. He has even provided a roadmap for you to follow. There is a link below.
Finally, you might be one of the walking wounded, saved, but still weighed down by sins the erupt in your life. Many of us are like that. The Lord is there for you too, providing you the strength to finally turn from those things that draw you away from God. In those moments of temptation, reach for Him and He will meet you were you are.
“I waited patiently for the Lord; And He inclined to me, And heard my cry. He also brought me up out of a horrible pit, Out of the miry clay, And set my feet upon a rock, And established my steps. He has put a new song in my mouth— Praise to our God; Many will see it and fear, And will trust in the Lord.”
Psalms 40:1-3 NKJV
THE PRAYER CHAIR IS OPEN! Send me your requests!