Have you ever had a time in your life when you wondered, “Why in the world isn’t God telling me what to Do, where to Go, or healing me?”
I know I have…Many times I have felt like God was ignoring me…
Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name.
So I try harder…Right?…Pray harder sing louder…
The bible says that is how we can get God’s attention…Right?
There is a story that may help with this misconception of how God works and speaks to us…
2 Kings 5, This is the story of a man named Naaman. He was the commander of the army of the king of Aram. He was a great leader. It says that God helped him win many wars against this enemies.
In other words He was a BIG DEAL…Do you ever think YOU are a BIG DEAL?
Naaman had a small problem…He had leprosy (a really terrible skin disease). One day one of his servants from Israel said he should go to the man of God in Israel so he can be healed. Naaman asks the king if he can have some time off to go and try to be healed. (Remember Naaman is a BIG DEAL). The king says he could go AND the king of Aram wrote an official letter to the king of Israel about Naaman. So Naaman goes to Israel with ten talents of silver, six thousand shekels of gold and ten sets of clothing.
Let me pause for a sec…
What was he doing with all of that extra stuff? Was he trying to buy or earn that healing?
When we try and try and try to get God’s attention what are we trying to do?
Back to the story…
So Naaman goes to the king with all his gifts and letter. The king of Israel freaks out! He thinks this means if he doesn’t help this guy (commander of the army) their kingdoms are going to have to go to war!
Soon after the Man of God Elisha heard what was going on and sent word to the King telling him to send Naaman to him. So Naaman marches with his entourage from the palace down to this dudes house.
Elisha does something very interesting…he sends a messenger out to Naaman.
Don’t you think Elisha should have personally met with this Commander of the army with all these gifts and a letter from his king?
Anyway…The messenger tells Naaman to go and dunk himself 7 times in the Jordan river…that’s it and he will be healed.
Well Naaman gets ticked off and isn’t going to do it. One of his servants helps him to see…its easy why not just try. So he goes to the Jordan and tries and it works!
Naaman goes back to Elisha’s house and tries to give him all the gifts. Elisha says no thank you.
What does this have to do with trying to get direction from God?
We all, just like Naaman, have a need. That need maybe different for each one of us, but its there.
We often think if we do this or say that, God will listen to us more and give us what we want. Often, we want some big “kingly” voice or vision from God telling us what to do. When an answer comes we want it to be this big extravagant thing.
God works in ways we often don’t expect.
Naaman tried to be this BIG DEAL and do all the “right” things to get his healing.
He looked to the king. We often look to leaders and think if we find the right person we’ll be set.
He wanted to talk to Elisha, He wanted the BIG MAN OF GOD. He got a messenger. We often wants Jesus to walk into our door and talk to us face to face. What we normally get is a still small voice or words from God through others.
He wanted to buy this healing. We try to earn our way to His presents.
He got an answer, but it wasn’t what he expected so he looked for a different one. Have you ever asked God for direction and didn’t like His answer?
So what should we do then?
The bible says
James 4:10 Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up.
1 Peter 5:6 Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time.
James 4:7-8 So humble yourselves before God. Resist the Devil, and he will flee from you. Draw close to God, and God will draw close to you. Wash your hands, you sinners; purify your hearts, you hypocrites.
John 14:21 Those who accept my commandments and obey them are the ones who love me. And because they love me, my Father will love them. And I will love them and reveal myself to each of them.”
We need to humbly come before God and give Him honor and respect. With obedience in our hearts, no matter what His answer is. Then, He will draw close to you and lift you up to where He wants/needs you to be.