A lot of people wonder about their faith. How come I find it so hard to put my trust in God? How come I don’t feel my faith?
Naaman, the Leprous Commander
“Now Naaman was commander of the army of the king of Aram. He was a great man in the sight of his master and highly regarded, because through him the LORD had given victory to Aram. He was a valiant soldier, but he had leprosy.“ - 2 Kings 5:1
Naaman was a great man. He was highly esteemed in the eyes of the king. A powerful man – he was a military general. He had many, many victories. He was also leprous.
“Now bands from Aram had gone out and had taken captive a young girl from Israel, and she served Naaman’s wife. She said to her mistress, “If only my master would see the prophet who is in Samaria! He would cure him of his leprosy.” - 2Kings 5:2-3
And Naaman, being a man who was well-off, sought healing. He wanted to be cleansed of his leprosy.
“So Naaman went with his horses and chariots and stopped at the door of Elisha’s house. Elisha sent a messenger to say to him, “Go, wash yourself seven times in the Jordan, and your flesh will be restored and you will be cleansed.” - 2 Kings 5:9-10
He went to Elisha because he believed that Elisha could heal him. But there was a problem.
“But Naaman went away angry and said, “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 any of the waters of Israel? Couldn’t I wash in them and be cleansed?” So he turned and went off in a rage.” - 2 Kings 5:11
In the eastern culture, it was customary to greet a person of great importance as they arrive at the door. Elisha sent a messenger to Naaman. Probably his servant. Signaling that Elisha did not really care about the importance of Naaman. And to top it off, he was asked to dip himself in the dirty, muddy, Jordan river.
You see, Naaman was also a proud man. Pride is the one distinctive that brought even Lucifer to his fall.
“Pride is like a cancer that will rob you even of common sense.” - C.S. Lewis
God has a way of denting the pride – He struck Naaman with just a touch of leprosy to remind him of his finitude. And when Naaman did not like God’s way on being healed from his leprosy, he got angry. He did not want to do it God’s way. He wanted God to do it his way.
Most unbelievers are willing to go God’s way if God goes their way.
And sometimes, even with us Christians, whenever things go tough, we do not want to follow. Our faith does not translate into action when it is no longer easy for us.
Our trust in God falls short.
The uniform tells us who he was.
The medals tells all he’s done.
All of a sudden he’s without both.
Suddenly he realizes he’s just like everybody else.
When you realize your finitude, that is when you realize your dependence on God. That is when you realize that all things is under His sovereign will. That is when you realize, you need to put your trust in Him.
Putting your complete dependence in God has a lot to deal with how you look at yourself and how you look at God.
If you see yourself as how Naaman saw himself without his medals and uniform, you will realize your finitude and your need for God.
If you see God as an all-powerful, almighty, sovereign, loving God, who cares about you and knows where you are in life, you will be able to trust Him.
Faith is a matter of the heart and mind. It deals with humility, trust, and and accurate fear and knowledge of God according to His Word.