Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Ego. Is Yours Holding You Back?

2 Kings 5:11 - But Naaman was angry and went away and said, Behold, I thought he would 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 leper.
Ego. Has your ego ever held you back from receiving something really great? Well, here in 2 Kings 5:1-14 we read the story about Naaman. Instead of having you read the whole chapter, I'll re-cap it for you and bring you up to speed. OK? :)

Naaman was described as a "mighty man of valor." He was the commander of the army of the king of Syria. Rightfully so, he was a pretty big deal. Because of Naaman, God had given their army victory. There was one small problem. Naaman was a leper. If you haven't ever seen pictures of a person with leprosy, some have white sores all over their body, some have had limbs, fingers, toes wither up and fall off...it was not a fun disease. In the time of the Bible, lepers had to be separate from the rest of the population (even their family) so they would not spread the disease.

Let's continue... Naaman was told about a prophet who was in Samaria and this prophet could heal him of his leprosy. Naaman proceeded to let the king know about this and the king, I'm guessing due to his great service, sent a note along with much silver & gold as well as 10 changes of clothes to the king of Israel. The king of Israel was upset, because he knew he could not "heal" Naaman... but, the prophet Elisha heard of this and prepared a message to be sent to Naaman. HERE is where things get interesting.... Naaman, being such a "legend" in his time was expecting something great! Probably some big show that Elisha would perform, make a big scene like, "GOD! This man is worthy to be healed! He is a GREAT MAN! He has served your people and done great things for the kingdom upon earth! Heal this man God!" And then a "lightening" bolt from heaven would come down and Naaman would be healed. Well.... that is not what happened. Elisha did not even come to see Naaman, but only sent a message to him. The message told him to go and wash himself in the Jordan river 7 times, then he would be clean. That is when we arrive at 2 Kings 5:11. Ego. Pride. Naaman was angry! So angry that he went away.

Can you imagine.... you are given instructions that would HEAL you for being an outcast of society, but the instructions sound a bit absurd, so you just leave?! In Naaman's case, thankfully he did surround himself with people who would listen to reason. Some of Naaman's servants came near to Naaman, they urged him to rethink what he was doing. As a result, Naaman DID go down to the river, dip 7 times and was healed.

What's the take-away here? I got 2 main things....
  1. Is my ego & pride getting in the way of God's best for my life? Whether that be for healing, for my finances, my calling, books, business, family, etc. Is my pride keeping me in a place of bondage, where if I relinquished my pride, I could have victory? 
  2. Who is in my circle of influence? Do they have the insight enough to bring to my attention if I am being stupid? If I am missing the mark? Who in my life will I listen to and ARE THEY PEOPLE OF GOD? Are they people that are willing to tell me the "tough stuff" even if it's difficult to say & hear? WHO are those people?? 
If you go on to read the rest of the chapter.... there are definitely more lessons to get into that we won't today. 

Ask yourself these questions. Evaluate where you are today. Evaluate and get transparent with yourself.  Is your ego holding you back from God's best?

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