WITHOUT EXPECTATION, life will be miserable. There will be nothing to live for, nothing to hope for—and nothing to achieve.
When the pandemic struck, we were surrounded by ominous sounds and expectations.
Everything seemed bleak with no end in sight, but thanks to God who continues to keep us.
AS ABRAHAM walked with God, he looked forward to a city with a foundation whose architect and builder is God. (Heb. 11:10)
Enoch did the same then; he was gone because God took him. (Gen. 5:24)
The centurion knew that all he had to do was to have Jesus say a prayer for his servant, and he will recover. (Matt. 8:5-13)
Realistic expectations are great, but unrealistic ones can be traumatic and uneasy to handle.
NAAMAN was an extraordinary man. He was the commanding officer of Aram's army.
If he lived in our day, he would have a medal of purple heart.
God gave Aram victory through his hands, but he was a leper.
One day, Aramean soldiers went on a raid. They came back with a young girl from Israel who became the servant to the commander's wife.
The girl noticed Naaman's condition, and she told her mistress that a prophet in Samaria could heal him. (2 Kings 5)
For Naaman, hope was on the horizon.
In the euphoria, he shared the news with his master. And the King of Aram promised to send a letter to the King of Israel.
THE KING sent a letter with 750 pounds of silver, 150 pounds of gold, and ten sets of clothing with him.
The letter reads, I'm sending my officer Naaman with this letter. Cure him of his skin disease." (2 Kings 5:6)
When the king of Israel read the letter, he tore his clothes. He felt the people of Aram were spoiling for a fight.
But Elisha sent a message to the king to send Naaman to him.
WHENEVER WE go to God in prayer, we come with a petition, praise, or worship letter.
He came with a letter of petition, but he went to the wrong address.
Imagine you order a product and give an incorrect address. You will never have it delivered to you.
Before Jesus left his disciples, he gave them the location to wait—tarry ye in Jerusalem till you are endued with power. (Acts 1:4)
If you are going to be blessed by God, you must be properly positioned—and if you are going to have God do the unexpected in your life, you must have realistic expectations.
Elijah had to go to the brook to be fed by the ravens.
THE COMMANDER came to Elisha's house with a lot of substance. He felt that he could buy his healing.
But the man of God wasn't interested in what he had; Elisha was keen on Naaman, knowing that there was a prophet in Israel.
A similar thing happened when Simon, who had previously practised magic, saw that people received the Spirit of God through the laying of hands; he offered Peter and John money to obtain the power.
But Peter told him that his heart wasn't right with God. He advised him to repent and ask God for forgiveness. (Acts 8:1-24)
HE CAME with faith and great expectation, but he had preconceived ideas of how Elisha will do things.
The prophet will come and lay hands, and the skin disease will vanish.
But when he got there, Elisha sent a messenger to him, saying, "Wash yourself seven times in the Jordan River, and your skin will be healthy and clean." (2 Kings 5:10)
He left the place boiling and angry, wondering why the prophet will send him to a 'dirty river.'
Naaman wanted things done in his way—he was a man of unrealistic expectations. He had faith but wasn't walking in obedience.
Whenever you go to God, do not come to him with preconceived ideas—he is God.
HE WAS used to commanding people but wasn't familiar with being instructed.
His attitude demonstrated his unsaid intentions, but his men prevailed on him.
Naaman swallowed his pride. He dipped in the river and was cleansed.
After you have done what God wants, you will receive what he promised. (Heb. 10:36)
BRINGING IT TOGETHER
HE BEHAVED like someone always knowing instead of learning.
If you want to live a life of meaning, you must intentionally cultivate obedience.
And the Bible does not recognize faith that does not lead to obedience – A.W. Tozer.