1. Hello, listening friends.
2. Welcome to our broadcast entitled “Blessings of Surrender”
3. In order to prepare your mind and heart, I want you to know that I will be speaking from II Kings chapter 5 verses 1 to 15
4. Most of us know what it is like to expect someone to do something, but they fail us.
5. Sadly, most of us know what it is like when they totally fail to live up to our expectations.
6. You have worked hard toward a dream that you wanted to see fulfilled.
7. Suddenly you see your dream shattered upon the rock of reality.
8. You made plans and projections for your future.
9. But then you discover that due to things, totally out of your control, your plans fail.
10. Or, you may have prayed for someone to be healed.
11. But, the Lord took him home instead.
12. That was not your expectation.
13. Our hopes and dreams drive us.
14. Our hopes and dreams inspire us.
15. Our hopes and dreams keep us going in life.
16. Often, our plans and dreams fail to happen just the very way we expect them to happen
17. At that point, we are left confused and disillusioned.
18. Some time ago, I read a story about a very wealthy man.
19. He had no children.
20. In fact, he was never married.
21. After a protracted illness, he died.
22. The day after the funeral the lawyer gathered all the relatives together who had come from far and wide.
23. They all came with high expectations.
24. The had great anticipation of what they were going to receive from their deceased rich uncle.
25. The lawyer ceremoniously opened "the will."
26. As he began to read it, there was a hush in the room.
27. He began to read like this
28. To my cousin Nancy, I leave my ranch.
29. To my brother George, I leave my bank.
30. To my neighbor and good friend Oscar, I leave my stocks.
31. To my Uncle Stanley, I leave an office building.
32. And finally, to my cousin Willy,
33. who always wanted to be remembered in my will,
34. Hello, Willy, I remembered you
35. Unfulfilled expectations can be very devastating.
36. Unfulfilled expectations can be very painful.
37. Unfulfilled expectations can be very traumatic.
38. You can be devastated if you put your whole trust in your expectations.
39. You can be devastated if you put all your hope on how you want things to turn out.
40. You can be devastated if you become haunted with the desire to see things happen your way.
41. If you are joining our broadcast for the first time, . . .
42. we are in the middle of a series of messages from II Kings.
43. We call it, The Blessings of Surrender.
44. Today, we will see a man who could have become a causality to his expectations.
45. But, because he was willing to subdue his ego . . . and submit to the Word of God . . .
46. he experienced a miracle.
47. Please look with me at the story in II Kings Chapter 5.
48. Beginning with verse 1
5:1 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 Now bands from Aram had gone out and had taken captive a young girl from Israel, and she served Naaman's wife.
3 She said to her mistress, "If only my master would see the prophet who is in Samaria! He would cure him of his leprosy."
4 Naaman went to his master and told him what the girl from Israel had said.
5 "By all means, go," the king of Aram replied. "I will send a letter to the king of Israel." So Naaman left, taking with him ten talents of silver, six thousand shekels of gold and ten sets of clothing.
6 The letter that he took to the king of Israel read: "With this letter I am sending my servant Naaman to you so that you may cure him of his leprosy."
7 As soon as the king of Israel read the letter, he tore his robes and said, "Am I God? Can I kill and bring back to life? Why does this fellow send someone to me to be cured of his leprosy? See how he is trying to pick a quarrel with me!"
8 When Elisha the man of God heard that the king of Israel had torn his robes, he sent him this message: "Why have you torn your robes? Have the man come to me and he will know that there is a prophet in Israel."
9 So Naaman went with his horses and chariots and stopped at the door of Elisha's house.
10 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."
11 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.
12 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.
13 Naaman's servants went to him and said, "My father, if the prophet had told you to do some great thing, would you not have done it? How much more, then, when he tells you, 'Wash and be cleansed'!"
14 So he went down and dipped himself in the Jordan seven times, as the man of God had told him, and his flesh was restored and became clean like that of a young boy
15 Then Naaman and all his attendants went back to the man of God. He stood before him and said, "Now I know that there is no God in all the world except in Israel. Please accept now a gift from your servant."
(2 Kings 5:1 15 NIV)
49. Naaman was the chief of the army
50. He was the general of all generals.
51. He was a decorated general with all the war hero’s medals.
52. He had access to his ruler day and night.
53. In his day, he was a popular hero.
54. But he had one problem!
55. My listening friends let me tell you life is never perfect.
56. If it was, . . . we would never long for heaven.
57. In Naaman's case, everything was going his way.
58. Except, he had an embarrassing and painful problem.
59. Naaman had leprosy.
60. Every day before he would put on his uniform, . . .
61. he would take several hours to bathe his ugly spots that had sprung all over his body.
62. He had to use special herbs and natural medicine.
63. His uniform could cover up most of the leprosy spots on his body.
64. But he could do nothing about the spots on his face.
65. We don't see people with leprosy everyday.
66. But there are millions of people suffering from leprosy around the world.
67. The symptoms of those who suffer from leprosy are these:
69. there are discolored patches on the skin.
70. Then the patches turn into a pink and brown color.
71. Then the skin thickens in these spots.
72. Next the scabs begin to produce a foul discharge.
73. Eyebrows start to fall out.
74. Eventually the voice becomes hoarse and breathing becomes wheezy.
75. Finally, hands and feet become bleeding stumps . . .
76. making it impossible to wear shoes.
77. It is no wonder that the Bible equated leprosy with sin.
78. It is no wonder that in Leviticus 13, leprosy is a type of sin with all of its ugliness and uncleanliness.
79. In fact, there are three similarities between leprosy and sin.
80. Please listen carefully to these
81. The first similarity is its insidiousness.
82. Like leprosy, sin begins in a small way.
83. Then it spreads insidiously infecting all our faculties.
84. Sin twists the intellect.
85. Sin perverts our emotions.
86. Sin hardens our conscience.
87. Sin enslaves our will.
88. Sin infection begins small, . . . but then it grows!
89. The sin of coveting leads to stealing, . . .
90. even God's tithe.
91. A little flirtation . . . leads to adultery.
92. A little anger . . . grows into rage.
93. A little bitterness . . . develops into verbal murder.
94. A little drink . . . grows into addiction.
95. A little compromise grows into back-sliding.
96. Sin begins small, . . . and slowly but surely it grows big in time!
97. The second similarity between sin and leprosy is the loss of sensitivity.
98. Advanced cases of leprosy attack the nerve centers . . .
99. causing the affected area to lose all sensation.
1. In the affected parts of the body, the patient can suffer no pain . . . when the pain should be felt.
2. For example, . . .
3. the patient could burn his hand and yet would not feel anything.
4. because the nerve centers had become deadened.
5. Likewise, sin and the persistence of sin . . . paralyzes and removes sensitivity to God and His word.
6. Do you know how to develop a callous anywhere in your body?
7. If you rub one spot for a long time, it will develop a callous
8. soon you will have no feeling there and you will develop a callous in that spot.
9. The third similarity between sin and leprosy is that the victim is treated as dead.
10. As we see in Leviticus 13, first, the priests would isolate the patient.
11. Eventually, they would consider the leper as the “living dead.”
12. Paul tells us in Ephesians 2: 1 and 5
13. that those who have not trusted Jesus Christ as their Savior are “dead in sin.”
14. It is not surprising, therefore, that some of the healing that Jesus performed was healing of lepers.
15. The Savior touched those . . . whom nobody else would touch.
16. The Savior loved those . . . whom nobody else would love.
17. The Savior healed when everybody else. . . would isolate them and separate them from society.
18. The Savior forgives when nobody else will.
19. Have you experienced His love and forgiveness?
20. No matter how low you have gotten
21. He loves you
22. He wants to heal you
23. And give you eternal life
24. Please tune in next time, when I will tell you more about how the great Syrian general Naaman learned to surrender to find victory.
25. Until next time, I wish you God’s richest blessing