Summary: God desires us to live by faith. The only way to please God is to live by faith. Faith is not a blind leap of faith it is instead a walk in the light.
Intro: What does God want from us? Whether we are successful like the general or a servant like the young girl, or a prophet who shares the Word and will of God in this story God wants us to live a life of faith.
Seasons 2 Episode 9 of Bones. Dr (bones) Brennan gives a completely false definition of faith. However this is something we need to hear so that we know what faith is not.(Show clip) She says, “Faith is an irrational belief in something that is logically impossible.”
True faith is focused on an object. Jesus reveals the object of our faith. God the father is revealed in the life and work of Jesus. In Hebrews 11:1 the writer does a masterful job of defining faith for us. He defines it as assurance and conviction not some vague hope or wishful thinking. True biblical believing faith is not a leap in the dark it is instead a walk in the light. It is trust in a person who is all-powerful, infinitely wise, and forever trustworthy. This God has revealed himself in Jesus Christ and His promises have been faithful from generation to generation.
Saving faith has at least three elements. First a firm conviction, second a surrender to that truth, and third conduct that comes from surrender to the truth. Faith shows that it is genuine by a changed life. Faith is not a dead principle it is a definite pattern of trust.
Faith is life application of God’s truth.
I) Faith deals with people
A) Naaman – His notoriety 2 Kings 5:1 “He was a great man in the sight of his master and highly regarded” His military abilities were blessed of God. According to 5.1 God gave Aram victory through Naaman. 1 and 2nd Kings emphasize God’s complete control over all people and nations.
Naaman – His name means pleasantness. He wasn’t just a great warrior and military strategist but had a pleasing attitude and personality. It seems like everything was going Naaman’s way he had personality and power. He was a very important man.
B) Name less Maid wasn’t important by the worlds standards. Then why would Naaman’s wife or Naamn listen to her suggestion? The maid had influence based on the life she lived before Naaman and his wife. God will use anyone he chooses no matter how important they look to us.
C) Elisha – Verse 8 calls him the “man of God” His reputation for connection to God had traveled even to the pagan lands.
D) The two kings
The king of Syria was ready to get a cure for his right hand man. He was willing to send and spend anything to not lose his great general. In this he showed more faith than the king of Israel. 2 Kings 5.7 The King of Israel thought the Syrian king just wanted to start a fight. He was blind to the miracle God wanted to work in Naaman’s life. It is sad that the last thing the King of Israel would think of was call on the name of the Lord or his prophet.
II) Faith deals with problems (God stands ready to face any problem we have with us.)
A) Maid’s decision
She was stolen from her home and forced to serve as a servant in a foreign land. Her master was sick and suffering from the terrible disease of leprosy. She didn’t have to do anything. She could have kept quiet and watched her master die a slow and agonizing death. But this was not her decision. Look at 2 Kings 5.2 (read) she mentioned to her masters wife. It took both courage and compassion for her to speak out. She could have been ridiculed or rebuked. Know that there is no decision to small in your life for God to use.
F.B Meyer. Dont’ waste your time waiting and longing for large opportunities which may never come. But faithfully handle the little things that are always claiming your attention.
B) Elisha’s declaration
Elisha didn’t even go out to meet this great warrior general. He sent a messenger out to him. When it comes to the disease of sin it doesn’t matter if you are an important soldier or simple servant girl. His station in life had nothing to do with his sickness. What Elisha did might be seen as rude, mean and cruel. However the chief virtue of a Christian is not to be nice but declare the truth of God’s salvation, power, and love.
What did Elisha tell him to do? Wash and be clean. He told him to give up on buying his healing with about 5million he brought. He told him to give up on his reputation. Naaman would have to humble himself. Elisha wanted Naaman to trust God’s power not his own rituals.