If God told you today to do something big and great, you would do it, wouldn’t you? If you knew without a doubt this big thing was from God, you would be excited to follow his plan, right?
But, what if God is telling you to do something specific today, however it’s not big and grand. In fact, what God is telling you to do seems like a tiny or insignificant step. Or maybe it even seems ridiculous and doesn’t align with what you think is best. Will you still do it?
Is your desire for God’s will over your own? Can you say there’s no place you would rather be that in God’s plan for your life?
In the book of 2 Kings chapter 5 we read of Naaman. Naaman was a great and successful man who was commander of an entire Army, but he battled leprosy. Leprosy is a disease which deforms your body and in those days would have you cast out from society. Naaman was told of a prophet in Israel named Elisha who could heal him, so he went to Israel in search of healing. He went with a willing heart to do anything.
Have you ever prayed that prayer? Lord, I will do anything if you’ll heal me. Lord I’ll do anything if you’ll fix this mess. I will do anything you want me to do if you’ll help me out of this.
I’ve prayed those prayers before, and quite honestly the answers I’ve received have been rather unimpressive. You see in my mind I imagine God making a big exchange. Something big and impressive from me for something big and impressive from him. Isn’t that the way this should work?
But what if instead of a big and impressive exchange, God wants an ordinary and unnoticed act of obedience? What if God wants you to do something that wouldn’t receive a single praise from another person? What if God is asking you to do something that makes no sense at all?
Naaman is seeking healing. Elisah, the prophet of God receives his request and gives him specific instructions. In 2 Kings 5, verse 10 he says “Go, wash yourself seven times in the Jordan, and your flesh will be restored and you will be cleansed.”
Now stop right there. This is not what Naaman had in mind. He says “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.” Naaman thought he would be healed through a moment of something miraculous. Shouldn’t there be a light from heaven or a golden glow, or at least someone in a clean robe with a healing touch? Instead he receives ridiculous instructions to go take a bath in the nasty Jordan river? SEVEN TIMES?
Naaman is furious. He traveled all this way to be told to do something so totally unimpressive that made no sense. He argues, can’t I bathe in a cleaner river at least? There are so many better options than the Jordan river. No one wants to take a bath in the Jordan, you’ll come out dirtier than you went in. And seven times? I mean God, don’t you have the power to heal me on the first dip in the water? Can’t we negotiate and make it three? Naaman is leaving in a rage, convinced he’s wasted his time even seeking healing when his servant stops him and says in verse 13, “if the prophet had told you to do some great thing, would you not have done it?”
Ahhhh, there it is. Naaman was expecting for God to tell him to do something great, but he didn’t. He told him to do something ordinary. Take a bath. He told him to do it over and over again. That simply wasn’t what he wanted to hear.
Why is it we think our big problems can only be solved with big solutions? The truth is, our biggest problems are typically the result of something that began very small in the first place. And our solutions will look much the same. Small steps in the right direction. We all would like one big swift, miraculous movement to change it all, but sometimes God says, nope, we’re going to start with a bath. And then we’re gonna take another bath. And we’re gonna keep taking baths here.
Naaman went down to the nasty waters of the Jordan river and he took his first bath. Nothing happened. He took his second bath, still nothing. Then his third. People must have been watching him at this point. He must have looked ridiculous. Back in the river he goes for bath four, and five. Talk of the crazy man down in the river must have been spreading through town. Six baths and nothing. But on his seventh bath in the Jordan river, he was healed. He came up out of that water with skin the scripture says was of a young boy. He was fully restored.
What are you seeking? Have you been praying that prayer … “God I will do anything if you will do this.”
Well, have you been missing his answer? Sometimes his answer seems quite unimpressive. Sometimes his answer is get up, get dressed and show up. Then get up tomorrow and do it again. And keep doing it when it makes zero sense to still be doing it. Keep doing it when people are watching and start talking. Keep doing it when you want nothing more than to give up. Keep doing it when it doesn’t seem to be working.
I don’t know which trip you’re on to your Jordan river. Maybe this is trip number 4 and you’re getting tired of nothing changing. You’re losing hope. You’re growing bitter, convinced this is never going to work. YOU KEEP BEING FAITHFUL. God is working a miracle for you and very rarely do those miracles show up the way we imagined. You may only be 3 more times away from your breakthrough.
Today, let’s renew our commitment to not only those big things, but those small things. Let’s renew our commitment to seeking God in all ways. Lord, there’s no place we would rather be than in your plan for our lives. And if that means doing ridiculous things, then we will do ridiculous things. If that means doing the same thing over and over again 7 times, we will remain faithful. If that means getting over our own anger and resisting the urge to rationalize what you’re doing and how you’re going to do it, then we’ll get over it today. God, I’m willing to do anything … even the small stuff.