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Step 1: Powerless – Day 3 of 7 – A Humble Beginning
“I know that nothing good lives in me...” — Romans 7:18(NLT)
Bible Reading - 2 Kings 5:1-15
The king of Aram had great admiration for Naaman, the commander of his army, because through him the Lord had given Aram great victories. But though Naaman was a mighty warrior, he suffered from leprosy. At this time Aramean raiders had invaded the land of Israel, and among their captives was a young girl who had been given to Naaman’s wife as a maid.
One day the girl said to her mistress, “I wish my master would go to see the prophet in Samaria. He would heal him of his leprosy.” So Naaman told the king what the young girl from Israel had said. “Go and visit the prophet,” the king of Aram told him. “I will send a letter of introduction for you to take to the king of Israel.”
So Naaman started out, carrying as gifts 750 pounds of silver, 150 pounds of gold, and ten sets of clothing. The letter to the king of Israel said: “With this letter I present my servant Naaman. I want you to heal him of his leprosy.”
When the king of Israel read the letter, he tore his clothes in dismay and said, “Am I God, that I can give life and take it away? Why is this man asking me to heal someone with leprosy? I can see that he’s just trying to pick a fight with me.”
But when Elisha, the man of God, heard that the king of Israel had torn his clothes in dismay, he sent this message to him: “Why are you so upset? Send Naaman to me, and he will learn that there is a true prophet here in Israel.”
So Naaman went with his horses and chariots and waited at the door of Elisha’s house. But Elisha sent a messenger out to him with this message: “Go and wash yourself seven times in the Jordan River. Then your skin will be restored, and you will be healed of your leprosy.”
But Naaman became angry and stalked away. “I thought he would certainly come out to meet me!” he said. “I expected him to wave his hand over the leprosy and call on the name of the Lord his God and heal me! Aren’t the rivers of Damascus, the Abana and the Pharpar, better than any of the rivers of Israel? Why shouldn’t I wash in them and be healed?”
So Naaman turned and went away in a rage. But his officers tried to reason with him and said, “Sir, if the prophet had told you to do something very difficult, wouldn’t you have done it? So you should certainly obey him when he says simply, ‘Go and wash and be cured!’”
So Naaman went down to the Jordan River and dipped himself seven times, as the man of God had instructed him. And his skin became as healthy as the skin of a young child, and he was healed! Then Naaman and his entire party went back to find the man of God. They stood before him, and Naaman said, “Now I know that there is no God in all the world except in Israel. So please accept a gift from your servant.”
A Humble Beginning
We admitted that we were powerless over our problems—that our lives had become unmanageable.
It can be very humiliating to admit that we are powerless, especially if we are used to being in control. We may be powerful in some areas of our life, but out of control in terms of our addictive/compulsive behaviors. If we refuse to admit our powerlessness, we may lose everything. That one unmanageable part of our life may infect and destroy everything else.
The experiences of Aramean army commander Naaman illustrate how this is true. He was a powerful military and political figure, a man of wealth, position, and power. He also had leprosy, which promised to bring about the loss of everything he held dear. Lepers were made outcasts from their families and from society. Ultimately, they faced a slow, painful, and disgraceful death.
Naaman heard about a prophet in Israel who could heal him. He found the prophet, and the prophet told him that in order to be healed he needed to dip himself seven times in the Jordan River. Naaman went away outraged, having expected that his power would buy him an instant and easy cure. In the end, however, he acknowledged his powerlessness, followed the instructions, and recovered completely.
Our “diseases” are as life threatening as the leprosy of Naaman’s day. They slowly separate us from our family and lead toward the destruction of everything important to us. There is no instant or easy cure. The only answer is to admit our powerlessness, humble ourself, and submit to the process that will eventually bring recovery.
Please note that we will only be including the full devotional for the first ten days of the programme. You will need to purchase your own copy of the The Life Recovery Bible for the full devotionals after this.
Welcome to the Day 3!
We all struggle with powerlessness and humility. But remember when we first came into this world – we were totally powerless. We relied on others to look after us, to feed us and to care for us. And as we grew, we became more independent and took more and more control over our lives.
But then things start to go wrong. Life hurts – and we hurt – and we don’t always respond in appropriate ways. The more hurts we experience – the more we feel that we have no control over our lives – the more dysfunctional our lives become. We develop hurts, habits and hang-ups that haunt us; we develop flaws, faults and failures that make s flounder. And we react in a dysfunctional way. We develop behaviour – compulsive, addictive, dysfunctional and destructive behaviour – to try to regain some semblance of control.
We think we are in control, and all we succeed in doing is controlling our feelings by suppression. We delude ourselves into thinking that we have the power to control our feelings and emotions, dispelling negativity. But holding onto that semblance of power and control over our own actions merely serves to drive us further into our dysfunctional, dangerous and destructive behaviour.
We must return to our humble beginnings. We must admit that we need an alternative way of doing things. We cannot carry on the way things are. We need things to change. But to admit this takes humility, something that doesn’t always come easy or naturally. Over the years, we build up walls – layers and layers of walls – to protect us. To dismantle those walls and expose your true feelings, your hurts, your flaws, is not easy. We need a safe place in order to do so.
One safe way, and one safe place, to open up and to be humble, is to our heavenly Father, God. He will never betray us, He will never forsake us, He will never let us down. Talk to Him in prayer; open up your heart, be humble in spirit, and pour out your troubles. He knows it all anyway; but to share it with Him is to humbly accept that we need help, and opens the door for Him to start the process to heal us.
One Bible verse resonates loudly in my life – and perhaps it can in yours too:
Then if my people who are called by name will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sins and restore their land.
2 Chronicles 7:14 (NLT)
Let us humble ourselves, let us pray and seek His face, and let us turn from our wicked ways; then He will forgive us and restore us to Live A Blessed Everyday Life.
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