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Focus On the Message - Not The Messenger

Focus On The Message - Not The Messenger?

And Elisha sent a messenger to him, saying, "Go and wash in the Jordan seven times, and your flesh shall be restored to you, and you shall be clean." But Naaman became furious, and went away and said, "Indeed, I said to myself, 'He will surely come out to me, and stand and call on the name of the LORD his God, and wave his hand over the place, and heal the leprosy.' Are not the Abanah and the Pharpar, the rivers of Damascus, better than all the waters of Israel? Could I not wash in them and be clean?" So he turned and went away in a rage. 2 Kings 5:10-12 (NKJV)

In a previous devotional titled, "It's too easy to be true," we looked at this passage in 2 Kings 5.  In it we drew a parallel to Naaman's leprosy eating away at his physical life to how our sin eats away at our spiritual life.  The message given to Naaman from God through the prophet Elisha seemed to be too easy, but I have to wonder if there were not other factors stopping him in his tracks and causing him to walk away in anger.  These questions came to mind.

Q:    What if Naaman - a prominent Army commander for the King - couldn't handle a servant meeting with him instead of having the Prophet Elisha meet him personally?

Q:    What if pride caused him to miss the blessing?

Q:    What if Naaman gave no credibility to the solution simply because he didn't have a respect for the person who was giving it to him?

I had to wonder to myself if we can find ourselves doing the same thing - disregarding the message because of the messenger.  I am sorry to say I have disregarded various messages throughout my life because I placed too much emphasis on who it was speaking to me rather than what they were saying.   Unfortunately there have probably been times where God has spoken to me through various people and I have foolishly discounted the message.

I have come to understand God uses ordinary people to speak to us, and sometimes he will even use people we would rather not hear from.  I suspect He does this to work on our pride.  I think there can be a little Naaman in all of us at times.

Who knows maybe Naaman simply didn't want to take his clothes off and be naked before those who served him.  Maybe he didn't want his leprosy being seen.  We can do the same thing when it comes to exposing sin in our life we would rather keep it covered, even if it is killing us.

Either way the root of both of these reasons is pride.  Pride is what ensnared Satan, and he uses this same powerful temptation of pride to get us to stumble and fall as well.  

The way of a fool is right in his own eyes, But he who heeds counsel is wise. Proverbs 12:15 (NKJV)

I want to encourage you today to refrain from judging and discounting a message from people simply because of how you view them.  We should take what is being said, and ask the Lord if it is something He wants us to hear and/or apply to our lives.  If it is wise counsel and it lines up with His Word then perhaps we should apply it.  Let's not let personality differences in relationships detract from sound advice. Let's ask God to help us hear from whomever he sends into our life.

STUDY QUESTION: According to Proverbs 12:15 what can we learn about heeding counsel?

PERSONAL INVENTORY: Have you found yourself put off simply because you didn't like the messenger, even though the message was correct?

APPLICATION: Check your pride at the door on the way out in the morning - it has no place in the life of a Christian.

Father, thanks for giving me a lesson to apply to my life this day.  Help me to listen to those who You have brought into my life.  Help me to discern wise counsel from idle talk, and to make good choices with what I may receive from You - regardless of who it comes from.  In Jesus' precious name, amen...

Be Blessed, Pastor Scott

Copyright ©2017 by Pastor Scott Wright.
Unless otherwise indicated, Scripture taken from the New King James Version. Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. Bible text from the New King James Version is not to be reproduced in copies or otherwise by any means except as permitted in writing by Thomas Nelson, Inc., Attn: Bible Rights and Permissions, P.O. Box 141000, Nashville, TN 37214-1000