2 Kings 5:11 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.”
This particular story is rightly famous for this particular reason. Naaman had his own preconception of how God was going to bless him, and he almost missed the blessing entirely because it didn’t fit his preconception. I think we do that all the time. We decide on goals and how we are going to get there, and then when God leads us by a different path, we despair or get angry or at least complain. How foolish! Naaman was blessed with servants who were able to persuade him to at least try what Elisha had said, but often enough we don’t have anyone who will be bold enough to speak into our lives, or whom we trust enough to pay attention when they do speak. That has been the downfall of countless church leaders in particular. It is quite common to be too close to a situation to see it objectively, but someone with a bit more emotional distance is able to see what really is going on. In such cases we need to be open to advice! Too often we get fixated on short-term goals without analyzing what our long-term goal is, and how that short-term goal might move us in that direction or not. Frankly, life is too short to be distracted by short-term goals that don’t contribute to God’s purpose for our life. Jesus’ words about seeking God’s kingdom and His righteousness (Matthew 6:33) certainly apply here. If our goal is for God’s kingdom to come and His will to be done, (Matthew 6:9-10) then goals of personal aggrandizement won’t enter the picture.
This is certainly spot-on for where we are right now. In the called business meeting yesterday we were blessed to have our newest member, actually, call us into focus as to why we would purchase land and build an elder-care facility. As he very rightly said, if our goal is anything other than the salvation of souls and the advancement of God’s kingdom, we have no business doing it. However, if that is our goal, then no expense is too much and no difficulty insurmountable. To be honest, I don’t want to run such a facility; I’m a teacher, not an administrator. However, if it is going to bring people into God’s kingdom, His family, then it is certainly worth doing. Some excellent questions were brought up by various people, and we ended the meeting with the unanimous decision to purchase the land but study and pray more before deciding not just the details of the building, but especially the level of care we will offer and how it will all be organized. I have great peace with that, but I’ve got to be willing to buckle down and do the extensive work that lies ahead of us. I must remember at every turn that God already has the perfect plan, and my job is to identify and follow that plan. He knows whom He has prepared to fill each position, and He knows the timetable. I am to keep my eyes on Him and follow wholeheartedly, never letting personal pride get in the way.
Father, Thank You for Your plans, and for including us in them. Thank You for all You did yesterday. I’m sure I don’t know the half of it, but Your works are good. I ask not only that we follow Your schedule for each step, but also that we not be anxious about it. We are so prone to worry about two steps down the road, when You have only tasked us with the one in front of us. Help us all rest, relax, and rejoice in You, seeking first Your kingdom and Your righteousness, so that You may be unhindered in doing all that You want to do in and through us, for Your glory. Thank You. Hallelujah!