As Solomon stated long ago, we are what we think (Prov. 23:12). Jesus likewise said that what matters is what is in the heart because this gives rise to all manner of sins (Matt. 15:18-20). The same is true about good things as well. It important that as Christians we learn to view life and our place in it from His perspective, and to trust what He directs for us. Paul stated it this way – “bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ” (2 Cor. 10:5).
From the Old Testament we are provided an outstanding example of the importance of learning to trust the Lord and conform to His thinking in obedience. This example is taken from the personal affairs of the Syrian general, Naaman. Naaman’s Problem is presented in 2 Kings 5:1, where he is described as a man of great valor, and a trusted servant to his king. But he was also afflicted with the disease of leprosy, for which there was no cure.
Thankfully, there was an Israelite servant in his home who told of a prophet in Israel who could perform miracles. She believed that if he went to Elisha, the prophet, Naaman could be healed. Thus we read of Naaman’s Journey in 5:2-7. With the support of the king of Syria, Naaman began his journey laden with gifts for the Israelite king for this service. For all the power and resources of the Syrian king and his general, in this matter they were impotent. When the request for healing was made to the Israelite king, he thought it must be trickery by the Syrians. Notice that he, too, realized he could not heal leprosy. At this point, Elisha intervened and had Naaman come to him.
When the leper arrived, Elisha delivered Naaman’s Instructions (5:8-13), telling the general to dip in the Jordan seven times. This is a crucial time for Naaman, as he almost talks himself out of the cure he seeks. He became indignant because what Elisha instructed was not what he expected. We might say he dismissed and despised these directions, but if he knew better, why had he not effected his own cure? At this point he is a seeker of help in name only. Thankfully, his own servants spoke sense to him and encouraged him to do as directed.
When he did as told, he experience Naaman’s Miracle (5:14). There was nothing magical about the waters; there were simply God’s instructions, through Elisha, and this leper’s humble obedience that brought healing. When Naaman learned to trust what God directed, and simply conform obediently, he was blessed.
How greatly this general becomes a reminder to us that we need to think as God does about every aspect of our existence. We must allow our thoughts to be captured and managed by God so that we may be blessed as Naaman was. How often people seem to come to the Lord, but when they hear what He has to say, they begin to argue for a different course of action. Either the Lord is God, or He is not. Either He knows more than we do, or He does not. We should come and submit, trusting that He is truly the Supreme Creator and it is to our advantage to listen and learn to think as He does.