The Warrior’s Most Important Battle
(Read) 2 Kings 5:1-16
– This kingdom is located in modern day Syria. They are at war with the Nation of Israel.
– Naaman is the commander of the whole Air-a-MAY-in army, and a great military warrior.
– He is greatly admired and respected by the King because of his great victories.
– His honor, value, and worth come from his accomplishments and physical power.
– Verse 1 says, “Through him the Lord had given Aram great victories.”
– This is just like when an athlete thanks God after they win a game or a fight. More of a superstitious thing, as if they don’t thank God, then God will make them lose.
– The Lord is sovereign over all things, but the Arameans are actively fighting against God’s people and culture. How can they truly believe that the Lord is bringing them the victory when they reject his Lordship?
– Naaman is a mighty warrior, but suffering from an affliction he can not defeat.
– My bible says “leprosy” but the Hebrew word used here really could mean any incurable and contagious skin disease.
- The 1st battle for the warrior is: understanding that they can’t be victorious alone.
Bohdi Sanders said, “Warriors do not lower themselves to the standards of other people; they live independently; according to their own standards and code of honor.”
– Being self-sufficient, and strong enough for any challenge is the trademark of the warrior.
– No freebees! Everything must be earned and sacrificed for. If it’s not earned, it has no value.
– Example: Warriors have always valued the “rite of passage”:
– From circumcision, drinking blood, and beatings, to wearing a “Bullet Ant glove” in the Brazilian Amazon. “Land diving” on a small island in the south pacific.
– Naaman wasn’t alone. He had people willing to advocate for him:
– The young girl from Verse 2, a captive, but still witnessed to them about “The Healer”.
– The King was willing to advocate for him before his own enemy. It was that important to him. (This is a “last resort” type of decision, and shows he was willing to do the hard things.)
– Both of these people went the extra mile for Naaman to help him get in position to receive the healing he needed.
– They both had to look beyond themselves, and make a sacrifice to make it happen.
- The 2nd battle for the warrior is: putting their pride aside, and embracing humility.
(Read) 2 Kings 5:9-12
– Naaman made a showing of great worth and power, and an had an expectation that meets his own standards and code of honor.
– He brought hundreds of lbs of gold and silver, and clothes, and even a letter from his king.
– He rode in up with many horses and chariots, and soldiers; a great show of power.
– This is how he shows his value, and gains the respect of others. This is what HE values!
– He was received by a messenger, not the prophet himself, which must have seemed disrespectful.
– This made him really mad, disrespected, and dishonored. This doesn’t fit with his code!
– Example: How some alphas come into the church, only want to talk to the senior pastor. Like bald guy at the warehouse, “where’s Matt?” “You’re preaching? And you’re his …friend?”
– Why did he come? To see a man, or hear from the Lord?
– The Prophets message was too simple, and too easy. NOT grand and sacrificial!
– How can Naaman earn this healing if it is so easy. Does that mean it has no value?
– Verse 13, “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 obey the simple and get you healing! (Every warrior needs friends who will tell it like it is!)
– Naaman needed a perspective change:
– He needs to accept that he can’t earn God’s healing or favor by being stronger than everyone else, or doing something mighty to attain victory or win the trophy.
– When he becomes humble and obeys the Lord he finally receives his healing, even if the path to it didn’t look the way he thought it would or should.
– He doesn’t “own” this victory. He didn’t earn it. This is only a show of God’s mercy.
- The 3rd battle for the warrior is: not returning to their old ways.
– Naaman has submitted to the Lord, and seen his power, now don’t go back to self-sufficiency.
– Verse 17, “From now on I will never again offer burnt offerings or sacrifices to any other god accept the Lord.” (He will worship God alone, and now believes in him only.)
– Proverbs 3:5-8, Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. 6 Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take. 7 Don’t be impressed with your own wisdom. Instead, fear the Lord and turn away from evil. 8 Then you will have healing for your body and strength for your bones.
– We really don’t know what happens to Naaman after all this. He calls himself “servant”, he certainly believes in the one true God, and has received mercy and physical healing. SAVED?
– This story reminds me of the city of Nineveh. Israel’s enemy shown mercy by God, when they turn their hearts to Him for healing. History reflects these moments as great victories for God:
– Luke 4:27, (Jesus said) “And many in Israel had leprosy in the time of the prophet Elisha, but the only one healed was Naaman, a Syrian.”
– Just like Nineveh, the story of Naaman is used in the New Testament to illustrate the grace and mercy of our God, available to all people, even God’s enemies, if they will seek it.
- The warrior’s most important battle is: against himself.
– This is the story of a great warrior who is very used to fighting and winning his own battles by his own strength, but he is sick and wounded, IN NEED OF HEALING that he can’t do on his own.
– In humility he finally seeks out the only one who can eternally heal him, the Lord.
* I think this is a story that, on some level, we can all relate to.
– We too easily waste our time trying to fight battles that only Jesus can give us victory in.
– Whether your affliction is physical, emotional, or spiritual, your battle is not a physical one; it’s a spiritual one.
– Ephesians 6:12, For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places.
– Your victory will only come through Jesus, not through yourself.
– 1 John 5:4-5, 4 For every child of God defeats this evil world, and we achieve this victory through our faith. 5 And who can win this battle against the world? Only those who believe that Jesus is the Son of God.
– All who love Jesus are already victorious. Throughout every struggle in life, we can be calm knowing that the outcome has already been determined, and we are on the winning side.
– 2 Cor. 4:7, We now have this light shining in our hearts, but we ourselves are like fragile clay jars containing this great treasure. This makes it clear that our great power is from God, not from ourselves.
**The whole story of the warrior’s healing began with 1 thing: The witness of a slave girl!
– She told the story of the one with the power to heal, and where to find him.
– Example: YOU inviting friends and family to Christmas services. They will meet Jesus there!
– People will come to church this weekend for many reasons: guilt, superstition, or to placate family; but they will find healing through Jesus when they get here, if they will receive it.
– You can be the young girl who share a witness; the king who advocates; or the prophet’s messenger who delivers the truth that will leads the warrior to the deliverance from their affliction.
– prayer –