Angel Army; Spiritual Leprosy

Bible Reading: 2 Chronicles 21:18; 2 Kings 5; 6:8-33; 7; 8:3-6

Angel Army:

"When the servant of the man of God got up and went out early the next morning, an army with horses and chariots had surrounded the city. 'Oh, my lord, what shall we do?' the servant asked. 'Don't be afraid,' the prophet answered. 'Those who are with us are more than those who are with them.' And Elisha prayed, 'O Lord, open his eyes so he may see.' Then the Lord opened the servant's eyes, and he looked and saw the hills full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha" (2K 6:15-17).

Sometimes, when surrounded by trouble, we feel frightened and trapped by the overwhelming odds against us. If we will open our eyes of faith, we will realize that we are surrounded and protected by God's powerful presence. We have a whole host of heaven's army fighting the battle with us and for us. "Those who are with us are more (in number and power) than those who are with them." We can summon God's army with a humble, earnest cry for help. The spirit that indwells us is far greater than the enemy who threatens us. We don't need to be afraid. God is on our side! He is fighting the battle for us. When we cry "Oh, Lord, what shall we do?" may the Lord open our eyes so we may see his great love and power that is at work all around us.

Spiritual Leprosy:

Naaman went to the prophet, Elisha, to be cured of his leprosy. Elisha's messenger told Naaman, "Go, wash yourself seven times in the Jordan, and your flesh will be restored and you will be cleansed." Naaman "went off in a rage." He thought Elisha himself would have come out and healed him immediately and magnificently. He was also offended that he was told to go to a filthy river in Isreal. His servants reasoned with him, "If the prophet had told you to do some great thing, would you not have done it? How much more then, when he tells you, 'Wash and be cleansed'!" So Naaman obeyed Elisha's instructions and was restored to perfect health. He went back to Elisha and said, "Now I know that there is no God in all the world except in Israel." (2K 5:1-14)

When I let sin dwell in my thoughts, it becomes like leprosy, eating away at my conscience and compromising my spiritual health. I look for an easy answer to my discomfort - a "quick fix" to relieve my feelings of guilt and shame. But the only way to get rid of my spiritual leprosy is to do what God requires, not what I desire. I must look at my weaknesses, failures and insecurities the way God sees them. I must accept God's forgiveness and healing on his terms, not mine. I don't have to understand every twist and turn; I just have to walk the path. It is not enough to get my toes wet, or wade in up to my ankles; I must be washed completely in the waters of humble obedience ("seven" times ... the number of God and completeness in scripture). This complete cleansing results in a deeper, more passionate love for the Lord and a greater sense of peace and trust in his will for me.

When we seek to restore others in their walk with the Lord, they may reject our counsel at first, just as Namaan did. We must deliver God's message, and then leave them in God's hands and trust him to work in their hearts to draw them back to him. Naaman had to go through a process of letting go of his pride and stubbornness before he could accept Elisha's advice and submit himself, in humility, to God's healing power. When confronted, we often need to go through that process too before we are able to see the truth of the loving, sharpening words of a concerned friend.