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Monday, July 20, 2015

It's all about the approach, Pt 2



Two men, two desperate needs, two approaches to God. 

Proud Naaman with leprosy. His preconceived ideas how he should be healed. Humbled in the end as he went down to the Jordan to wash. Transformed, a different man, God rocked his world. 

The Centurion, his servant dying, didn’t feel worthy to even approach Jesus. Instead sent the Jewish elders to plead on his behalf. They told Jesus this Centurion deserved to have you do this. After all he has given money to the church. He is a powerful, influential man. 

Jesus comes. Not far from the house, the Centurion sent friends to tell Jesus, "Lord, don't trouble yourself, for I do not deserve to have you come under my roof. That is why I did not even consider myself worthy to come to you. But say the word, and my servant will be healed. For I myself am a man under authority, with soldiers under me. I tell this one, 'Go,' and he goes; and that one, 'Come,' and he comes. I say to my servant, 'Do this,' and he does it."

Jesus marvels at his faith, turns to the crowd, "I tell you, I have not found such great faith even in Israel." 

There is only one other place where He marvels. It was in His hometown when He tried to work miracles among them and was unable to because of their lack of faith. The Word says He marveled at their unbelief. 

Does he marvel at my unbelief or faith? Will I trust Him? Lord help my unbelief. 

The Centurion said, “Just say the word and it will be done”. Naaman questioned God, fussed, argued and finally rode off in a rage. In the end he was humbled and healed.

The Centurion was already a humble man who didn’t feel worthy to even have Jesus step in His house. 

His sweet heart stirs me. Just say the Word, and it will be done.

I don’t feel worthy Lord, but I’m reaching out to You. Just like the woman with the issue of blood, who crawled through the crowd to touch the hem of Your garment. Like blind Bartemanes yelling to You through the taunting crowd who told him to shut up. Like the lepers reaching out to touch You with scarred, scaled hands. 

They reached out with a simple faith. Not a long elaborate prayer. Not posturing. No fancy formulas. No referring to “5 steps to get your prayer answered.” Just say the Word Lord, and it will be done. 

This is what makes you marvel. Not who we are, or our social status, how gifted we are.

It’s our faith, our trust in You even in our deepest need, our rawest pain. 

So how do we approach God? 

For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are--yet was without sin. Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need. Hebrews 4:15-16

In him and through faith in him we may approach God with freedom and confidence. Ephesians 3:12

The word confidence in the Greek means freedom to say all. Can you speak freely to just anyone about your deepest needs, hurts, weaknesses, and struggles? Probably not!

You and I have an audience with the King of Kings. An invitation into the Holy of Holies. We don’t have to creep in, fearful, hoping that we will be heard. 

Oh no! He implores us to come to Him. He is acquainted with our weaknesses. He not only hears us as we share our hearts. He cares and He will give us the Grace we need. 

Dear Sister, do you have a deep need? Are you hurting, struggling? Step confidently into the throne room. Tell it to Jesus. 

Here is the hymn. Sing and enjoy.