Friday, February 1, 2019
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Well, my wife said she knew we were in serious danger when I started rubbing my right leg – while driving, that is. See, I'm a marathon driver and I really like to drive. So Karen and I found ourselves in situations where I was starting to drive past my prime alertness. First sign of sleepiness – rubbing my leg. It must have been some kind of involuntary reflex. So she'd ask if I'd like her to drive. Of course not. Second sign – I'd start doing calisthenics to stay alert. And she would ask if I'd like her to drive. Silly girl; no way. Next sign of impending disaster – I would turn on the most obnoxious radio station I could find. Again, she would suggest that she drive and I'd answer, "I'm fine!" Then I roll down the window – even with the wind chill being, let's say, 30 below. Then, a little more insistent, Karen would say, "Honey, please let me drive." Finally – just before we became a National Safety Council statistic – I'd pull over to the side of the road and relinquish the wheel. You know what? I was out cold before Karen could even pull out on the highway again.
I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about "Letting Go Of The Wheel."
My wife sometimes had a hard time getting me to let go of the wheel. God knows that feeling – maybe with you too. Because, you see, some of us hang onto control for as long as we can, not realizing that we are heading for a crash if we don't let go. And we're missing miracles that God wants to do in our lives because we refuse to relinquish control.
You see that in flesh-and-blood in our word for today from the Word of God in 2 Kings 5:1. Naaman is Syria's greatest general. He's described in these words: "a valiant soldier, but he had leprosy." He has a problem totally beyond his control. Well, his Jewish servant girl suggests that he go to the prophet Elisha in Israel to be healed by God. It's interesting how Naaman goes about it.
Listen to this: "So Naaman left, taking with him ten talents of silver, six thousands shekels of gold" – you get the idea – he's going to use his wealth to buy himself a cure. Then he decides to use his connections to get well – he goes right to the top. He goes right to the king of Israel. The king says he can't help him and he sends Naaman where he should have gone in the first place – to Elisha. Okay, here comes the motorcade. "So Naaman went with his horses and chariots and stopped at the door of Elisha's house. Elisha sent a messenger to him..." Now imagine how that went over. The prophet won't even come out and see the mighty general; he delegates it to his servant. This is not going well so far.
Finally, the method of getting cured is not what Naaman wants or expects – to dip himself seven times in the muddy waters of the Jordan River. He almost leaves, still dying of leprosy. But he finally humbles himself, immerses himself in the river, and the Bible says, "his flesh was restored and became clean like that of a young boy." Here's Naaman's exciting testimony to Elisha: "Now I know there is no God in all the world except in Israel...I will never again make sacrifices to any other god but the Lord."
There's a lot of Naaman in a lot of us. We want to hold on to the wheel, do it our way, maintain control. We want to contribute to the solution. We want to maintain our pride. But there's no miracle there – not until God has squeezed the last drop of you out of solving this, so you will know, as never before, His power and His love. God's answer is going to require your humility, not your help, and probably come from a source you wouldn't plan on or expect. So, the sooner you release control, the sooner God will respond and the sooner the cure will be yours.
You've been stubbornly hanging onto that wheel. God's been asking over and over, "Isn't it time you let Me drive? You'll crash if you don't." Isn't it time you pull over and finally let the Lord have the wheel?