Sunday, March 30, 2008

Imputing to importunity

Naaman joins a celebrated group of people whom the Lord mentions by name in His preaching, He said "there were many lepers in Elisha's day but none of them was cleansed save Naaman the Syrian."
I hear so very many angry voices raised against the Lord in our day, such people do not wisely, God has declared "woe to her that strives with her maker." Again I hear many people talking about how they "serve the Lord" really? does God know about this? such people are quite often imperious and almost impossible to get near. I would like to gently take them by the hand and lead them down calvary way to a man nailed naked to a tree and ask them there what you are doing to "serve" the Lord, nobody who is actually serving Him will have taken offence at the foregoing remark. Some people think they can come with some sort of golden dish full of delights and fancies and bring it to the Lord as some kind of offering.
Cain is the father of all those who suppose they are serving the Lord but inwardly are angry, usually they do not speak their anger out against God, they take their spite out against God's people like Cain did, he was a farmer, just think how hard he must have worked all the year round to produce the offering he brought to the Lord, But God had already pronounced a curse upon the ground, Cain was bringing to God the fruits of that which had been cursed.
Abel came by way of SUBSTITUTIONARY SACRIFICE when he slew his victim lamb and saw the life-blood flow to the ground he knew that his sins were flowing away with it and atonement was made, and with atonement came righteousness and fellowship with God. It is a prophetic picture of the forgiveness of sins at the cross. Why substitutionary? because if we die for our sins we are merely paying the required price, but if a death takes place on our behalf, providing that God has agreed to it, the victim dies, our sins dies with him and we live.
Naaman would have done anything and given anything to be cleansed of his leprosy, he brought sackfuls of gold coins with him to Elisha and changes of raiment, the fruit no doubt of a lifetime of valour and hard service to the king of Syria, but the prophet said only to him wash and be clean and it made Naaman so angry, he turned away in a rage, he was doing what he had always done, going in the opposite direction to the Lord and at a rate of knots, he is a picture of many people today, but his servants drew near and said "my father, if the prophet had bid thee do some great thing wouldest thou not have done it? how much rather then when he says to thee only wash and be clean?" Oh that some person might hear the Holy Spirit today say to them, "my child if God had made faith to be a complicated matter of hard service, and long prayers and tiresome liturgies and rituals, would you not have done it? why not do this easy thing He tells you to do? just forsake your sins, believe the gospel, embrace Jesus as your Saviour, isn't that easy?" just wash and be clean, as many as recieved Him to them He gave power to become the children of God.
Can you see Naaman on the banks of Jordan? the river Jordan was muddy it wasn't clean and it was going to get all over him, dear lovable Naaman can you see him as he pulls off his boots? the breastplate with all of his insignias of authority, his armour his helmet with it's badges and decorations for valour, off they all come, and his servants were peeking and looking until he was stripped down to just an ordinary person, just a man, a soul for whom Christ had died, that's just the place that God takes you to at the cross, God wants you to know you have nothing to give Him, there is nothing He wants from you, just your heart.
Naaman went through with it wading out into the Jordan under he went once, twice, three times four, five and then six but he was no better, every time hurt his pride a little more but the prophet said seven times and when he went down and came up the seventh time he was clean. He went all the way with God and he recieved all of what God had promised, he was saved, he was healed.
Some people come part of the way with God even six parts of the way but they reserve back that part of their own hearts that they will not give to God. Come all the way folks, come clean, all the way with God and recieve all that God has for you. This is divine exchange, this is imputed righteousness, peace, joy and fellowship in the Holy Spirit. This is true religion.

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