Obedience leads to experience

Good morning everyone,
Our theme for this month: “Christian community”
Our Bible verse for today: “So Naaman went down and dipped himself in the Jordan seven times, according to the command of the man of God. Then his skin was restored and became like the skin of a small boy, and he was clean.” 2 Kings 5:14 (CSB)
Our thought for today: “Obedience leads to experience”
Naaman was an army General, a rough, tough, man’s man who served as the commander of the army for the king of Aram. However, at some point he contracted leprosy, a contagious skin disease for which there was no cure. Fortunately for him, there was a young Jewish girl in his household, a slave that was brought from Israel to serve Naaman’s wife. She was aware of a prophet in Israel by the name of Elisha who performed miracles. So, the girl told her mistress that if the master (Naaman) would only go to the great prophet and ask for healing, she was sure a miracle would be performed for him and the master would be healed.
So, Naaman went to Elisha, and he did ask for healing. But instead of Elisha simply saying some words, waving a magic wand, and presto chango there was healing, Elisha instructed Naaman to go to the river and perform an elaborate ritual of cleansing. If he would do that, then the One True God would heal him. But Naaman thought the ritual was ridiculous, and he was even insulted that such a thing was expected of him. So, he refused to do it and he went away in a huff. Finally, some of his assistants convinced him to at least give it a try and when he did, as we read in 2 Kings 5:14 (above), he was indeed healed.
What Naaman learned is a lesson that we need to learn too – obedience leads to experience. We obey first, then we get to experience God. The key is to trust God, obey Him, and then move forward in obedience. Just do what you know you are supposed to do, and trust the rest to God.
This is often where good Christian community comes into play. It was the community around Naaman that eventually convinced him to obey first so he could experience second. (Granted, Naaman and is assistants didn’t have faith in God before the miracle, but I’ll bet they did afterwards!)
Our Christian community does for us what Naaman’s assistants did for him. Sometimes it will be through their words of good counsel and encouragement, but other times they will inspire us by their examples. Try this, look around you and notice the Christians who are clearly experiencing the power of God in their lives. If you look closely, you will also find that they are the ones who are obeying God. They are obeying first and experiencing second.
The fact is that when it comes to practicing our faith and experiencing the power of God in our lives, obedience leads to experience.
God bless,
Pastor Jim
(Join us at Oak Hill Baptist Church every Sunday at 10:00. Join us in-person if you are nearby or, if you are geographically distant or if you are a shut-in, join us online at www.YouTube.com/oakhillbaptistcrossville)
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