Friday, October 12, 2012
Download MP3 (right click to save)
My microwave has this very useful ability to bring food back to life; like, oh, store bought baked goods for example. Have you ever noticed? It's just better if you pop them in the microwave. You know, nuking it? If you get some of that store bought coffee cake or donuts or muffins, you know, they may not be like fresh from the bakery. But we found that they are so much better if you heat them up. What happens is the heat makes them softer. The other day I had a cookie that was getting a little on the old side, and I put it in the microwave and it was like it came right out of the oven - soft and warm. Sometimes the box will even tell you that you ought to "nuke it." And sometimes it will say, "Better when heated" or something like that. Actually, that would be true of about half of the human race.
I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about "Better When Heated."
Now, our word for today from the Word of God comes from 2 Kings 5:1. We're reading about a man named Naaman who it says is "...commander of the army of the king of Aram. He's a great man in the sight of his master, highly regarded, he was a valiant soldier." Now, that's at the beginning of the story. At the end of the story in verse 17, he is saying to God's man, Elisha the prophet, "Your servant will never again make burnt offerings and sacrifices to any other god but the Lord." Wow!
Something happened in between these two verses; something that made this man of war into a man of God. Now, what is it that makes a warrior into a worshipper? Well, I didn't read after it says "He was a valiant soldier." Let's go on. "...but he had leprosy." So he goes, and Elisha tells him he has to wash in the dirty waters of the Jordan River seven times in order to get well. It says Naaman went away angry. He said, "I won't go into the dirty river. We've got great rivers back in our country I could get into." And his servants say, "Hey, if he asked you to do some great act, you would do it wouldn't you? Why don't you go wash and be cleansed."
Then we read in verse 14, "So he went down and dipped himself in the Jordan seven times." He's finally humble. "And his flesh was restored and became clean like that of a young boy." Now, Naaman did not yield to God until there was something bigger than he could possibly handle. When I say that, we've probably just described about half the human race; my half of the human race, the male half of the human race. When God turned up the heat on Naaman, He softened his heart so He could save him.
You know, a man says, "Hey, I can handle it." That's our motto, "I can handle it!" And we give God money, we give Him time, we give Him belief, but we want the control. God hears us say, "I can handle it" and He says, "Oh no, you can't." And so He sends to us men something that all our ability, and our power, and our connections cannot handle: a child goes astray, something happens to our health, our job, our marriage, an injury. The breaking of the man is the making of the man. It's not because God doesn't love you, it's because He does.
One man told me recently, "God could never get control of my life until my son attempted suicide." Another man recently said, "I almost died in an accident, and finally I surrendered to Christ." Another guy said, "I was an executive out of work suddenly for 32 months. Only then did God finally get control." See, God does this over and over again with us men; this humbling thing so we will finally let go to the Lord.
And guess what? Then we're finally complete; we're finally really strong, we're finally whole like Naaman was only after he was broken. See, God turns up the heat on us men because we get pretty hard like those old pastries, and He uses this heat to softened us up so we can finally become all we were created to be.
We're always better after we've been through God's heat, because remember, a breaking by the Lord is the making of the man.