“‘The rivers of Damascus, the Abana and Pharpar, are better than any of the waters of Israel! Could I not wash in them and be healed?’ So he turned around and went away angry” (2 Ki. 5:12 NET).
You may recognize the words above, spoken by Naaman, the Syrian general who came to the prophet Elisha in Israel to be healed of leprosy. Elisha told him to go to the River Jordan and dip himself seven times. The general got furious, and said Abana and Pharpar in Syria are cleaner rivers than the dirty waters of the River Jordan! Thank God he was humble enough to listen to his servant’s advice and go to Jordan. The result? He was completely healed!
Abana and Pharpar may be beautiful, clean rivers, but they do not have any transforming power. People truly want results, not just outward forms of activity, religion, techniques, methods, etc. You may have a beautiful church that appears glorious from the outside, but in which no one is changed, delivered, or set free. I know people struggling to take the “seven steps to freedom” from X or Y that may appear well crafted but have no power to free them. Do not be carried away by outward beauty. Develop the habit of looking through the form to identity God’s power and presence in the things you engage in. Empty religious activity without results will only cause you to become disappointed and depressed. Abana and Pharpar may be cleaner, but the River Jordan is where God’s power is!
Why are we easily carried away by outward appearance?
APPLY THE WORD
Do not be content with hollow outward formalities that give no results. The world’s system might look nice, but God’s word is what will give you the results you really want. Do you need to move away from Abana and Pharpar today?
Ask the Spirit to help you avoid empty, superficial activities that are a waste of your time and resources.
Recommended Read: Tree planted by the rivers
Must Read!: What is a Daily Devotional?