And behold, a leper came to him and knelt before him, saying, “Lord, if you will, you can make me clean” (Matthew 8:2, ESV)
As Jesus descended from the Mountain where He had just preached the great sermon on the Mount, a man with leprosy came to Him and said: “Lord, if you will, you can make me clean”. The leper wanted to be healed. He knew Jesus had the power to heal him. But he had one problem. He was not sure of Jesus’ will. Brethren, this man’s problem is like a cankerworm that is eating up a great majority of God’s people today. Can you see what his biggest problem was?
His leprosy was already a problem. However, in addition to this, he had a more serious problem, worse off spiritually than leprosy. He did not know the will of God for His life regarding His disease. I cannot overemphasize here the cruciality of knowing clearly God’s will for your life. I do not want you to over-spiritualize this concept as I did years ago, making things more complicated for me. God’s will is simply what God wants, desires or has purposed and planned for your life. Added to my problems, whenever I thought of God’s will for my life, as is typical for most charismatics, my mind was focused on God’s ministry calling on my life, that is, what He wants to use me to do and the work He has for me on earth. I am sure if I ask many of you what God’s purpose for your life is, that is the same way you will think.
Something is seriously wrong with the way we have been trained to think of our relationship with God. It is as if everything about our relationship with God centers on working for Him. I shared a few days ago how serving God in scripture is not limited to having an official position of authority or ministry such as a pastor or bishop etc. The same is true about the will of God. God’s will for your life or His purpose for your life is not solely about how He wants to use you. You are not a machine that God is just interested in using you, and probably dump you if you loose effectiveness. The Father’s heart for you is not, first and foremost, about your ministry. It is that of a Father-son relationship, before a Master-servant relationship. Ministry is important, but it must never be take the first seat.As ministers, it is sometimes tempting to even do what is not of God in order for the ministry to continue to flourish. Have you heard of pastors who will not preach the truth of the Word on the pulpits on certain issues because they are afraid they will offend a lot of people and so would loose some members and suffer the drastic drop in church attendance, giving and tithes?
God’s will is not limited to your ministry calling. It involves everything about you. What does God want in your health? The leper was not sure what Jesus would do about his leprosy. What about you? Are you convinced God really wants you well? What does God want your prayer life to be? What does God want your sexual life and sexuality to be? What does God want your walk with the Holy Spirit to be? You must know God’s mind or thoughts about you. Jesus gave the leper an answer that was probably contrary to his fears and expectations. Jesus did not quote scriptures that explained some mysterious reasons why God allowed the leprosy in his body. He told him “I will”. For brevity, I will end this devotional here today and continue tomorrow. It is critical to know the heart of God. Jesus is saying the same thing to many of you today that, “I will, be healed”; “I will, be delivered”;” I will, be filled to overflow with My Spirit; “I will, come out of that addiction and be free”, etc etc. Know your Father’s heart, and be careful not to allow religion paint a picture of God for you that is not true.
Was the leper automatically healed because it was God’s will to heal Him? What did he do to benefit from God’s will for him?
APPLY THE WORD
The leper was not sure Jesus wanted to heal him. What about you? What is in your life right now that you have convinced yourself God probably does not want to do because of X or Y? Be careful what you believe about God and His desires for you. If you ever get confused about how God thinks, look at Jesus’ life on earth. That is the clearest picture of God interacting with us. How many times did Jesus say “no” to the needs or demands of the people? Know and believe the heart of your Father for you!
Ask the Spirit to help clean your heart and remove every teaching, beliefs, or experiences that have painted the wrong picture of the Father in your head and is negatively impacting your life.