Read 2 Kings 5:1-27.
Expectations can be dangerous. On the one hand, we should expect God to live up to His character, to keep His promises, and to work all things for the good of those who love Him (see Romans 8:28). On the other hand, if we have expectations for precisely how God will work in every situation, we may end up disappointed—or, worse, we may end up missing out on the good thing God has for us.
Naaman brought with him some expectations about the miracle he needed.
Take, for example, the Syrian general Naaman. He had everything a man could want: money, power, fame, and prestige. But he lacked something that took the pleasure out of all the rest: health. Naaman suffered from leprosy. So when one of his wife's slaves mentioned that a prophet in Samaria could heal him, Naaman took a trip south to the land of Israel.
While the trek to Samaria was a step of faith, Naaman brought with him some expectations about the miracle he needed. First, he assumed that somehow the political leverage that came with his position would gain him the healing he desired, so he first visited the king of Israel. But God doesn't perform miracles for political favors, and He answers to no king.
Second, Naaman expected to pay for his healing, that he would find favor with God and His prophet by making a sizable contribution. Of course, the gifts of God do not cost money.
Finally, Naaman expected Elisha to come down from his house and lay hands on him. Instead, Elisha stayed inside and sent a message to Naaman through his servant: "Go, wash yourself seven times in the Jordan, and your flesh will be restored and you will be cleansed" (v. 10).
Naaman had seen the Jordan River. Compared to the rivers he knew back home in Damascus, the Jordan was pathetic. This request was too much for Naaman, and he decided to head home. He almost missed out on his miracle because God's ways didn't line up with his expectations.
Thankfully for Naaman, his servants mustered the courage to talk some sense into him (see v. 13). He dipped seven times in the river and was completely physically healed. But Naaman's greatest healing—his spiritual healing—came when he chose humble obedience.
Friends, God comes to us with a single and just expectation: that we will respond to His Word in obedient faith.
Prayer: God, help me to humble myself before You and expect great things from You not because I am deserving, but because Your love and grace are so deep. I will trust and obey You, for You are worthy. I pray in the name of Jesus. Amen.
"So he went down and dipped himself in the Jordan seven times, as the man of God had told him, and his flesh was restored and became clean like that of a young boy" (2 Kings 5:14).