Friday, February 20, 2015

Cleansing 10 Lepers; Healing One Soul

I was reading this morning in Luke 17: 11-19 about Jesus healing 10 lepers (read the whole story here), and a few things stood out to me:

1) All 10 lepers cry out to Jesus to be healed. We have to ask, to make our request. I saw a tweet today that said God will not answer 100% of the prayers you don't pray.

2) Jesus gives them a command: to go and show themselves to the priest. At this point, they are still lepers. Can you imagine walking away from Jesus, thinking, But I'm still a leper? How can I present myself to the priest? But the Word says "As they went, they were cleansed." They had to go first in obedience. Then they were healed.

The Greek word for cleansed here (v. 14) literally means 'to cleanse from filth, to make clean from leprosy." The other word used here for healed (v. 15) means 'to heal, cure, restore to bodily health." On both accounts, we're talking about a physical healing.

3) Of the 10, only one returns to Jesus to give thanks.

4) To the one who offers thanks, to the one who is grateful, Jesus declares him well. Other translations include "whole." The Greek word here is sozo. A beautiful word that means "to save" in other places of scripture, in other places where we link saving to salvation. However, this word also means "heal, preserve, be (make) whole."

This is the same word used in Romans 10:9 that if we confess with our mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in our heart that God raised Him from the dead, we will be saved [sozo]. and in Romans 10:13: "For everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved [sozo]."

There are three words in this passage that can all be translated in other places of scripture as 'healed.' But only one man received sozo healing.

How many of us beg God for mercy, to change our physical circumstances, but never obey His command? How many of us beg for God to answer our prayers, but never return to give thanks?

I wrote those two questions in my journal. I read them, and I thought, ouch.

I'm not trying to step on anyone's toes here. God's been stepping on mine this week, asking me: Will you obey me? Will you receive my word? Will you receive my message?

It's no secret to anyone that we've been trying to get pregnant since 2011, and in the process, we've tried lots of options. And when fertility failed, we quickly filled out adoption papers thinking that road would be easier, right? More secure, less likely to fail?

We are not pursuing anything this year, and in quiet moments of reflection, I've also had several moments of repentance. If I'm honest, God gave me His word in 2012. It's written in my journal: to wait, to stand firm and wait.

And He sent other messages over and over through messengers. Someone gave me a word in the fall of 2013 to be strong and courageous. Within six months, two other people had randomly given me the same word. At the time, I rejected it, of course. I was believing God for a baby now, and if I have to be strong, then times are still hard. If I have to be courageous, then I'm still in the battle. It sounded negative and discouraging. It sounded like more waiting.

And I didn't want to wait.

Last November, a woman spoke a specific word over us--that we needed to focus on God, walking our path, running in our lane, and not worrying about others or comparing ourselves to others, not desiring anything more than we desire Him.

These are bold words, people. Bless that woman who had the courage to hear from God and speak truth to us! Because the truth is, that's exactly what we needed to hear.

But at that time, on that evening, I rejected that word. I remember thinking that sounds like we won't be pregnant this December, and because that doesn't line up with what I'm believing God for, then I'm not going to receive it. She must have missed Him. 

See what I did there? How I spiritual I made my justification?

Our God is so gracious, though. He is a redeemer. That's the word He continues to give me over and over again. We surrender. He redeems. In his mercy, He has redeemed all of our expenses. Literally. Miraculously. In His mercy, He continues to heal our hearts. To make us whole. Sozo.

I want to be clear that we never felt like God said no to anything we've done. In all honesty, we thought we were doing the right thing. Doing our part and waiting on Him to do the rest. And I don't know that we were wrong or disobedient in that.

But if we only measured my heart--how patiently I waited, with what level of contentment I lived life and praised God, then we might see by how much I missed the mark.

The good news, today and every day, is Jesus. And as I devour His Word again, as I am consumed by the words in red, as I read Luke 17, I am encouraged.

We ask.

We obey.

We give thanks.

He makes us well. He makes us whole. He makes us sozo.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I thank the Lord for the revelation He gives you through His word! I thank you for sharing amiga! This truly is powerful!