Recently, I was invited by my cousin to a mass deliverance service and began to grow excited. This excitement quickly turned into desiring that this one night would be the change I had been praying for seven years to take place. Not only did I begin to expect that my life would be ultimately transformed but was hoping my husband's life would be too. Leading up to the day of the event my anticipation rapidly started to grow about what the Lord was going to do in and with us, but not once did I stop to ask God what was his intention or plan for us. See, I got so caught up in what I expected God to do for me that I failed to find out if it was even in his will.
You can imagine my disappointment when, the day before the mass deliverance service, I ended up getting sick somehow. I kept thinking "Maybe if I get enough rest, then I will be well enough to make it to the church and claim my healing!" Especially since I had been waiting all week for this event, but sadly, that was not the case, and I awoke the next morning to find out I was feeling worse than I did the night before. Immediately my thoughts turned to "Well, maybe it is not for me to attend at all." That is when I decided it was time to pray. I declared in my prayer to God, "If I am supposed to go, then please heal me and make me well!" Within a few hours, I finally began to feel like myself again and started to notice my strength coming back to me. In my mind, remember, I had cooked up visions of healing and deliverance that I felt I needed to claim for my husband and I. Desperately, I believed we needed change and for God to come through because the answer to my prayers could delay no longer. As we headed out to the church, my mind was still composing what I thought would be the "perfect" outcome for this experience. What I was hoping for was a dramatic display or some marvelous sign that would undeniably allow me to know that it was God!
Then the Holy Spirit reminded me of the story of Naaman found in 2 Kings chapter 5. The Bible describes him as a man who had a prestigious title to his name and was even favored but also living with a severe skin ailment. (found in 2 Kings 5:1) His wife had a maid, from Israel, who suggested that Naaman should seek out the prophet Elisha to get healed. The Bible goes on to say that he travels to see Elisha, and once there is not even greeted by the prophet but receives instructions from Elisha's servant instead. (2 Kings 5:9) Elisha's servant tells Naaman to go into the Jordan river and dip himself in it seven times to become cleansed. Seems simple enough, right? Not to Naaman because he "was wroth, and went away, and said, Behold, I thought, He will surely come out to me, and stand, and call on the name of the Lord his God, and strike his hand over the place, and recover the leper." (2 Kings 5:11 KJV) So just like Naaman, I greatly desired a grand demonstration of God's power over my life but what I had forgotten was that God could heal and deliver people in many different ways. The Bible shows that for some they received their deliverance more subtly (see John 5:1-9) and others in a pronounced way (see Mark 5:1 -20).
What the Holy Spirit wanted me to understand is that God knew the way in which I needed to be healed and delivered. He had already planned what would be the sufficient method for me to experience the transformation I had hoped to receive. The apostle of the church even mentioned that he had observed some dramatic displays of deliverance before and I can tell you, if what he had said happened to me that night, God already knew I would have been the first person running away. (I mean very far away!) Today, I implore you to let go of your expectation of how you think God should show up and show out in your life because, in doing so, you will not overlook any of the blessings, deliverance, etc. that you have desired for him to do in your life!