James 4.10: Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up.
In 2 Kings 5, a man named Naaman, “captain of the host of the king of Syria,” had leprosy. Even while struggling with this health (and social) issue, he was a mighty servant of his king. When Naaman heard about a prophet in Israel who could cure him, he asked permission of his king to go and be healed. His king obviously regarded him highly, as he told him to go to, and sent with him silver, gold, and fine raiment with which to pay.
When Naaman found the prophet, he had high expectations. Naaman, even with a humbling health issue, thought himself worthy of great honor. He figured the great prophet would come out and call down power from his god above, and Naaman would be miraculously and stupendously healed – and he would have a great story to spread abroad about how important he was.
1 Samuel 16.7 … for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the LORD looketh on the heart.
But God knows the heart of man, and He knew the heart of this man, Naaman.
Instead Elisha, the prophet, sent his servant to deliver the instructions to Naaman: “Go and wash in Jordan seven times, and thy flesh shall come again to thee, and thou shalt be clean.”
Naaman was quite put out. He wanted nothing to do with a puny servant, he was important enough that the great prophet himself should come to him, he had brought awesome gifts to give for his healing, and that old Jordan was icky, anyway.
God must have given Naaman’s servant an inkling of the potential meekness in his master’s heart, for he begged of Naaman to reconsider. Surely Naaman would have done some mighty act of courage to clear his leprosy; he might as well do this simple thing.
Even if Naaman went into the Jordan with a stiff neck, God blessed him. God not only cleansed him from his leprosy, He also scoured out his pride. Naaman returned to Elisha’s house a changed man. He humbled himself. He acknowledged the Lord God as God of all the earth, he vowed to serve only the Lord God, and begged pardon for instances when he would have to bow with his master in the house of Rimmon.
God does not ask hard things of us. He asks obedience, and He blesses abundantly. Humble yourself, therefore, under the mighty hand of God, and see what He does.