Hopefully, this email finds you winding down toward the end of your work day. This week's story has one that hits home for me. As you prepare to get into the evening hours of your day, I hope the writing this week is good to and for you!
In 2 Kings chapter 6, we find a story about Elisha - one of the most powerful figures in all of scripture. Elisha was God's chosen spokesperson to the people of Israel. He was an advisor to kings and a fearless man of God. In chapter 6, we catch a glimpse of what lay at the core of Elisha's fearlessness.
Israel and Aram were at war. From the looks of things in the scripture, it seems that Aram had a strategic advantage over Israel. Israel's king was doing his best to set up a camp for his army. Time and time again the king planned a campsite, only to receive word from Elisha, "Beware of that place, because the Aramean will pass there."
It wasn't long before the king of Aram became frustrated. His scouts were never able to pinpoint where the Israelite army was located. He came to the conclusion that their must be a mole amongst their ranks. Someone had to be telling Israel about his scouting and steering the Israelite army clear of his sentries. One of his officers spoke up and told the king there was no mole. The officer told his king "Its Elisha, the prophet of Israel. He tells the king of Israel even the very words you speak in your bedroom!"
Needless to say the king of Aram was infuriated. Elisha had be silenced. The Bible says that the king of Aram sent a "strong force" to surround the city where Elisha was, intent on capturing or killing the prophet who was thwarting his strategy.
Elisha's servant looked up and saw the army surrounding the city when he awoke the next morning and naturally, he was a little concerned. He asked his master: "What shall we do?"
Elisha's response? "Don't be afraid. Those who are with us are more than those who are with them."
The servant probably looked around the house at this point. lol! I know I would have. I would have wondered "who is this dude talking about?" I'm sure the servant must have wondered something similar. That's why Elisha prayed:
"Open his eyes, Lord, so that he may see." - 2 Kings 6:17
When Elisha finished his prayer, the servant looked and he saw a massive force of angels on chariots of fire all around them. It was suddenly very clear to the servant how his master had remained so calm and confident in the face of what he perceived to be a clear and present threat.
So many times in our lives we find ourselves surrounded. Our circumstances often seem to provide us with no way to escape; no way out. We all have these moments when fear tugs at our heart-strings and tells us to fold. We all know these situations when everything inside of us says, "Be afraid! Be very afraid!"
The challenge of faith is that it calls upon us to believe in a reality that is higher than what we see in the physical world. What our eyes see, ears hear, hands touch is ever-fading. Faith is the tool by which we transcend these limited perspectives of the truth to rest in absolute security. When we pray, "Open my eyes, Lord, so that I may see," we are praying for a revelation of absolute truth.
In the case of Elisha's servant, he was only looking at one bit of reality — the enemy army was there. He perceived a threat that incited fear. Elisha's well-developed faith allowed him to see more! He saw the whole reality of the situation. Not only were God's forces present, they were more in number and more mighty in power than the troops that were supposed to endanger him.
In our lives we do well to remember this story about Elisha and his servant. We do well to remember this kind of praying. We do well to remember to ask God - before we even ask him to do anything — to reveal truth to us; to open our eyes! If we do this, instead of finding ourselves wracked with fear when challenges arise, we will see the same way Elisha did. We'll realize absolute truth and that truth is this:
For God's people, in all situations and all circumstance we are ever protected. Our God is sovereign and in absolute control of all that is. Because of that fact, in all things the threat level to God's people = zero. Period and AMEN!
Questions for the week
- Are there things that I've been led to do but haven't done because of fear?
- How do I define reality?
- How do I perceive God in my concept of reality?
- When I pray, do I pray about what I see through my eyes or what I see through faith?