Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Faith Eyes

Wednesday – September 25, 2013

Most everyone I know would like to face life with greater confidence and assurance.  Elisha said to his servant, Don’t be afraid!....For there are more on our side than on theirs![1] This brings to mind John's great and oft-quoted "Greater is He that is in you...,"(1 John 4.4) and Paul's "If God be for us, who can be against us?" (Romans  8.31)      These verses encourage us to live our lives in light of faith that overcomes. 

The great problem with living an assured, confident life (by faith) is that it is against our human nature to walk by faith.  God says we should live that way, but often we miss it entirely – by a mile.  We have the faith to get saved, and then live miserably by sight.

The fact is -- in spite of the problem -- that it is impossible to live a life of confidence and assurance apart from faith in God.  The question, therefore, becomes: 
"How can I have that faith, and 'fear not,' like Elisha said?"

The Story

The King of Samaria had a problem...every time he would plan a military campaign against Israel his army would get whipped.  He began to suspect he had a spy in the camp, revealing his secrets.  When he checked it out with his advisors he found out he didn't have a Samaritan Spy – he was up against a “Supernatural Saint”.  Elisha the prophet knew the king's innermost thoughts, because God was speaking to him.

The King decided to get rid of his problem (How do you "get rid" of God, anyway?).  Well, the king set a trap for Elisha at Dothan.  The plan was a good one – send twelve billion troops to circle the city!  It would have worked, except Elisha was connected to the King of Kings! 
In the morning Elisha's servant went out to do early morning servant-type chores.  Can you imagine the assault on his adrenal gland when he sees Samaritans – everywhere?  As many as the sands of the sea!  Matthew Henry makes the ultimate understatement:  "What a consternation he was in."[2]  My terminology would've been considerably more demonstrative -- and probably less religious!  "Yeow!  Hey Boss -- Elijah, get out here man -- we're history -- Oh My -- Good night, Elizabeth!  We're done for!  Woe is me" 

Elijah did come out, and he calmly prayed for his servant to have his eyes opened.  No fuss, no calamity, no fear -- confident, assured.

What a contrast we have here; one man living by faith, the other, frantic, frenetic, frenzied, living by sight.  Learn the lesson of being spiritually balanced like Elisha.  It comes from and through prayer.

Then Elisha prayed, “O LORD, open his eyes and let him see!” The LORD opened the young man’s eyes, and when he looked up, he saw that the hillside around Elisha was filled with horses and chariots of fire.   2 Kings 6:17 (NLT)

If you are looking for answers to life's problems, your solutions will come from having the presence of God a reality in your life.  The servant saw the chariots of fire and horses.  You don't suppose those chariots were empty, do you?  They were filled with fierce fighting angels.  The servant's confidence level changed when he saw!

Isaiah (26.3) tells us that God will keep us in perfect peace when our mind is stayed (fixed) on Him.  Anxiety has to go when we submit ourselves to God in prayer. 

As a young boy I can remember going to relative's houses for Christmas.  We would return home late -- in the dark.  I would always be encouraged to fall asleep in the back seat of the family car.  It wasn't easy.  Merrick Parkway was narrow, and the cars went fast.  And it was dark, and lights flashed everywhere.  Lying down, I could see the dark roof of the car, lights playing, jumping off every shiny part.  Each curve, bump and swing in the road brought a new fear that at any time we'd crash into something. 

But then I would look, and Dad was behind the wheel.  My father was in control.  When I saw that I could drift off to sleep.  Elisha could show his servant that the Father of all was in control.  But you have to see it in prayer!

[1] 2Kings 6:16 (NLT)
[2]Matthew Henry, Commentary On the Whole Bible, (Grand Rapids, Zondervan, 1960), 408

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