Friday, February 1, 2013

Seeing the Unseen


In 2 Kings 6:8-23, we come to understand that Elisha, the servant of the Lord, lived within the presence of God. This is the reason why he was able to live the victorious life. Surrounded by the enemy Syrians, it looked as though his fate was sealed, because they had come for him. But there was no terror in Elisha’s face…there was no panic in his heart. With calmness, courage and confidence he replies, "Don’t be afraid," "Those who are with us are more than those who are with them" (vs.16). The Apostle Paul echoed those sentiments when he wrote to the Christians at Rome, “If God is for us, who can be against us?” (Romans 8:31)

Elisha’s servant stands as ample proof that even God’s own people do not always practice the presence of God in times of stress. No doubt he believed in God, but when the time came to put his belief to a practical test, he panicked. "Oh, my lord, what shall we do?" he asked. Have we ever felt like this? Elisha’s servant represents those today who concentrate so much on their difficulties and obstacles that they cannot and do not see the power of God.  Now before we are too harsh on this servant, we need to ask ourselves how we would fare in regard to faith.  Do we see the chariots of fire when we are facing serious surgery?  Do we confidently trust in God when we’ve been slandered unjustly?  When we are down to our last dollar, how do we react? Do we believe that God will somehow provide for us?  As I see it, Elisha’s servant represents a good deal of humanity. He is so overcome by the magnitude of the problem that he failed to recognize three things -- God’s presence, protection and provision.  We believe that we are children of God, and that He takes care of people, yet perhaps there are times when we become anxious about work, health, financial status, etc. and we allow ourselves to be weighed down by causeless fears. We need to learn to realize God’s presence with us and say with the Psalmist, “My times are in Your hand.”

The servant could see and yet he could not someone who has lost his glasses or contacts. What he really needed were some “spiritual spectacles”. He saw the enemy surrounding the city, but not the greater host of God’s angels who protected the man of God.  Elisha’s servant was gazing so intently at the Syrian army that he couldn’t see the chariots of fire!  He could see the danger, but not the deliverance!  When we feel all alone in our struggles, we need to lift up our eyes…the hosts of God are all about us. The same chariots of fire that whisked Elijah away are back to protect us! This isn’t the only place where we see such a message.

When Jesus was asked by His disciples why He taught the crowds in parables, He answered, “This is why I speak to them in parables: Though seeing, they do not see; though hearing, they do not hear or understand. In them is fulfilled the prophecy of Isaiah: ’You will be ever hearing but never understanding; you will be ever seeing but never perceiving’” (Matthew 13:13-14). 
The greatest and wisest men are those who see further and deeper than others. Jesus saw what blind eyes could not see, and He was calm and joyful, even in the presence of agony and death.  The truest vision is the vision of faith. The world says, “Seeing is believing”…whereas, the Gospel says, “Believing is seeing.” There is a great spiritual world that we’ve never seen with our physical eyes. The clearer sight we have of the power of heaven, the less we shall fear the troubles of earth.

Two missionaries in Malaysia walked to a distant village for some money which had been sent to a bank for them. When they were returning to their station, night overtook them. They prayed and committed themselves to God. Then they lay down to sleep on a lonely hillside. Some weeks later a man came to the mission hospital for treatment.  He looked intently at the missionary doctor. “I have seen you before,” he said. “No, I don’t believe we have ever met,” the doctor replied. “But we have met before,” insisted the man. “You were sleeping one night on a hillside. Several of us saw you withdraw some money from the bank. We followed you, intending to rob you when it was dark. But we could not get near you because of all the soldiers that were surrounding you. “Soldiers!” exclaimed the missionary. “There were no soldiers with us!” The bandit said, “But there were soldiers with you. I saw them and so did my companions...16 of we ran away."  Psalm 34:7 says,“The angel of the Lord encamps round about those that fear him, and delivers them”.
Jesus has come to correct our spiritual vision! Luke 4:18: “The spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he has sent me to heal the broken-hearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised.” So the next time your heart is filled with fear, look up and see the chariots of fire!  If you’re afraid of death and judgment, then look to Jesus as Savior. Don’t be blind to His love and power to forgive you.

Blessings, Don

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