Not Your Battle: pt 1

-This post is the first of a two part series. “Not Your Battle: pt 2” posted 8/4/17-

“Don’t be afraid,” the prophet answered. “Those who are with us are more than those who are with them.” And Elisha prayed, “Open his eyes, Lord, so that he may see.” Then the Lord opened the servant’s eyes, and he looked and saw the hills full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha.”

2 Kings 6:16-17

          Have you ever found yourself in a situation where you felt like you were outnumbered, outgunned, hopeless, and helpless? I’m sure you can think of at least a few times when you were vulnerable or defenseless. Sometimes we feel like we are surrounded by strong forces, whether it be human or spiritual. Your boss is coming down on you. Your family cuts you out. Your peers gang up on you. You just can’t seem to measure up to the expectations others have for you, or you fall short of the goals you have set for yourself.

          These things cast a dark shadow over our lives. You start to feel inferior or incapable. You are scared about what the future might hold for you and you are afraid you won’t be able to face the challenges ahead of you. You might be tempted to just run and hide from the things that you come up against, but there is hope. Our hope comes from knowing we don’t have to face our enemies alone. There are plenty of examples in the Bible of God intervening and taking charge of these kind of situations. Today we will focus on a story of Elisha and his servant from 2 Kings 6:8-22.

          The Israelites and Arameans were at war with one another. The prophet, Elisha, was providing intel to the king of Israel on the plans and whereabouts of the Arameans. This, of course, enraged the king of Aram so he demanded his officers to tell him who was betraying them to the Israelites. They told him, “Elisha, the prophet who is in Israel, tells the king of Israel the very words you speak in your bedroom.” (verse 12). The king then found out where Elisha was and sent horses and chariots and a strong force to capture him (verse 14). They snuck in at night and surrounded the city.

          When the servant of Elisha woke up the next morning, he saw that they were surrounded by a large Aramean army. Naturally, he was terrified. He asks Elisha, “What shall we do?” In verse 16, Elisha tells the man not to be afraid because “Those who are with us are more than those who are with them.” It certainly didn’t seem that way to the servant, and I’m sure he was feeling doubtful. However, in verse 17, the Lord revealed to him what Elisha was referring to. His eyes were opened and he was able to see that the hills were full of heavenly armies. The servant was unable to see this at first. He was blinded by fear. He was so afraid and overwhelmed by his situation that he couldn’t see that God was already protecting him.

          This man lacked faith. Do you ever have a lack of faith when you come up against unconquerable obstacles? Maybe you don’t have soldiers knocking on your door, but you still have battles to fight. You wake up to emails pressuring you to finish the project faster. You wake up to kids that require more of you than you think you can give. You grapple with habits and addictions that you just can’t shake.  So what do we do? How do we face the uncertainty? Let’s learn from the story in 2 Kings 6.

Here are a few steps we can take:

  1. Ask
  2. Open Your Eyes
  3. Give it to God
  • Ask– the servant asks “Oh, my lord, what shall we do?” We don’t always have all the answers. We need the help of other people. A different perspective can give great clarity. Surround yourself with Godly mentors that can guide you through tough circumstances. More importantly, ask God. Prayer isn’t always the first thing we do in a crisis. Usually we try to think of everything we can do to fix a problem on our own. When we can’t fix it, hide it, or pay money to make it go away, then we let God try, as a last resort. That’s backwards. Just ask.
  • Open Your Eyes (and your heart)- Look through the eyes of faith. God has more resources than we could ever hope to have. Spiritual resources are more easily obtainable than we think, even if we can’t see them. “God of Angel Armies” is more than a clever lyric from a church song. God’s armies are always there, fighting battles that we don’t see through our human eyes and protecting us from dangers we don’t even know exist. If you don’t see the ways God is working in your life, ask Him for a spiritual eye check.
  • Give it to God– Once the servant was able to see the vast armies around him and Elisha, he realized that he was no longer outnumbered. What happens next may come as a surprise. Elisha and his servant don’t pick up their swords and charge the enemy, like we might have expected. They let God take over and do as He pleases. They give the battle over to God. We sometimes forget that step. We don’t have to fight every war. We just need to give up control so God can deliver us.

          Next time you come up against a hurdle that you can’t clear, ask God. Take a look around with clear eyes, and let God work. You don’t always have to have a solution, you just need to trust in the Master.

7.4.17

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