We are Not Alone

“Don’t be afraid,” the prophet answered. “Those who are with us are more than those who are with them.”
And Elisha prayed, “O LORD, open his eyes so 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 6:17

This is the passage we read about as kids. The Lord opened the servant’s eyes and he saw that the hills were full of horses and chariots of fire. It’s a beautiful reminder to us all that there’s a spiritual battle going on around us that we cannot see or hear. We’re not in this fight alone, even though the world may be crashing down all around us.

Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies. Who is he that condemns? Christ Jesus, who died-more than that, who was raised to life-is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us. Romans 8:33-34

Certainly there’s an unseen battle going on around us. Whether it’s the horses and chariots that Elisha’s servant saw or Christ Jesus going to the Father on our behalf, we are not alone.

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We are Elisha’s Servant

When the servant of the man of God got up and went out early the next morning, an army with horses and chariots had surrounded the city. “Oh, my lord, what shall we do?” the servant asked.
“Don’t be afraid,” the prophet answered. “Those who are with us are more than those who are with them.”
2 Kings 6:15-16

Imagine Elisha’s servant’s surprise when he woke that morning. Surrounded. North, South, East, and West. Horses. Men. Chariots. Weapons. No escape. He brought Elisha the bad news: they were in big trouble. Pause right there.

We are Elisha’s servant.

We worry and fret and wring our hands and count the enemies and see a dead end. The obstacles we see are insurmountable at times. Rather than focusing on God’s omnipotent power in any situation, we see a series of hurdles that are ten feet high. Instead of dropping to our knees in dependence upon Him, we tell everyone who will listen.

How different our lives would be if we hurled our cares upon Him first. 1 Peter 5:7

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Your Reputation Precedes You

This enraged the king of Aram. He summoned his officers and demanded of them, “Will you not tell me which of us is on the side of the king of Israel?”
“None of us, my lord the king,” said one of his officers, “but Elisha, the prophet who is in Israel, tells the king of Israel the very words you speak in your bedroom.”
2 Kings 6:11-12

It must have been frustrating for the king of Aram to do battle against Israel when a known prophet of God, Elisha, was foretelling the shots for Israel. How can you compete against that kind of intelligence? Elisha’s reputation definitely preceded him. In that time period there was no internet or cable news. A person’s reputation was saved or sunk by word of mouth.

Does your reputation precede you? Of course it does. The question is, how is that reputation? There will always be naysayers and doubters and gossipers and slanderers who malign your name and reputation, but I’m not talking about those. What do your co-workers say about you? What does your boss say about you to her boss? What about your fellow churchgoers? What do they say about you? When I first became a Believer 25+ years ago, I overheard someone say (about me), “if Dave says he’ll be there, count on it!” It was a small glimpse into my own reputation.

A good name is more desirable than great riches… Proverbs 22:1

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The Spectacular vs. the Mundane Miracles of God

The man of God asked, “Where did it fall?” When he showed him the place, Elisha cut a stick and threw it there, and made the iron float. “Lift it out,” he said. Then the man reached out his hand and took it. 2 Kings 6:6-7

The “company of prophets” Elisha was with would learn more in one day with that one miracle than any kind of lecture or teaching ever could. The prophets were setting up camp. An axhead fell into the water. The prophets informed Elisha about the incident. Elisha raised up the piece of iron so the prophets could get back to work.

We all know that iron axheads do not float, but this one did. The company of prophets must have been astounded. And human nature what it is, you can bet that the prophets were all trying the same thing after Elisha left.

But Elisha’s point wasn’t that with a few magical words, heavy axheads would float so you could retrieve them. No, Elisha was showing the power of God in a practical way.

Without a doubt Elisha had a special anointing on his life and was promised a double portion of what Elijah was given. We too marvel when we see the hand of God at work. We’ve all heard the healing stories of God’s miraculous handiwork. But it takes a little more to appreciate the “mundane” miracles of God: a child of God believing even though He doesn’t heal her at the moment, an alcoholic’s life turned around, a prostitute completely forgiven of her sins, a child’s innocent prayer answered.

God performs the spectacular, to be sure. But don’t miss the smaller miracles we can marvel in every day.

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Lies, Lies, All Lies

“Where have you been, Gehazi?” Elisha asked. “Your servant didn’t go anywhere,” Gehazi answered. 2 Kings 5:25

Not only did Gehazi do what was opposed to what Elisha had done, but he lied about it when he returned home. The entire time Gehazi is travelling to meet Naaman, he had to have known that what he was about to do was wrong. We don’t know the distance but certainly Gehazi was conjuring up a lie to tell Gehazi, the one that would be the most believable. And Gehazi was foolish enough to think that he wouldn’t get caught! We wonder what might have happened had he not try to cover it up.

We are faced with choices every day. We have the truth and everything else: gray areas, half truths, bald-faced lies, white lies, stretching the truth, fudging the truth, covering for someone, tall tales, fibbing, lying through your teeth, and distortions. We’ve made dishonesty an art form. But to be fair, we can’t hold a candle to many other cultures when it comes to lying.

But ironically enough, the One to Whom we are rarely honest is the One who knows our very thoughts! And He knows why we’re withholding information from Him! It’s not that we’re dishonest with Him but we just don’t think He cares about our inner beings, especially when it comes to confessing our sins again and again and again and yet again. So why are we hiding? What do we have to lose when we bare our souls in honest devotion and confession? The bigger question is ‘what do we have to gain?’ A clear conscience and a soul at rest.

“Be at rest once more, O my soul, for the LORD has been good to you.”
Psalm 116:7

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