Surrounded

170803-paddleboarders-surrounded-sharks-02-1 (2)Life has a way of closing in on you – right? I’m talking about those times when everything seems to be going well, then BAM! An emergency, a tragedy or a concern pops from out of nowhere.

Maybe experiences from your past still haunt you and current problems only add to that. Or perhaps you are struggling in one area of your life and then here comes another problem.

With no time to grasp the significance of your current struggle, now you must contend with something else. You try to harness your strength and get a handle on what’s happening, but one crisis follows another. It’s beginning to feel like misfortune surrounds you and prevents any way of escape.

An Example

The prophet Elisha had a servant who woke one morning to an alarming sight. The army of his enemy had surrounded the city where he was working. Here he was trying to serve his employer the best he knew how only to find his life in peril. “Oh no,” he cried to Elisha, “what shall we do now?”

This reaction is not uncommon to those of us who find our predicament bigger than ourselves. Financial, relational, or health concerns can bring us to our knees and have us crying to whoever will listen, “what shall I do now?” When life gets too big for us, we need something bigger than life.

Open Your Eyes to What You Can’t See

Elisha’s response probably confused his assistant. Calmly and with no alarm he explained, “those who are with us are more than those who are with them.” Now, this scene set in 2 Kings is a little comical to me. Just picture this petrified servant hearing his employer making such a ridiculous assessment. I think he looked out at the hundreds of warriors, chariots, and horses and then counted, on one hand, himself and Elisha. 

No doubt he was struggling with the prophet’s math. Or perhaps he thought Elisha had a mental breakdown because of the shock of their imminent doom. Then he heard his master pray, “open his eyes, Lord so he may see.” Miracuously, the magnificent sight of an angelic host including chariots and fire appeared between them and their foe. 

To be honest, I have never had an angelic vision. None. That’s not to say it doesn’t happen with others, just hasn’t with me. But one thing I do have which is just as important. I have a promise.

Greater

Any Christian worth their salt of Sunday School certificates knows this scripture,

“Greater is he who is in me than he who is in the world.”

It is a Christian battle cry. It has been the climax of many a sermon I have heard, and it still can get the hair on my arms to rise. But beyond the emotional response to it being well placed in oration, it is significant to those of us who are currently in the battle of our lives.

You see, it’s not so much that I can see heaven fighting on my behalf, or a Christophany waging war on my struggles. But one thing I am sure about, the battles I am currently fighting are already won.

I should stop worrying about the enormity of my problems and focus on the magnitude of my God. And not that He’s just between me and my trouble, but He’s inside of me making me stronger and wiser to overcome any and all problems which come my way.

The Difference

Elisha’s servant did not have problems with his eyesight, he saw the physical problem well. His struggles were he had no spiritual perspective. He could only see the problem from the height of his humanity.

On the other hand, Elisha, as a man of God, looked at the problem differently. He realized the forces which were with them and understood the assurance of their protection.

As a Spirit-filled Christian, I am armed with something unique. I have the capacity to not worry with the problems I face and believe in those things I can’t physically see (Hebrews 11:1). I’m not sure Elisha could see the heavenly host protecting him and his servant. I do know he knew they were there. Do You?

 

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