“‘Don’t be afraid!’ Elisha told him, ‘For there are more on our side than on theirs!’ Then Elisha prayed, ‘O LORD, open his eyes and let him see!’” 2 Kings 6:16-17a (NIV)
How’s your eyesight? A friend told his optometrist that the problem was not with his eyes; it was just that his arms were too short to hold what he needed to see! Some people are blessed with 20/20 eyesight yet suffer from spiritual blindness. So, let me ask the question again: How’s your spiritual vision? When is the last time you had a checkup?
As I look through the corrective lenses of God’s Word daily, my vision improves. I am able to see what God sees. It changes my whole perspective on my circumstances. When you look at your circumstances today, what do you see? You may be overwhelmed by debt, discouraged by demands you can’t humanly fulfill, or facing an impossible situation. The prophet, Elisha, had a servant who could relate to what you’re feeling. He woke up early one morning and, when he went outside, he looked up and saw an enemy army with horses and chariots surrounding them!
“Oh no, my lord? What shall we do?’ the servant asked.” 2 Kings 6:15 (NIV)
I love this story in the Old Testament. It begins with opening the eyes of a man who was spiritually blind and ends with blinding the eyes of an army who could see. Elisha’s servant could only see with his physical eyes, and what he saw was an imminent threat! The odds were against him, and he feared for his life! His response was natural. He drew a reasonable conclusion, based on the circumstances he could see, and there was no way out! That’s what you do when you walk by sight. As Christ followers, though, we are called to walk by faith. Faith doesn’t deny the reality of the circumstances. Faith just doesn’t determine truth from those circumstances. Faith sees those circumstances through the lenses of God’s promises in order to determine the truth about them. While the servant was panicking, Elisha was at peace. Both were facing the same imminent threat. Have you ever wondered how two people can experience the same set of circumstances, and one is in a panic while the other remains calm? Elisha was walking by faith and told his servant,
“Don’t be afraid … For there are more on our side than on theirs!”
I can imagine this servant taking a second look around and beginning to count at that moment. But, before he could tell Elisha what the real odds were against them, the Bible says, Elisha prayed,
“O LORD, open his eyes and let him see!”
See what? Let him see with the eyes of faith. Give him spiritual eyesight. One commentary said, “Faith reveals that God is doing more for His people than we can ever realize through sight alone. When you face difficulties that seem insurmountable, remember that spiritual resources are there even if you can’t see them. Look with the eyes of faith, and let God show you His resources. If you don’t see God working in your life, the problem may be your spiritual eyesight not God’s power.” (Life Application Bible)
After Elisha prayed for his servant the Bible says,
“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 6:17b (NLT)
Now, we get how Elisha had such peace. He knew God had a hedge of protection around him and that he was in the will of God. Being in the will of God is the safest place we can ever be. Faith enables us to see God’s invisible army and trust Him to protect us. Elisha looked through the lenses of God’s promise from Psalm 34:7 that says,
“The angel of the Lord encamps all around those who fear Him, and He delivers them.”
Rather than determining the truth about his situation from his circumstances, Elisha turned to the Lord and God gave him the truth!
Do you walk by faith or by sight alone? If you’re like me, when you read a story like this, you identify more with the servant than you do Elisha. That’s okay. It simply motivates us to pray,
“O LORD, open (my) eyes and let (me) see.”