I used to ask God to show himself to me. He never did.
I can’t help but think my faith would be stronger if an angel, or angels, appeared to me as they did to Elisha’s servant. If you recall the story, then you know it’s an impressive illustration of God’s existence in a parallel dimension.
The king of Aram was engaged in a war with the King of Israel. After a series of military setbacks the Aramean King discovered that Elisha was finding out his battle plans in advance and passing them along to the King of Israel. Seeking to kill the prophet, he sent an army to Dothan, Elisha’s hometown. When the prophet’s servant awoke and went outside he saw the city surrounded by an army of horses and chariots. Terrified, he asked his master, “What shall we do?” (2 Kings 6:15). Not a bad question considering the apparent hopelessness of the situation.
The prophet calmly said, “Don’t be afraid. Those who are with us are more than those who are with them” (2 Kings 6:16).
I don’t think Elisha’s servant bought into the prophet’s evaluation. His twenty-twenty vision told him a massive army surrounded the two of them. He may have rubbed his eyes and looked again but the odds were not in their favor. Sensing his servant’s fear, Elisha prayed, “O LORD, open his eyes so he may see” (2 Kings 6:17).
Immediately, a miracle occurred. God allowed Elisha’s servant to see into the spiritual dimension. The text says, “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).
I wonder, did Elisha see the angels all along, or did he simply believe they were there? In either case, he lived with an acute awareness of God’s presence. I believe if God “opened our eyes” so we could see into the parallel spiritual dimension, we would see God at our side along with a host of his angels.
Such a statement rests on biblical revelation. Jesus himself promised, “I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counselor to be with you forever” (John 14:16). The author of Hebrews reminds us that God promised, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you” (Hebrews 13:5). Elsewhere he asked, are not angels, “ministering spirits sent to serve those who will inherit salvation?” (Hebrews 1:14).
The source of your spiritual power isn’t across the room, down the street, or on the other side of town. He is within you and beside you. He is closer than your shadow. All you need to do is cry out. He’ll hear your call and release his power through you. You must never forget that the enemy doesn’t fear you, he fears your God. The moment you call on him, the evil one will flee and your spirit will be energized. The God who is present waits for you to trust in him, rather than yourself. The warrior within you is awakened by the Lord of Hosts and energized by the God of creation.
Photo by Aidan McRae Thomson, CC
You know Bill I don’t think the word thankful expresses the fullness that is shed reading what you’ve written. Taking life for granted is not the lesson that is portrayed through experience; rather this is impractical and an immense distortion of self absorption.
But knowing that god dwells for his creation and allows us to receive his love is magnanimous. It’s as if fear itself runs feverishly away when the author of our faith that cloths us with the ever lasting procession his faith. We stand like the Ceders of Lebanon and are rooted in the Christ blood that is shed and the light that comes out of his being is the food that we do take and eat for granted.
Thanks for the inspiration that so gently nudges me to abandon the characteristics and emotions that ambulate with the flesh of ours eyes and ears. The distinction of what you wrote drives the images that are suggested to become vivid, practical walk that is digested as a personal salvation; becoming more and more prevalent, day in and day out as the spirit of our god sheds the tattered garments and vitalizes
my prayers and the words that I share with others.
Peace always friend, brother, Mr. Bill
Thanks for your post. Good thoughts.