“...that I may gain Christ and be found in him...”—Philippians 3:8-9, NIV1984

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Chariots of Fire

15 When the servant of the man of God rose early in the morning and went out, behold, an army with horses and chariots was all around the city. And the servant said, “Alas, my master! What shall we do?” 16 He said, “Do not be afraid, for those who are with us are more than those who are with them.”  17 Then Elisha prayed and said, “O Lord, please open his eyes that he may see.” So the Lord opened the eyes of the young man, and he saw, and behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha. 18 And when the Syrians came down against him, Elisha prayed to the Lord and said, “Please strike this people with blindness.” So he struck them with blindness in accordance with the prayer of Elisha.—2 Kings 6:15-18, ESV

I imagine that this event was no surprise to Elisha since he knew what the king of Syria said in secret, but this alarmed Elisha’s servant. He could not see both the seen and unseen elements of the battle. Elisha had confidence that God would protect him and defeat his enemies.

While we may not see like Elisha did, we can be confident that God protects us in a spiritual sense from shipwrecking our faith and ultimately being separated from Him eternally. Yes, we may face persecution and suffering in many forms and could ultimately lose our physical lives for the sake of proclaiming Christ. Yet, we have confidence that comes from trusting in Jesus Christ for salvation (see Rom. 8:31-39). We are confident not because we lived “good” lives or had strong faith, but because Jesus paid it all. This is cause for rejoicing and moving forward in the work God has prepared in advance for us to do (see Eph. 2:8-10).