For Those Feeling Surrounded
“Open my eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of your law.” (Psalm 119:18, ESV)
At the start of a new year, we tend to think that we should be living amazing lives. If you are, that’s great! If you aren’t, I want to first tell you that it’s okay, but I also want to challenge you with a question: What are you measuring your success by?
I have noticed some of us trying to change our motives and perspective in the new year, but in the process of doing so, we can fall back to the old habits of defining our emotions by our unfulfilled desires. When things aren’t going our way we tend to automatically think that we are doing something wrong and let that dictate how we feel. When we allow success or failure to shape our self-worth, we allow ourselves to miss out on God’s bigger picture and pass on the joy that awaits us. Do you relate? That could mean that you’re holding on to control and letting your plan direct your future. While the world wants you to think that you have every right to that method of thinking, as Christians we should want God to have full control.
Whether you define yourself as laid back or energetic, we are all particular and controlling people. We have expectations, plans, and fears. The thing is, we let that all play a much bigger role in our lives than they should. We so easily let our gaze drift from God’s provision to our own issues and because of that, we soon find ourselves feeling blinded to the hope of God that we once had.
In this new season, we need to get back to the basics of our faith. I know none of us want to walk into the beginning of 2018 feeling blinded or absorbed by our worries. In 2 Kings, we meet a man that lets his anxiety and worry get the best of him, leading him to actually go completely blind to the wonders that God is doing.
‘Then he sent horses and chariots and a strong force there. They went by night and surrounded the city. When the servant of the man of God got up and went out early the next morning, an army of horses and chariots had surrounded the city. “Oh no, 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.” And Elisha prayed, “Open his eyes, Lord, so that 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 6:14-17, NIV)
In this story, Elisha and his servant were under a lot of pressure because the King of Aram was very upset with Elisha, but as always, God had a plan. Elisha could see this plan and he had full faith in God’s abilities, but his servant was so enveloped in his worry that he had essentially blinded himself to the spiritual wonder that was happening all around him. When he walked out of his tent all he saw was what his earthly eyes could see in the physical. The king’s army had them surrounded and it seemed that all was against them. He couldn’t see the work that God was doing and the protection He was laying out on their behalf. He first looked at the problem and gave it all the power.
Elisha could see the same army his servant did, but he could also see what was happening in the Spirit. Elisha was able to see vast amounts of angels on chariots. When Elisha’s servant’s eyes were opened to God’s gigantic, impeccable army surrounding the earthly king’s, I know he had to be in complete awe of the Lord’s might.
Some of us are standing in the same shoes as Elisha’s servant today, blinded to the wonder that God is trying to perform right before us. We are occupying our time with meaningless things and desires. The reason you are feeling surrounded is because of how you interpret the situations in your life. If you look to fulfill your own desires, you will constantly feel empty. But if you strive to have a front row seat to God’s faithfulness, you will only find complete and utter joy.
Making the transition of giving your desires the back seat and letting God’s provision take the wheel isn't going to happen overnight. Instead, take today and start by just letting go. Stop caring what that girl or guy thinks. Stop getting hung up on wanting to be someone you’re not. Start loving you for you, and loving life for the blessing it is.
Choosing each day to be happy because you’re blessed, rather than letting circumstances bring you down, will slowly lead to you becoming an Elisha. Put on your spiritual eyes this year. You can have heavenly 20/20 vision. This way, when you feel surrounded, you won’t be distracted by the problem; instead, you’ll see the power of God that overwhelms the problem with His love.
Elisha’s servant let himself be fooled. He let Satan blind him to the miraculous character of God. But the servant didn’t stay that way. God opened his eyes and He can do the same for you.
God has so much to show you this year, aren’t you ready to see it?
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