April 13, 2016

2 Kings 6:17 And Elisha prayed, “O Lord, open his eyes 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 round Elisha.

Reading this story again, I really think the Star Wars people may have gotten some of their inspiration from it, because what follows this seems like a “Jedi mind trick” to me! The whole point of this story is that spiritual reality is not usually visible to the natural eye, and that’s important to remember. I have a feeling that from the point he saw Elijah taken up to heaven (2 Kings 2) Elisha operated more and more in the spirit realm, and not just in the natural. As such, he should be a model and an inspiration to all believers today, because we are to walk by the Holy Spirit, and not by the merely natural. (Romans 8:4) However, it goes without saying that such living doesn’t “come naturally” to us! Rather, we need to be active in our pursuit of God, choosing Him in preference to other things, filling our minds and hearts with His Word and listening humbly to Him. If we will do that, our eyes too will be opened, and we will see what is really going on around us, just as Elisha’s young servant did.

I find that I pray for people’s eyes to be opened at least as much as I pray for anything else, because I am constantly astonished at how blind people are to spiritual reality. I’m not talking about horses and chariots of fire, but rather of the very fundamental issues of right and wrong, of light and darkness, of life and death. That sometimes creates a real communication gap, because I’ll be talking about things that seem perfectly obvious to me and get blank stares in return. That makes me cry out, Lord, open their eyes! However such “enlightenment” (for once the Buddhists have a pretty good word for it) seldom happens as instantly as it did in this story. I need to remember the path that I have come and exercise toward others the patience that has been shown to me, aware that I continue to have areas of blindness myself. This has been the experience of God’s people down through the ages, and I’ve got to trust Him with the process. That’s not at all to say that I’m to be passive, but rather that I must remember that I can’t force anyone to open their eyes; I’ve got to speak the truth in love and allow the Holy Spirit to do the illuminating.

Father, it is so encouraging to me when people say things that show they are starting to see. Keep me from being discouraged at how far between such incidents can be, but rather stay faithful to You myself, continuing to press into You to be available for however You desire to use me, for the salvation of others and for Your glory. Thank You. Praise God!

About jgarrott

Born and raised in Japan of missionary parents. Have been here as an adult missionary since 1981.
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