Your faith or your fear depend on your perspective and in turn your perspective depends on your faith or your fear. This story of Elisha and the King of Syria is an illustration of that point. Verses 8-10 read,
“Once when the king of Syria was warring against Israel, he took counsel with his servants, saying, “At such and such a place shall be my camp.” 9 But the man of God sent word to the king of Israel, “Beware that you do not pass this place, for the Syrians are going down there.” 10 And the king of Israel sent to the place about which the man of God told him. Thus he used to warn him, so that he saved himself there more than once or twice.”
Elisha’s perspective was one in which God was El Shaddai, All-Sufficient Mighty Lord. He had a close relationship to God and his ears and heart were always open ready to receive a word or command. Because Elisha’s perception of the world was through faith, the King of Israel was blessed along with Israel herself. Elisha’s natural vision did not dictate what he knew to be true, his supernatural vision buoyed him. Like Moses before him, Elisha kept his eyes on the Lord, who is unseen to the world (Hebrews 11:27).
The king of Syria was becoming paranoid. It was clear to him that someone was telling Israel’s army their secret plans. He was sure he had a mole. Verses 11-14 read,
“And the mind of the king of Syria was greatly troubled because of this thing, and he called his servants and said to them, “Will you not show me who of us is for the king of Israel?” 12 And one of his servants said, “None, my lord, O king; but Elisha, the prophet who is in Israel, tells the king of Israel the words that you speak in your bedroom.” 13 And he said, “Go and see where he is, that I may send and seize him.” It was told him, “Behold, he is in Dothan.” 14 So he sent there horses and chariots and a great army, and they came by night and surrounded the city.”
It was the king’s servant who explained that Israel had The LORD who knows what is said in secret (Matthew 6:4), and it was Elisha, the man of God who was telling the king their plans. The Syrian king could only see the world in terms of his power and pride. So he devised a secret plan to capture Elisha and to do so with great intimidation. He sent a great army to capture God’s prophet.
Of course The Lord told Elisha and of course Elisha didn’t give in to fear. What is a great army against The Lord of angel armies? Romans 8:31-35 reminds us,
“What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? 32 He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things? 33 Who shall bring any charge against God's elect? It is God who justifies. 34 Who is to condemn? Christ Jesus is the one who died—more than that, who was raised—who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us. 35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword?”
So the Syrian army headed to capture Elisha. Verses 15-16 read,
“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.”
Elisha’s servant walked out in the morning and his natural eyes showed him a fearsome sight. He reacted to those terrifying circumstances. He turned to Elisha and said, “What should we do?” But Elisha assured his servant that those who were with them were greater than those who were against them. I wonder if the servant looked around and thought Elisha had lost it. He could only see the two of them. Elisha though had The Spirit of God on him just like Timothy, the eventual successor to his title (1 Timothy 6:11). He knew there was nothing to fear. He remained calm because he saw his circumstances through the Spirit’s eyes and not his own. 2 Timothy 1:6-7 reads,
“For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands, 7 for God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.”
Not everyone is at the same place as you are in there walk with Christ. Some are less mature, others are more mature. Some have no problem looking at the world through the Spirit’s eyes, others need help. Paul laid his hands on Timothy to impart the gifts of the Holy Spirit. Elisha prayed for his servant to see through God’s eyes. Verses 17-19 read,
“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. 19 And Elisha said to them, “This is not the way, and this is not the city. Follow me, and I will bring you to the man whom you seek.” And he led them to Samaria.”
Elisha never gave in to fear because he chose to see, hear, and think in the Spirit. He calmly and logically ask the Lord to fight for him. If his deeper vision had saved him, the army that wanted to capture him would lose because they were made blind. God made the army ignorant of where they were and who they sought. Elisha then only had to lead them to the king of Israel. Verses 20-23 read,
“As soon as they entered Samaria, Elisha said, “O Lord, open the eyes of these men, that they may see.” So the Lord opened their eyes and they saw, and behold, they were in the midst of Samaria. 21 As soon as the king of Israel saw them, he said to Elisha, “My father, shall I strike them down? Shall I strike them down?” 22 He answered, “You shall not strike them down. Would you strike down those whom you have taken captive with your sword and with your bow? Set bread and water before them, that they may eat and drink and go to their master.” 23 So he prepared for them a great feast, and when they had eaten and drunk, he sent them away, and they went to their master. And the Syrians did not come again on raids into the land of Israel.”
Imagine the army’s shock when their eyes were opened and realized where they were. The king of Israel was ready to slaughter them. But once again Elisha’s Spirit perspective pointed out the wiser choice. Rather than kill them and have more troops sent to avenge them and try and capture Elisha and the king, they opened their eyes showed them the greatness of God and even fed them. They saw that Israel had nothing to fear because The Lord is Great. They went home and reported that to their king and he did not dare send more troops against The LORD. They certainly were not going to go again. They could have been killed or held captive, but instead they were shown mercy, given a great feast, and sent home. Elisha showed the men the nature of God.
Elisha revealed God to his servant, to the king of Israel, to the Syrian army, and through them to the Syrian king. We have the onus of revealing The Lord God, Jesus Christ to everyone we can as well. We see The Truth, but they are blind to it. We can ask the Lord to open their eyes. We can demonstrate God’s love and nature to the world, so they can see Jesus.
We see the world through eyes of faith. Hebrews 11:1-3 defines faith this way,
“Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. 2 For by it the people of old received their commendation. 3 By faith we understand that the universe was created by the word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things that are visible.”
Faith, seeing through God’s eyes moves us to act. It is a way of living. 2 Corinthians 5:6-8 in The Message says,
“That’s why we live with such good cheer. You won’t see us drooping our heads or dragging our feet! Cramped conditions here don’t get us down. They only remind us of the spacious living conditions ahead. It’s what we trust in but don’t yet see that keeps us going. Do you suppose a few ruts in the road or rocks in the path are going to stop us? When the time comes, we’ll be plenty ready to exchange exile for homecoming.”
Verses 11-14 of that same chapter read,
“That keeps us vigilant, you can be sure. It’s no light thing to know that we’ll all one day stand in that place of Judgment. That’s why we work urgently with everyone we meet to get them ready to face God. God alone knows how well we do this, but I hope you realize how much and deeply we care. We’re not saying this to make ourselves look good to you. We just thought it would make you feel good, proud even, that we’re on your side and not just nice to your face as so many people are. If I acted crazy, I did it for God; if I acted overly serious, I did it for you. Christ’s love has moved me to such extremes. His love has the first and last word in everything we do.”
Believer, you see the world through supernatural Godly eyes, do not keep that vision to yourself. Pray that God opens the eyes of the people you meet. Live in such a way that they will see Jesus when they look at you.