Spiritual danger takes many forms, and the forces behind it have one goal in mind: our destruction. Paul tells us to be aware of this and to “be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour” (1 Peter 5:8, NIV). There is a devil, and the Bible tells us his name is Satan.
In the past two issues, we’ve studied Elijah’s prayer life, but now let’s study an incident in the life of his successor, Elisha. Read 2 Kings 6:8-23. What can this story teach us about relying on God to defeat our enemy?
Elisha’s servant got up early one morning and went outside. He looked around and got a very nasty shock. The Aramean army surrounded them!
Terrified, the servant raced into the house to blurt out the bad news to Elisha. But Elisha reassured him and prayed, “O Lord, open his eyes so he may see” (2 Kings 6:17, NIV).
Suddenly the servant saw horses and fantastic chariots of fire that made the iron ones the Arameans were sitting in look a bit silly. They covered the hills around the city.
Then Elisha said to his servant, “Don’t be afraid. … Those who are with us are more than those who are with them” (2 Kings 6:16, NIV). God then struck the entire Aramean army with blindness, and Elisha led them off to Samaria and straight into the hands of the king of Israel!
Like the army that surrounded Elisha, the devil’s forces surround us. But God is with us, as He was with Elisha. Look up the following references and list the facts about Satan and his work: Genesis 3:1-4, Job 1:6, John 12:31, 2 Corinthians 11:4, Hebrews 2:14, Revelation 9:11 and Revelation 20:2, 7. What should we do when we are surrounded?
Cry Out to the Lord
Since the enemy will always surround you while you live on this earth, prayer will become a constant necessity. I encourage you to cry out and keep on crying out.
Acknowledge your helplessness, which is the basis of all effective praying. The more challenges we face, the more opportunities we have to cast all our cares upon Him, for He cares for us (1 Peter 5:7, NKJV). Having our spiritual eyes open to the fact that we are His personal concern should give us confidence.
Find a Friend to Help You
Elisha said to his servant, “Don’t be afraid!” God would not tell us not to fear if it weren’t possible for us to obey Him. Fear torments, and God does not want His children tormented. But God never gives us a command to obey without the means to obey it. What were the means He made available to Elisha’s servant?
God had put someone in his life who could help him—Elisha, another servant who could see what he couldn’t yet see. God wants us to help each other with these issues of life. Find a friend to help you—someone who is just a little way ahead of you in the journey of life. Look for a person who can see spiritual realities a little more clearly than you can.
Once You Have Been Helped, Help Others
Do you know someone who is in need of some peace of mind? Maybe you have been down that road and you can draw near to this person and say, “Don’t be afraid.” All you need to do to minister to hurting people is to be one step ahead of them in life experience and in the knowledge of God’s help in times of trouble.
I love the part of Elisha’s story where he is given the clue to the enemy’s movements and warns his king. The Bible tells us to “know our enemy,” too. We are not to be ignorant of Satan’s devices. And the better we know the Word of God, the better we will be able to warn others of the enemy’s movements and help them avoid him. Elisha had learned to see the unseen, and he was eager to help his servant to do the same. Make a list of those whom the devil has blinded to truth. How could you help them?
See the Chariots of Fire
What does it mean to see the unseen? Most of us will never see the fiery chariots with our physical eyes, but we can learn to see them with the eyes of true faith, as Elisha and his servant did. Write out and memorize 2 Kings 6:16 as a reminder that the soldiers of the Lord’s army will garrison our hearts and minds with the peace of God. According to Philippians 4:7, as surely as those fiery chariots garrisoned the house of Elisha and his servant, so will God’s soldiers of peace “police” our thoughts and refuse to let anyone through to terrorize us!
Praise God for the Outcome
As we affirm our belief in the Lord’s superiority, we can begin to praise Him for the sure outcome of the conflict. Praise is a fierce weapon! It triumphs over its foes. It takes control of its enemies as surely as Elisha took control of the blinded army.
Sin and fear will not have dominion over you—God promised! Praise opens our eyes to the reality that God is not absent even when we cannot see Him. He always anticipates our dilemmas because He knows everything there is to know.
Just as Satan instigated the Aramean forces to try to stop Elisha and his servant, so he will move against any of us who are in tune with God. But God is ahead of Satan, just as He was ahead of the Arameans. He is working out His purposes, and He will prevail.
Jill Briscoe and her husband, Stuart, are ministers-at-large of Elmbrook Church and lead Telling the Truth, a broadcast and Internet ministry.