In troubled times, a lot of things depend on how we see. Do we see the presence of God, His protection, and His provision? Especially in times like these we need to be able to open our eyes and turn them upon Jesus so that we may see spiritually what is going on around us.
One of the comforting things about the Bible is how real the people are that are within it. The same struggles and the same challenges are there for us to read about, and from within these accounts are often great encouragement. Recently, Pr Lee Kuan Ming from Glad Tidings PJ shared a powerful message about the eyes of faith.
His anchoring text of 2 Kings 6:15-17 is one of the most powerful passages in the Bible. In it, we read of how the man of God, Elisha and his servant were surrounded by enemies and chariots. Through the physical eyes, they seem to be alone and defenceless. In fact, the servant thought that this was their doom-day. And then Elisha prayed, and the servant’s eyes were opened, and he saw..
The Lord lifted the servant’s blindness, and on the hills around them were the horses and the chariots of fire of God’s army – more numerous than that of the enemy.
Do we fear for our children in these unreliable times, beset by ungodly influences and uncertainties? What do our children need? Why are so many children interested in what is ultimately destructive? Pr Lee shared that they are mainly alike in that they are lonely and want to be somebody. They think they are not beautiful and they want to be. They search for independence. They would like their life to have meaning and connected to something that is worthwhile.
The truth is the Gospel is the best answer to all of these. Within the Gospel can be found the mirror to their beauty in God’s eyes, their strength in difficult times, their identity, the true meaning of freedom and a connection to something that is worth having. In all the time of His ministry, Jesus gave sight to blind eyes. Do we know of anyone who are oppressed and blinded by the enemy? We need to intercede and pray for them.
The servant of Elisha had eyes to see but he had not spiritual vision. Pr Lee expressed that the wisest people see furthest. Of all vision, the greatest vision is faith. To the world, seeing is believing. But in God’s Kingdom, believing is seeing. We believe and then we see.
With faith and with our spiritual eyes, we see a great spiritual world that we cannot see with our physical eyes; the supernatural things of the world. The clearer the sight we have of the power of Heaven, the less we fear the troubles of earth. If we look at the world, there are many things that will cause distress but if we look at Christ we will be at rest. We need to be able to see both the things around us (the needs of the people around us, what the enemy is trying to do in our lives..) but at the same time we need to look up because Jesus is still alive. He is still supreme over every affair of the nations.
The servant of Elisha was so focused on the enemy he couldn’t see God’s chariots of fire. How would we fare in regard to our faith? What would we do if we were in the same situation? Can we see with the eyes of faith? The angels of God are with us and they will defend us.
Pr Lee imparted that the servant represents a great deal about humanity, people like you and me. But because the servant was so afraid, he could not see three central things about God and the security we have in Him. Firstly, he could not see God’s presence. In Jeremiah 23:24, the Lord declares; ‘Do I not fill heaven and Earth?’ In Psalm 139 the psalmist celebrates God’s omnipresence. The special presence of God is promised to those who follow Jesus Christ and know Him well.
Elisha knew this truth; he lived continually in the presence of God. This is the reason why he could be so tranquil and in control of the situation. ‘The reassurance “Don’t be afraid” is mentioned 365 times in the Bible,’ Pr Lee conveyed. ‘His hand is upon us. It is often in times of danger that make clear to our blind eyes the powerful presence of God. If we have eyes to see, we will feel enveloped by the protecting care of God.’
Stress is constant. Healthy stress is necessary to drive us towards our goal. But there is also unhealthy stress. How do we overcome such types of stress? We need to focus on Jesus. The Bible is full of examples of men and women of God who trusted in God’s presence. Abraham went forth to a new land, putting his faith in God’s leading. Moses obeyed God’s calling and lead a whole people out of bondage on a journey into a Promised Land. Nehemiah rebuilt the walls of Jerusalem amidst the ridicule of his own people.
The servant also could not see at first God’s protection. Until the Lord opened his eyes and he saw that there were more with Elisha than in the enemy’s army.. There are angels of God who are encamped around us.
What do we see when we see with our spiritual eyes? We see God’s provision. The servant’s eyes were opened upon Elisha’s prayer. Prayer moves the hands of God and when His hands are moved, mighty things happen. God specialises in deliverance (Daniel, Peter from prison, Hezekiah; faced by same situation in 2 Kings 19, King Hezekiah prayed and God sent His angels).
Victory is not by human might or power but through God’s spirit, Scripture reminds us in Zechariah 4:6. God is always with us in the place where He has placed us and where He is, is holy ground. Draw close to Christ and seek His peace. There is a cause and effect – first prayer, and then comes peace.
Pr Lee shared that we need spiritual eyes, and our spiritual eyes will see if we spent time with God and His word. The greatest testimonies come like those of the healed blind man in John 9, who was once blind but who now could see. The great evangelist George Fox once said the best see-ers, not the best say-ers, are the greatest messengers for God.
How then do we grow our spiritual eyes?
Feed on God’s word (Romans 10:17)
Seeing also depends on where we stand. We stand on God’s word.
Seeing also depends on the person we are, how close we draw to Christ. Be the best disciple for Christ (Matthew 5:8)
When we are troubled, look to Jesus. He is the source of our peace, our strength and source of grace. The Lord is with us. He protects us and He delivers us.
NOTE: This write-up was highly inspired by a sermon shared by Rev Lee Kuan Ming at the Sunday Service of Glad Tidings on the 26th of February. It has not been vetted by Pr Lee or the church of Glad Tidings PJ. To access the original message you may visit the video page uploaded by the church at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CUK3KPuKLuE
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