Hi friend. How are you today? I just parted ways with my mentor after meeting for brunch and our conversation centered on what it means to trust God. Trust is a word that keeps popping up for me. Do you ever feel like you keep hearing a word over and over, and you wonder why? That’s how I feel about trust right now. I think God’s been calling me to trust Him more with everything – with my finances, my job, my relationships, my passions, my battles.
One of my favorite Bible stories is in 2 Kings 6. Syria and Israel are fighting and Israel’s king seeks counsel from Elisha so he can avoid the Syrians. Syria’s king gets pretty upset when he continues to be outsmarted by Israel. He thinks there must be a mole in his army. After asking around, he discovers Elisha is counseling Israel and thwarting Syria’s plans. So, the Syrian king sends an army with horses and chariots to seize Elisha. The army surrounds the place where Elisha is staying with his servant, and things start to look dire. The servant is scared out of his mind.
Elisha tells him not to be afraid because those with them are greater than the army outside. Elisha prays for his servant and the Lord opens his eyes to see chariots of fire and horses all around. When the Syrians come against Elisha, he prays for them to be struck with blindness, and then routes them toward the Israel army, who feeds them and sends them back to Syria.
I love this story because it’s a mental and physical example of how we need to trust God to fight the war around us. The enemy has a large army and his tactics are fierce. And he doesn’t always focus on one area. He’ll come at you from all directions and if we’re not in tune with God – who He is and how He protects – we may be just as scared as Elisha’s servant.
There are several points I take from this story that I think are applicable to our walk.
One. God uses the faith of others to open our eyes to see His power, goodness and love. Elisha prayed for his servant to see the army around them and know that God was fighting their battle. As believers, we should be willing to be vulnerable with each other so we can pray for each other and point out how God is working in the situation. I know I personally value these callouts. Often I’m so close to a situation to see how God is working in it (or I choose not to see it), and to have someone take my hand and point out God’s provision provides so much peace.
Two. We don’t have to harm others to exert our power. We can be confident that God has our back, even if what we’re doing looks dumb to others. Elisha sent the Syrian army straight into Israel’s camp, but instead of killing the Syrians or holding them hostage, Israel fed them and sent them home. Israel trusted God to protect them and they didn’t use their own weapons to fight. They mentally stood their ground and chose to obey God’s call.
Three. God will fight our battles. His Spirit is chariots of fire and He doesn’t leave us. This is a reminder I need daily. Both Israel and Elisha were saved in this situation by God and God alone. Psalm 34:7 says, “The angel of the Lord encamps around those who fear Him, and delivers them.” God can make our enemies blind and keep us out of harm's way. He can also put us directly in the line of fire and save us from the captor. He always wins!
I love the verse above that reminds me God is in control, and there are a host of others we can gain confidence from.
2 Corinthians 10:3-6 is an excellent reminder that the war we’re in can’t be fought with earthly weapons. Thankfully we don’t have to fight the way the world does. We already have everything we need to stand firm against any spiritual ambush. Through the power of the Spirit we can take every thought, every sin, captive by the name of Christ. Our battles are battles that need to be fought with the power and wisdom of an almighty God.
“For though we walk in the flesh, we are not waging war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds. We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ, being ready to punish every disobedience, when your obedience is complete.”
Just like the Syrian king, who thought he was cunning in going after Elisha, Satan also thinks he’s smart and he roams the earth hoping to take us captive (1 Peter 5:9). And Satan doesn’t play fair. He finds our weakness and the kink in our armor, and he hits hard. He’s willing to use any physical, mental, or emotional extreme to push and pull us away from God.
But, despite Satan’s attacks and the fight he keeps trying to start, this is God’s battle. And God has equipped us to safely stand in the middle of it while He fights around us for us.
So it’s time to suit up, my friend. Suit up with the armor God’s provided. There are six elements of armor we’re called to wear: a belt, breastplate, shoes, a shield, the helmet, and the sword. We’re going to spend some time over the next several weeks taking a closer look at each of these elements, their significance in scripture, and their significance in our lives. And I’m so excited about it. I don’t know about you, but I’m ready to throw off what’s holding me captive and stand in the safe freedom He provides.
Are you with me?