Summary: When what we see doesn’t seem to be enough, remember: His help is promised when we fear, His help is bigger than our need, His help is closer than we fee.
October 1, 2017
Story of someone up against a hard time; needing faith to trust; or story of someone who couldn’t see clearly and got into trouble/tragedy…or make it funny.
Turn to 2 Kings 6:8-17
One of the more interesting stories in the Bible is the one found in 2 Kings 6:8-17. It involves the prophet Elisha, his servant Gehazi, and the King of Aram.
Elisha was the prophet that followed the famed prophet Elijah. Elisha was chosen by God to follow in the footsteps of Elijah. When Elisha was tabbed to be Elijah’s successor, he asked for a double portion of the same blessing Elijah had experienced. That’s not to say Elijah’s life was easy. Don’t equate blessing with easy, regardless of what Joel Osteen says. Elijah had a tough life: He was hated by many of his countrymen because he was constantly calling them to repentance and to turn from their idols and to Yahweh; it’s funny how people get mad at a preacher when he points out idol worship. Whenever I preach on stewardship, some people get upset at me; some even leave the church. They don’t want me talking about money. . . and of course, that is proof positive that money is an idol to them. Elijah had it tough. His people didn’t like him; his king didn’t like him; and the queen tried to kill him. So he got scared and ran for days and days. No, Elijah wasn’t perfect and his life was not easy.
But he was God’s appointed man for the nation of Israel for a time and God used him in mighty ways. So when his time was over, God appointed Elisha as prophet, no relation, and Elisha wanted a double portion of the power and impact and blessing of Elijah’s ministry.
So in our story, the king of Aram, which is modern day Syria, was trying to pull of a sneak attack on Israel. But God would warn Elisha who would warn the king. This frustrated the heck out of the king of Aram. When he found out that it was Elisha giving away his sneak attacks, he sent soldiers to capture and kill Elisha.
Read 2 Kings 6:8-17 (on screen)
Here’s what I know about your life: life is difficult. Many of us are overwhelmed with challenges, small and large: health issues, financial issues, family issues, addiction issues, anxiety issues, loneliness issues, emptiness issues
And the truth is, we face a powerful enemy. In John 16:30, Jesus calls Satan “The ruler of this world.” In Ephesians 2:2 Paul calls him, “The prince of the air” and in Colossians 1:13 Ruler of “the domain of darkness.” He is called the Great Deceiver, the Great Tempter, the Great Accuser, and the Father of Lies. We are warned in 1 Peter 5:8, “Be on the alert; be sober-minded. Your adversary, the Devil, prowls about like a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour.”
And just like Elisha’s servant Gehazi, we have limited eyesight, don’t we? We see the problems; we see the challenges; we see our limited resources—what we need to see is God’s provision.
When what we see doesn’t seem to be enough, remember:
1. His help is promised when we fear v.15
So when Gehazi the servant walks out that morning to get the newspaper, the Dothan Daily, what does he see? An army of horses, chariots, and soldiers surrounding the city. What’s the first thing that jumped into his head? “We’re surrounded. We’ll never get out. What are we gonna do? I’m going to die!” And his heart was filled with fear.
What did Elisha say? “Don’t be afraid” There it is again. The most often repeated phrase in the Bible. Don’t be afraid.
Fear issues always reveal faith issues. You can book it, Danno. If a circumstance is overwhelming you and fear is overtaking you, the reason is that your faith is weak.
The life of faith is counter-intuitive. This is why when it’s darkest, the Light of Christ in us should shine brightest. When we are beset by financial challenges, we respond by giving away more. When our love is rejected, we love more.
Faith is a muscle. How do you build muscle? Resistance (pic of guy with biceps curling a weight). What is the resistance when we build faith? The realization that I don’t have the resources to handle this. I have limited vision. I know I’m supposed to tithe 10% of my income, but I don’t have the resources to do this. That’s the resistance. I know I’m supposed to love my spouse unconditionally, but I don’t have the love to do that. I know I’m not supposed to be afraid, but it’s hard for me to believe.
But when you step out in faith and tithe and love and believe, you meet the resistance and your faith is strengthened. AND, God responds in amazing ways.