Summary: TODAY we are asking God to give us spiritual sight to see spiritual realities.
A medical story comes to us from Ann Arbor, Michigan. According to CBS News, A degenerative eye disease slowly robbed Roger Pontz of his vision.
Diagnosed with retinitis pigmentosa as a teenager, Pontz has been almost completely blind for years. Now, thanks to a high-tech procedure that involved the surgical implantation of a "bionic eye," he's regained enough of his eyesight to catch small glimpses of his wife, grandson and cat.
"It's awesome. It's exciting - seeing something new every day," Pontz said during a recent appointment at the University of Michigan Kellogg Eye Center.
By Mike Housholder, CBS news, April 23, 2014, http://www.cbsnews.com/news/bionic-eye-retina-implant-surgery-restores-sight-to-michigan-man/
Imagine regaining your sight.
Or, Imagine having sight when you’ve never had it before!
TODAY we are asking God to accomplish the SPIRITUAL PARALLEL in our lives
TODAY we begin a look at our VISION for MINISTRY
Our vision flows from our MISSION: Proclaim Christ as Savior, Pursue Christ as Lord, Praise God as King
Our Vision is Accomplished in light of our UNIQUENESS as church (Our Values).
These values are Evangelism, Teaching, Fellowship, Worship, Prayer and Family. These points are expanded in our Values Statement that was intruduced about 2 months ago.
Aubrey Malphurs said: “Vision is a clear and challenging picture of a future of a ministry as you believe it can and must be.”
WE ASK “Lord, Open Our Eyes!”
There is a powerful story in the Old Testament about God opening the eyes of a man named Gehazi. Gehazi was Elisha’s servant during the period of the northern Kingdom, about 840 BC.
Gehazi and Elisha were surrounded by the enemies forces, but they were also surrounded by God’s angels. Gehazi saw only the enemy, so Elisha prayed that God would open his eyes to see God’s power. We pick up the event in 2 Kings 6
“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?” He said, “Do not be afraid, for those who are with us are more than those who are with them.” 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. 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. 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. 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. 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?” 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.” 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.” (2 Kings 6:15–23, ESV)
This event took place 100 years after the Solomon’s death and the division of the Kingdom. It was 80 years BEFORE Israel will be defeated by the Assyrians.
Elijah’s has been taken to heaven in a whirlwind and Elisha is now the prophet in Israel.
The King of Assyria (some translations say Aram) was at war with Israel and his plans for attack were always interrupted because God told Elisha where the Assyrian King was going to attack. Elisha told the King of Israel and he repositioned his forces, frustrating the Assyrian King.
One of the Assyrian King’s servants tells the King that Elisha was responsible for the constant intelligence failures and the kings sends the army after Elisha.
The Assyrian army catches up with Elisha at a village named Dothan, in Galilee. Here is where we pick up the story.
GEHAZI (the “servant of Elisha’) wakes up to the sight of a large army with chariots and horses. He is afraid (6:26)
Elisha TELLS Gehazi: Those who are with us are more than those who are with them!