Summary: We often look at life through the lense of the Enemy’s perspective - and live defeated lives. What can happen when we look at life through God’s eyes? Everything changes!
“A few weeks ago I thought I was going out of my mind. At the time I didn’t realize I was experiencing a form of an "Anxiety Attack." My heart raced with fear as thoughts came to my mind of all the things I hadn’t accomplished that day. And the fear of failing the people around me made me want to get sick. I was constantly thinking of all my mistakes I have made over the years…How I lacked in being a godly man. How I have not been there for my kids like I know I should be. It was so paralyzing that I couldn’t even function at work. And my husband and children suffered the most because I unknowingly shut out the world around me. I did the least to just get by. Then one night out of desperation I cried out to God for help. I opened my bible to 2 Corinthians 10:5 "Casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing EVERY THOUGHT into captivity to the obedience of Christ." And like blinders being pulled up from my eyes I could see that I was believing a lie. Every thought was designed to destroy me. And I knew those thoughts were from the enemy and not of God. Then the scripture, "There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus" echoed in my mind. I surrendered my feelings of failure to God that day. I gave Him my fears and anxieties. And my life was changed by the power of Jesus Christ. Every day when those thoughts would haunt me again, that scripture about condemnation would echo louder and I again surrendered them to God. I learned that it was a life change and not a moment change. That I am to surrender daily all that is in me that is not of God.” – Esther (“Heinvites.org”)
• All face defining moments when there is the company of the Foe (person, place, thing that immobilizes you), Fear (the first evidence of being in prison to the Foe) and the Force (the presence of the supernatural, all-knowing, all-powerful, ever-present God – the alternative!)
• Text – illustrates the reality of the three “Fs” and how we can live a life of victory in spite of the veracity (reality) of life’s ferocity.
Step one is recognizing
1. The Foe (6:8-12)
• Today’s politic race to the Prime Minister’s office. Slurs, slanders, and accusations. There is a constant barrage of put-downs and criticisms in an effort to discredit the opponent to gain favor with the people and get the power-seat.
This is not unlike the political and military story of our text. King of Aram was out to get Israel. The king of Israel was constantly warned by the man of God (Elisha) of the places where the Arameans set traps for Israel. Israel always avoided these snares. The Aramean king suspected a traitor in his own camp, getting word back to Israel’s king. His own aids notified him that the problem was the man of God who heard the very whispers of the king in his own chambers!
• A type, a representation of a larger reality
• We are Israel
• The Enemy (not flesh and blood – see Ephesians 6:12, “For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.” - is always, with every conceivable means possible, working to snare us. We are at war, people of God. We are not playing church. This is a life and death struggle and we will all live and conquer or die and be lost eternally.
• No fewer than 10 references in the gospels of the devil trying to trap Jesus – through people; some were members of the church (Peter – “Get away from me Satan” (Mt.16:23). Tried to trap him in religious debates, as a law-breaker, as a blasphemer among other things - many forms and varieties
• E.g. Life-threatening illnesses; concern for children who are out of our care; a failing marriage; people opposing us with criticisms, hurtful remarks and lies; or an inner sense that I’ve never amounted to much and my family doesn’t think well of me; some hurt as a child or earlier adult life that breeds deep pain in the deepest places of one’s heart.
• Uncle Sam (no, not the USA Uncle Sam! – the Baytona Uncle Sam story!)
• My experience with flying – heightened fear and the plaguing questions of the Foe, “Where’s your faith in your great big God?”
While there is the presence of the Foe, there is the presence of
2. Fear (6:13-15)
• v15 “O my lord, what shall we do?” Certainly a question to Elisha (i.e. master, teacher) but one can heard the panic expression, blurted out from many lips in a moment of overwhelming fear, “O my lord…”