The Foundation of Miracles
Alas my master! How shall we do?
2 Kings 6:15
When God works His miracle, we have to laugh at our own foolishness. If we still persist in worrying and planning, then we are no disciples of His. Many, I fear, never see God work for them, because they always have a way out – some friend, perhaps, who might help a little, if God does not! Most to be pitied are those who, brought to a supreme crisis, still find an avenue of escape. For necessity is the foundation for miracles. To escape the one is to miss the other. Great difficulties, are meant only to force us out of ourselves into reliance on Him. When there is no way forward or back, then God is able. He has a plan. So do not fear impossibilities. They are of no account to Him. Fall at his feet and wait for Him to act. A miracle is ahead.
Todays story is an interesting one. Elisha, the prophet has been hearing from the Holy Spirit the plans of the enemies of Israel as though he was sitting in the planning room. Lest we just think this is some Old Testament story, let me say that it is still a true thing today. There are never any plans by the devil against us that aren’t known by God. The Bible says that every thing planned in secret is brought into light. When the king of Syria would make plans to go into battle against the Israelites, Elisha would hear from the Spirit and reveal those plans to the king of Israel so they would be able to escape the ambush. The Syrian king was sure that someone was a traitor giving away the secrets so he called his team together. He discovered that there was no traitor but that the prophet Elisha was the source of his trouble. I wonder if there are moments in the kingdom of darkness that the devil questions if some demon is betraying his plans. The fact is that there are no plans by any power, any human, or any group that are hidden from God. We might sometimes think that our plans, our schemes, and our decisions are hidden from God and sometimes we might wonder if God is aware of those plotting against us. The truth of the matter is that nothing is hidden from God for the Holy Spirit searches our hearts and nothing is hidden from Him. The Syrian king decides that he has to get rid of Elisha before his plans can succeed. It’s been the strategy of the devil from the beginning. When Moses was born, destined to deliver the Israelites from the slavery of Egypt, the devil plotted to kill him as a baby, but God intervened. When Christ was born, Herod executed all male babies under two but God revealed the plot to Joseph and Mary through the Wise Men and they fled with Jesus to Egypt until Herod died. You and I need to know that there are no plans that the devil has against us that God doesn’t know about and doesn’t have plans already in place to cause them to fail.
The army of Syria came up and surrounded the house where Elisha and his servant lived. That morning when the servant arose and looked out the window, he saw the armies of Syria surrounding the house. Everything looked hopeless. What could two people do against such a large army? I’m sure that he thought that it would be his last day alive. No doubt the stories had been told of the fierceness of the Syrians. He runs back into the house and says, “Alas, my master! What shall we do?” Maybe he thought that Elisha would panic-most of us would. Hear Elisha’s response:
Elisha answered, “Do not be afraid, for those who are with us are more than those who are with them.”
2 Kings 6:15
And no doubt the servant must have thought that either Elisha couldn’t see, couldn’t count or had lost his mind. Elisha prayed that the servant could see what the true reality was.
“Then Elisha prayed and said, “Lord, please, open his eyes that he may see.” And the Lord opened the servants eyes and he saw; and behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire surrounding Elisha.”
2 Kings 6:17
That’s what you and I need- to have God open our eyes to who He is and His mighty power in comparison to what we see in the natural. Before God opened the eyes of the servant, all he could see was the forces of the enemy. He saw a mighty army of trained soldiers and he saw himself and the prophet. In his estimation, there was no possibility that they two could stand against such might. I don’t know if he knew the story of David and Goliath, but if he did he either had forgotten it or he didn’t think it applied to him. That’s us. We easily forget the stories of how God has moved in the past or we think that while God might do that for those people or someone else, we don’t qualify for such help. Maybe you need to borrow Elisha’s prayer today and say, O Lord, open my eyes and show me the reality of my situation from your view.” That day as God opened his eyes to see into the realm of the Spirit, he saw the armies of God surrounding Elisha and himself and they were standing between them and the Syrians. Beloved, you need to know that God keeps His children under the shadow of His wing and preserves them from the power of evil (Psalm 91). I pray you will have the revelation of the servant and truly come to believe that “greater is He that is within you than he that is in the world.”(1 John 4:4)
But God wasn’t finished. It wasn’t enough for God to give protection for He is never on the defensive. Whatever place you are in and wherever the devil has surrounded you, it is the place that God has led you to find victory and the devil to be defeated. Maybe you feel hemmed in and from all you can see there is no way out and it looks pretty hopeless. Remember you as a child of God are being led by the Holy Spirit and He has brought you to this place so that you will know that His power in you is greater than anything the devil can come up with. As the story continues, we find that the second phase that day disabled the Syrian army.
“When the Arameans came down to him, Elisha prayed to the Lord and said, “Please strike this people (nation) with blindness.” And God struck them with blindness, in accordance with Elisha’s request. Then Elisha said to the Arameans, “This is not the way, nor is this the city. Follow me and I will lead you to the man whom you are seeking.” And he led them to Samaria. When they had come into Samaria, Elisha said, “Lord, open the eyes of these men, so that they may see.” And the Lord opened their eyes and they saw. Behold, they were in the midst of Samaria. When the king of Israel (Jehoram) saw them, he said to Elisha, “My father, shall I kill them? Shall I kill them?” Elisha answered, “You shall not kill them. Would you kill those you have taken captive with your sword and bow? Serve them bread and water, so that they may eat and drink, and go back to their master [King Ben-hadad].” So the king prepared a great feast for them; and when they had eaten and drunk he sent them away, and they went to their master. And the marauding bands of Aram did not come into the land of Israel again.”
2 Kings 6: 18-23
As long as you think you can figure your way out, you will never find the faith to receive a miracle. Miracles occur only out of desperation, when you have come to the end of your limitations. Miracles occur when all seem hopeless and lost. Miracles come not from faith but from overwhelming places that seem impossible. There is no testimony without a test. If you’re in a place of testing right now, you have two options. You can give up, give in, surrender to your circumstances, or you can let God help you see beyond the natural and see through the eyes of the Spirit and know that “your help comes from the Lord who made the heavens and the earth.” That day God switched the situation. The Syrians came up and surrounded the prophet’s house, thinking that it would be an easy victory over such a puny foe. But that day they instead found themselves in the very same trap that they had laid for Elisha. You may feel that you are being surrounded by the powers of darkness and how can little old you stand against such. It just might be that God has laid a trap of His own and it’s the moment that He has set you up to break forever the stranglehold that the devil has placed over your life.
Paul understood that what we may know in the natural isn’t the full story. Hear what he writes:
“We are pressured in every way [hedged in], but not crushed; perplexed [unsure of finding a way out], but not driven to despair; hunted down and persecuted, but not deserted [to stand alone]; struck down, but never destroyed; always carrying around in the body the dying of Jesus, so that the [resurrection] life of Jesus also may be shown in our body. For we who live are constantly [experiencing the threat of] being handed over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that the [resurrection] life of Jesus also may be evidenced in our mortal body [which is subject to death]. So physical death is [actively] at work in us, but [spiritual] life [is actively at work] in you. Yet we have the same spirit of faith as he had, who wrote in Scripture, “I believed, therefore I spoke.” We also believe, therefore we also speak, knowing that He who raised the Lord Jesus will also raise us with Jesus and will present us [along] with you in His presence. For all [these] things are for your sake, so that as [God’s remarkable, undeserved] grace reaches to more and more people it may increase thanksgiving, to the glory of [our great] God. Therefore we do not become discouraged [spiritless, disappointed, or afraid]. Though our outer self is [progressively] wasting away, yet our inner self is being [progressively] renewed day by day. For our momentary, light distress [this passing trouble] is producing for us an eternal weight of glory [a fullness] beyond all measure [surpassing all comparisons, a transcendent splendor and an endless blessedness]! So we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are unseen; for the things which are visible are temporal [just brief and fleeting], but the things which are invisible are everlasting and imperishable.”
2 Corinthians 4: 8-18
So go ahead and ask God to let you see what really is the case. Maybe it’s time to see what God will do.
Dr. John Thompson