Chariots Of Fire

All of us, even very strong and dedicated Christians, can feel at times that we are all alone in the world.  That feeling can especially envelope us when we are facing difficulties. What we tend to forget is that our God is with us always.  We only need to open our spiritual eyes and see His strength and power.  

I love this story in 2 Kings 6:8-17: “One time when the king of Aram was at war with Israel, after consulting with his officers, he said, ‘At such and such a place I want an ambush set.‘  The Holy Man sent a message to the king of Israel: ‘Watch out when you’re passing this place, because Aram has set an ambush there.’ So the king of Israel sent word concerning the place of which the Holy Man had warned him.  This kind of thing happened all the time. The king of Aram was furious over all this. He called his officers together and said, ‘Tell me, who is leaking information to the king of Israel? Who is the spy in our ranks?’ But one of his men said, ‘No, my master, dear king.  It’s not any of us. It’s Elisha the prophet in Israel. He tells the king of Israel everything you say, even what you whisper in your bedroom.’ The king said, ‘Go and find out where he is. I’ll send someone and capture him.’ The report came back, ‘He’s in Dothan.’ Then he dispatched horses and chariots, an impressive fighting force.  They came by night and surrounded the city. Early in the morning a servant of the Holy Man got up and went out. Surprise! Horses and chariots surrounding the city! The young man exclaimed, ‘Oh, master! What shall we do?’ He said, ‘Don’t worry about it – there are more on our side than on their side.’ Then Elisha prayed, ‘O God, open his eyes and let him see.’  The eyes of the young man were opened and he saw. A wonder! The whole mountainside full of horses and chariots of fire surrounding Elisha!” (The Message)

Unlike the king of Israel, we do not have a prophet of God to warn us of every trap Satan sets for us.  But, we can prayerfully seek our loving heavenly Father’s help through our regular prayers. We can expect Him to respond by sending His Holy Spirit to guide us.

I know for me personally, it is too easy to get out ahead of God and make decisions on my own.  I can only imagine how many difficulties I could have avoided if I had only slowed down and had a chat with God and waited for the Holy Spirit to respond.

The prophet Elisha walked so closely with God that he had reliable words for the king of Israel regularly.  So much so that the opposing king Aram believed he had a traitor among his men that was warning his enemy of their every move.

When king Aram was advised that his secrets were being revealed by the prophet Elisha, he determined he was going to capture him.  He sent a force large enough that they surrounded the entire city of Dothan where Elisha was residing.

You can only imagine the alarm experienced by Elisha’s servant when he went out one morning to find the city completely surrounded by horses and chariots.  Then how puzzled he must have been when Elisha simply and confidently stated “Don’t worry about it – there are more on our side than on their side.” I can just see the man looking around, trying to understand what Elisah had just said.  He saw nothing and no one.

Can you just picture Elisha, standing there with a knowing smile on his face while watching his servant look around in fear and confusion?  I think Elisha probably enjoyed that moment with a lot of humor. Then he simply prayed for God to open the eyes of his servant that he might see the reality of that moment; and there they were – a “mountainside full of horses and chariots of fire” surrounding them.  I think a huge smile broke out on his face and a heart of joy and peace likely overtook him.

So whenever we feel like we are alone and facing all our difficulties with no help at all, we should just think about how much more peace, joy, wonder and contentment could reign in our lives if we would only seek guidance from our God and realize that He has us surrounded with His protection – our very own regiment of horses and chariots of fire! 

Written by Karran Martin – June 8, 2019

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