Creed: Understanding the Visible and Invisible
- Wednesday, January 19, 2005
The next morning, Elisha's servant got up and went out and saw this vast army surrounding them. He went back inside and told Elisha, asking him, "What shall we do?" In other words, "I think our goose is cooked."
But Elisha answered, "Don't be afraid. Those who are with us are more than those who are with them."
The servant must have looked at Elisha as if he'd failed Math 101, for there were only two of them. Then, Elisha prayed, "Oh Lord, open his eyes so he may see."
The Lord opened the servant's eyes and he saw...oh, boy did he see! He saw the hillside filled with horses and chariots of fire! The Lord's heavenly warriors, who had been there all along but had been invisible, surrounded them.
I believe that same army of heavenly hosts continues to surround God's children even today. But, how often are we aware of it? How much more often are we aware of our visible dire circumstances rather than the invisible authority of God over His own?
Another Kind of Army
Paul writes in Ephesians about another kind of army, one we need to be equally aware of.
Ephesians 6:10b-12 reads: Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil's schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.
There is an invisible world of darkness and evil that exists and is determined to bring us down. You might say, "Oh, I don't believe in all that scary stuff." And, thanks to Hollywood horror flicks and the kind of stories you used to tell around campfires and at sleepovers, it is scary...unless you know the Captain of our army.
Just because we can't see other galaxies with our naked eye doesn't mean they don't exist, and the same goes with Heavenly hosts and the spiritual forces of evil. We must be aware of one and prepared for the other. How do we do that?
Paul goes on to explain: put on the full armor of God.
Seen and Unseen
Can you see the armor of God? No. Can you sense its presence? Absolutely.
Allow me to give you an example. Years ago, when my son was in high school, I chaperoned a group of teens to the beaches of Florida's panhandle. There were two vehicles packed to the brim with kids; the lead car - a van, actually, driven by our pastor - and my car, which held hardly more than three teens, my youngest, and myself.
That morning, as was my typical routine, I prayed the armor of God on and asked God's heavenly angels to guide my car to its destination, some three hours away.
We headed out. In the front seat next to me was a young girl from the youth group named Stacy. We chatted as I drove, unaware of a looming danger in the distance. As we came around a deep curve in the highway, I was stunned to see the van ahead swerve off the road, bounding down the shoulder. My eyes immediately cut to what had caused this mishap: a truck, pulling a doublewide load too large for the narrow road.
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