Living in Spiritual Warfare (2 Kings 6:16–17)

“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, ‘Oh 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.”
-2 Kings 6:16–17

I love this story. It’s one of my favorite stories in the Old Testament, as Elisha and his servant are surrounded by an enemy army and Elisha’s servant is panicking saying, “We are surrounded. There’s two of us and an entire army circling us, surrounding us.”

God, help us to realize that we live in spiritual warfare.

And Elisha looks at his servant and says, “Don’t be afraid, for those who with us are more than those who are with them.”

And at this point, Elisha’s servant is probably thinking, “What are you talking about? There’s more with us than with them. Well, there’s two of us. There’s a whole army with them.” He’s probably thinking, “The old man, Elisha, may be a prophet but he’s no mathematician. We are surrounded by an army.”

And then Elisha prayed and said, “Oh Lord, please open his eyes that he can see.” And the Lord opened his eyes and the servant saw. And the Bible says, “Behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha.” In other words, in that moment, the servant got a glimpse of the unseen world and it changed everything. And all of a sudden, the servant realized that yes, yes indeed, there were more with them than with that army. And this is the way we need to live on a day-by-day basis.

God, help us to realize there is an unseen world around us right now, even as we pray, and it’s part of the reason we pray. We’re in a spiritual battle and we fight spiritual battle with spiritual weapons. There are spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms at work all around us. And right now, there are spiritual forces of evil that want to pull us away from you, that want to pull others away from you. But God, there are also spiritual forces of good instituted, ordained, commissioned by you, working in the spiritual realm that, God, help us to realize that what we see is not all there is, that there is an unseen world around us. And God, help us to live in light of the spiritual power you have put in us, in light of your Holy Spirit inside of us for all who’ve trusted in you.

And God, as we walk through challenges and struggles in this world, God, we pray that you would help us to keep our eyes fixed on that which is unseen. Help us to realize that you are with us, that your Spirit is in us and you’ve promised to give us everything we need, that our battle is not ultimately against flesh and blood, but against spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. So help us to fight with spiritual weapons, with righteousness and with faith and with sword of the Spirit, your word, and not ceasing to pray, praying all the time for ourselves, for each other, for the spread of the gospel, all these things we see in Ephesians chapter six.

God, we praise you for the story in Second Kings six that teaches us that if we could only see, realize the spiritual world, it would change everything. So God, help us to live today with spiritual eyes, to be on guard against all the, in the words of Ephesians six, “flaming arrows of the evil one.” God, help us to walk in holiness and purity and obedience to you in the power of your Spirit, proclaiming your gospel. God, we pray amidst the spiritual warfare that is keeping unreached people from hearing the gospel.

God, we pray for Dhofari Arabs in Oman. God, please cause the gospel to go to them. We know there’s an adversary who doesn’t want the gospel to go to them. God, please cause the gospel to go to the Dhofari Arabs. We pray for spiritual breakthrough, that they might hear and know and believe the gospel, that the gospel might go to them through workers sent out from our churches to proclaim it to them. God help us not to be fooled into thinking that what we see is all there is. Help us to live victorious in spiritual battle today. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

David Platt serves as Lead Pastor at McLean Bible Church in Washington, D.C. He is the founder and chairman of Radical.

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