“So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.” ― 2 Corinthians 4:18
What we focus on grabs a hold of our attention and shapes us. As Christians, we are called to focus our attention on God, not circumstances. We are called to focus on God who never changes, instead of situations or feelings which endlessly change and shift. When our perspective is clear and our focus is sharply on God, we can do amazing things.
Elisha is a prophet in the Old Testament. (His story can be found in 1 and 2 Kings) He is a great man of faith. Yet, at one point in 2 Kings 6, he is caught in the middle of a battle between Syria and Israel. The King of Syria made plans to ambush the Israelite Army and Elisha spoils it. He warns Israel after God revealed the ambush. The Syrian King responds by sending his army to kill Elisha in the city of Dothan. The Bible says that the King sent a great army to surround the city by night so that they could destroy Elisha. When the people of Dothan woke up in the morning, they found themselves surrounded on all sides by a powerful evil army intent on destroying their homes.
Elisha is accompanied by a servant in Dothan. That servant gets up early in the morning to find their city surrounded by the Syrians. This is a huge deal in human terms. It is a powerful enemy army sent to kill the servant, his master and anyone else in the city without mercy. This terrifying sight causes the servant to focus solely on the enemy and forget who he serves. His eyes are filled with chariots, swords and thousands of enemy soldiers. His mind is filled with fear, despair, and hopelessness. The eternal is nowhere to be seen for him, just the very real sight before him. And his servant said to him, “Oh, sir, what will we do now?” 2 Kings 6:15
Elisha is not worried. Since Elisha is a man of God moved by God to oppose the Syrian King, God will protect him. God will take care of Elisha, his servant and the people of Dothan despite what the situation looks like on human terms. Elisha simply needs to keep his eyes on the Lord and watch Him work. The servant does not have Elisha’s faith. This lack of faith causes him to fall into despair. God is not part of his equation so things just look hopeless. Elisha prays that the servant could see what Elisha could see, God’s perspective on the situation. God’s view on the situation changes everything. “Don’t be afraid!” Elisha told him. “For there are more on our side than on theirs!” Then Elisha prayed, “O Lord, open his eyes and let him see!” The Lord opened the young man’s eyes, and when he looked up, he saw that the hillside around Elisha was filled with horses and chariots of fire.” (2 Kings 6:16-17)
God’s army was there the whole time. The servant simply could not see it. So, no matter how urgent the problem biting at your heels may seem, God’s answer for you is to look up and focus on God’s provision. God is bigger than any problem you face and can deliver you from any situation, no matter how bad it is.
- If the goal is to be focused on God’s priorities, in what areas do we need to improve?
- What can you do this week to maintain our focus on God when faced with negative circumstances