During worship today, a story from the life of Elisha came to mind, where he prays that his servant’s eyes would be opened to see the great army of God all around them:
“Now the king of Aram was warring against Israel; and he counseled with his servants saying, “In such and such a place shall be my camp.” The man of God sent word to the king of Israel saying, “Beware that you do not pass this place, for the Arameans are coming down there.” The king of Israel sent to the place about which the man of God had told him; thus he warned him, so that he guarded himself there, more than once or twice.
Now the heart of the king of Aram was enraged over this thing; and he called his servants and said to them, “Will you tell me which of us is for the king of Israel?” One of his servants said, “No, my lord, O king; but Elisha, the prophet who is in Israel, tells the king of Israel the words that you speak in your bedroom.” So he said, “Go and see where he is, that I may send and take him.” And it was told him, saying, “Behold, he is in Dothan.” He sent horses and chariots and a great army there, and they came by night and surrounded the city.
Now when the attendant of the man of God had risen early and gone out, behold, an army with horses and chariots was circling the city. And his servant said to him, “Alas, my master! What shall we do?” So he answered, ” Do not fear, for those who are with us are more than those who are with them.” Then Elisha prayed and said, ” O Lord, I pray, open his eyes that he may see.” And the Lord opened the servant’s eyes and he saw; and behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha.”
– 2 Kings 6:8-17
I heard God tell me that His army is still present today, all around us, just as it was all around Elisha, that “those who are with us are more than those who are with them.” We have that same army around us, available to fight on our behalf, do war against His and our enemy. It is an army so vast, so glorious, so powerful, that it will prevail against all odds.
I was moved to pray, to call out to God to fight for us: to fight for the souls of the lost and the lives of the innocent, to fight for the body for healing, deliverance, and freedom. The prayer became a shout in my mind, calling down the reality that with such an army on our side and with such a commander, we have what we ask of Him. There is no doubt, no question. We pray from the heart He gave us. The heart He gave us is His command for action. It starts with Him and ends with Him.
I had this strong sense of urgency and immediacy that His kingdom is coming in all its fullness. It is coming soon. It is very near.
I don’t know how to put this in words, but when God gives me words, it comes in a variety of forms simultaneously – some mix of vision, sound, smell, taste and emotion that identifies it to me as coming from Him. In this case, the word came with a strong emotional identity (for lack of a better word), an atmosphere that connects it to another word I had some years ago that was immediately brought to mind today. In that older word, I saw myself moved to pray for revival with such passion that I was compelled and committed to drop to the floor (in my word then it was at the altar) and call for revival to come until it came in all its fullness or until I died, whichever would come first. At the same time, I knew I wasn’t ready for anything that radical and I was ashamed. Yet I also knew that it will be the work of the Lord to pray that way when it comes, and because of that, it will certainly come to pass, just as surely as the world came into being when He spoke it into being.
Today I was reminded of this wonderful promise of power and authority in prayer. The time is coming very soon now when some of His people will have the sold out commitment and mandate from the Lord to pray in such a way that we will refuse to not get what we ask for. And these will be the prayers that break down the walls and open the whole world to revival.
At one point, the vision of His army became part of a “visual expansion” that I sometimes get. Hard to explain, but it’s a way that God makes a word unfold for me visually, like a rolling explosion of related images that expand on what I saw at first. In this case, I saw the power of man, the self-satisfied human might of a modern army. It filled my mind, a huge human army with tanks, jets, ships and missiles, and then I saw His army, vastly superior, thousands of times larger and more glorious, and in contrast, all the armies of man are as nothing. And then I saw the Lord, far beyond and above even that army in power, majesty and glory. And that is the same transcendent God that we have been seated with in the heavenlies. This visual expansion left me with no room for fear of what the world can do to us. We truly have nothing to fear. “Those who are with us are more than those who are with them.”
“But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, that in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.”
– Eph 2:4-7
- July 13, 2014