When the servant of the man of God rose early in the morning and went out, behold, an army with horses and chariots was all around the city. And the servant said, “Alas, my master! What shall we do?” 16 He said, “Do not be afraid, for those who are with us are more than those who are with them.” 2 Kings 6:15-16 ESV
It was a Monday morning before the July 4th weekend, and I got a family group text from my sister. She was requesting prayer for all who had flights to come for a big family reunion at our house. If you have been paying attention to the news, you are aware of the hundreds if not thousands of flight cancellations going on due to a shortage of airline and FAA staff. As usual, the media is doing their job of whipping up the fear and chaos around everyone’s Independence Day celebrations. The threat of your flight being cancelled is just enough stress to amp up the juices of worry. So, in our family text thread, everyone did their part of the thumbs up emoji, “Praying”, and then there was my mom. Donna Jean is what I call her when she gets her “lets solve the problems of the world” attitude going. This time it was a prayer she texted everyone, and I quote.
“We speak Jesus to the airlines and the powers of the air!! God grant safe travels to our family members and no cancellations of flights.” That does it! Donna Jean spoke it! She just spoke Jesus to the airlines and the powers of the air! Look out American, Delta and United. I chuckled to myself as I read the prayer. There goes Mom, praying down fire with her thumbs and using scripture out of context. I texted back to my sister and my mom, “LOL, now you got Donna Jean going. Using scripture out of context. Mom, I don’t think God was talking about American airlines.” We all put the “HaHa” emoji in the thread and then Mom sizzled back with her thumbs, “Not the airlines.. I am talking about the rulers of the air that fight God’s angels. I wish it was that easy to control the airlines LOL” Now mom was clarifying her target. She saw the problem. It was not the airlines. It is the spiritual warfare that comes against God’s people. It is the fight we do not see with our eyes, but we sense with our spirit. The chaos, confusion, and fear being stirred up is not a man-made problem. There is a spirit behind intimidation. Donna Jean was putting a hurt on the rulers that are stirring up the crud. The rulers that make it appear they are in control and too numerous to defeat. They are the powers that attempt to persuade us to give up, its too late, just give in. My mom was going over the heads of airlines executives and heading straight to the problem. The rulers of the air that are causing the division, fear-mongering, and panic in our nation.
Look at the protests in our nation. There is an anger and hate that is being projected by the media. It appears that the recent decision of Roe v. Wade is the demise of our country. But I do not believe that. Maybe I am just from a small town in fly/over country, but the people I talk to, who I have relationship with and who do not agree with my world view are not screaming at me. They listen to me as I listen to them. We do not agree with our politics, sometimes even faith, but we also are not enemies. I talk to others who say the same thing. There is more we agree on than what we disagree with. We value the rule of law, justice and safety in infrastructure in America. We both do not like the gas prices, and when your favorite chicken franchise runs out of chicken, it gets us both upset. We like our chicken. But when you turn on the TV, the radio if you still listen to it (maybe we should say podcast), we hear how big the problems are, how wide the divide and how your flight might get cancelled and ruin your holiday plans. Our eyes see that we are surrounded by pain, confusion, and political stupidity. On top of that lets return to the problems that really matter. Cancer, addictions, mental health, just to name a few. It certainly takes effort to see things the way Elisha did in our text.
In our text, an army surrounds Elisha and his servant. They are there to kill him. As a prophet of God who has been telling the leader of Israel the battle plans of Syria, the king of Syria has had enough. He sent his army to get rid of the problem. To the eyes of the servant, they were outnumbered. There was no hope, no help. The report of invasion was certain. Everything the servant saw and heard was emphasizing the fact that it was going to be a bad day. The rulers in power made sure they displayed superior numbers. But then, just like Donna Jean was praying with her thumbs, Elisha saw the truth. He saw God. He saw the numbers that are always bigger with God. He saw the angels. Maybe some of the same ones my mom was asking God to send to take care of her family. Whatever the case, Mom was doing her impression of Elisha. “Devil, you may look big. You may try to intimidate with fear. You may appear to have the upper hand, but I call on God and his angels to put a whoopin' on your rulers. They will not intimidate my family this week.” Yep, that was good.
As we celebrate our independence as a nation this weekend, remember that those who fought for our freedom were outnumbered. Defeat was almost certain. But God had a plan for this nation. He was birthing something that would be used to tell many about Him all over the world. God has raised up a friend of Israel, and I believe that is why we are blessed to this day. We are a nation that asked Him to lead us. Now it is time to remember that. Our imperfections and failures have not cancelled our mission – freedom.
So bring on the travel, the celebrations and the gas prices... Take time this weekend to reflect on who is with you in the good times and in the seasons of great trial. Thank you, Donna Jean for the prayer and the reminder that we not alone. There are many more with us and that is a good thing to think about.