2 Now stay focused on Jesus, who designed and perfected our faith. He endured the cross and ignored the shame of that death because He focused on the joy that was set before Him; and now He is seated beside God on the throne, a place of honor.
Elisha was in trouble. The King of Aram had found out who was ‘betraying’ his plans and intended harm to the prophet. The city is surrounded by Aram’s great army and Elisha’s servant is unsurprisingly scared. 2 Kings 6:8-23
Elisha, however, isn’t afraid. His eyes are fixed on God and have been since Elijah called him to be his successor – probably since before that as there was a reason God anointed him. Imagine Elisha’s servant, looking outside the wall and seeing the army of Aram, then looking past them to the surrounding landscape hoping to see an escape, a rescue, some hope. Elisha looked outside the wall and saw the army too but bigger than that reality he could see the eternal, heavenly reality that the angel of the Lord is encamped around those who fear Him.
17 O Eternal One, I ask You to allow my servant to see heavenly realities.
The Eternal awakened Elisha’s servant so that he could see. This is what he saw: the mountain was covered with horses and chariots of fire surrounding Elisha.
Heavenly realities, they surround us. They are the truth we can read in God’s Word, hear from the Holy Spirit, the kind of truths that set us free and change our lives.
Those who understand look to wisdom for guidance,
but fools fasten their eyes on some distant horizon.
We have access to the same wisdom as Elisha. Wisdom that looks first to God for what He says and is doing before we react and respond. I started with words from Hebrews and that is the absolute truth of our lives. The joy set before us because of His life, death and resurrection is more real than any problem, setback or pleasure that the world can offer.
Earthly reality can be attractive, persuasive, absorbing and rewarding and we have to live each day in it. But the heavenly reality that God shows us is so much more. We’re quick to remember His Reality when bad times come but we forget when other things arrive. Nothing this world can threaten or offer compares to knowing Him. Every choice we make needs to be made in the context of the new life we live by faith.
Life comes at us so fast that finding time to pause and think can be almost impossible. It has to be a lifelong journey of practising hearing and seeing. Staying focused on Jesus is the work of a lifetime, but this mortal life is not even a heartbeat of what eternity will be. So, as we run the race together let’s encourage and support each other; praying we will be awakened to those heavenly realities and willing to be shaped by His truth rather than what we see around us.