A Word of Encouragement from Elisha the Prophet

There is an old saying, “Stop telling God how big your storm is and start telling the storm how big your God is.”  In other words, we often need to shift our focus, building up our trust and confidence. Because we are so wired for fear, we tend to overestimate the power and shrewdness of demons, or of our enemies, or of whatever it is we fear. At the same time, we tend to underestimate the power of God, the power of our own resources, the strength that God gives us, and the perduring quality of what is good and true.

I see a lot of this in deliverance ministry, where so many people come to us more fearful of the power of demons than they are trusting in the power of God. Part of the solution must be that they make a journey in faith, coming to realize that demons are not all-powerful; God and His angels are more powerful. Even if God mysteriously allows demons some access to our lives, it is only to act as a snare for the evil one and to unlock greater blessings for us who call out in faith.

There is a remarkable passage in the Second Book of Kings that draws back the curtain for a moment and shows us a world we seldom see. The passage centers on the prophet Elisha and the King of Syria’s attempt to capture and kill him. Elisha is not worried, but his young assistant (or servant) is quite dismayed by the approaching Syrian army:

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?” 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, “O 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 6:15-17).

Yes, for just a moment the mystical curtain is drawn back, and the young servant of Elisha sees that we are not alone in this battle. Indeed, myriad angels, saints, and God Himself engage the battle for us. Elisha reminds us, Those who are with us are more than those who are with them. God’s power far surpasses whatever foolishness of the devil is making the rounds. At times, the city seems surrounded (as Elisha’s servant saw), but Elisha isn’t worried because he sees something else, something far greater and more glorious; he knows where to focus.

To be sure, there is a battle to be fought, but we do not fight it alone. There are a multitude of angels and saints and behold, chariots of fire round about. Lord open our eyes that we may see and understand that we are not alone. Give us the courage to engage the battle with the sword of your word, of your truth! Fix our focus on You, not on the storms of life.

This song in the video below says,

When the oceans rise and thunders roar
I will soar with you above the storm
Father you are king over the flood
I will be still and know you are God

Find rest my soul
In Christ alone
Know his power
In quietness and trust

4 Replies to “A Word of Encouragement from Elisha the Prophet”

  1. I too see the extremes within the faith community, there are those who fear a demon under every rock and those who believe talk of demons is hogwash. Here too I believe the faithful are victims of poor teaching. The priests in large part suffer the same dis-ease. It has been my experience, either a priest is a charismatic type, who hangs his deliverance shingle, having no training and call it a “healing service” or they don’t speak of demonic influence at all. This imbalance of the shepherd’s messages creates much of this confusion and mess which inevitably needs to be cleaned up, usually by another priest at the opposite extream. It can be terrifying on one hand and ill-informed on the other. When people are focused on demons over the power of God, Its necessary to get to the origin. Who told them what? Where did their information come from? Was it an fr. Ripperger talk? or a non-catholic Utube video on exorcist? Maybe a book, what book? This is an increasing problem and isn’t going away. The USCCB very recently gave new instructions on the matter, which I have not heard discussed at all. Dismissing people without teaching or helping them un-learn, only serves to perpetuate the mystery, and everyone loves a good mystery. If the church were consistent in teaching this area of the faith, it would save many the stress of not knowing the truth.

  2. Thank you for this timely reminder. With all of the turmoil surrounding the USCCB meeting and the sexual crisis in the Church today, it can be easy to lose our focus. God and his army of angels and saints are on our side. Even though it may sound like the gates of hell are clanging, our God is far more powerful will not be overcome!

  3. Thank you Msgr. for reminding us of where our gaze should rest and where our trust should lay.

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