Lorri Dudley

Be moved. Be changed. Love because you are loved.

Tag: Elisha

defeated knight

Help is Here

I love a good rescue. In most romance novels, after the darkest moment, when all looks lost, some heroism allows for a happily-ever-after. Sometimes it’s the hero swooping in and sacrificing something to save the heroine, sometimes it’s the heroine relinquishing her goal in order to protect the hero, or it could be both. Often it takes this black moment for them to realize they aren’t strong enough, smart enough, or brave enough to endure on their own, and that’s when readers should want to scream at the pages, help is coming.

In those real-life moments when our strength is spent, every solution exhausted, and our courage is defeated, it’s good to remember the servant of the prophet Elisha. Elisha had thwarted the King of Aram’s plans to attack the Israelites, so the King of Aram sent a strong force of troops, horses, and chariots to surround Elisha during the night. Elisha’s servant is the first one to discover they’re hedged in and about to be attacked.

medievil soliders

I imagine him shuffling outside still in his robe with an earthen mug of coffee clutched between both hands, eyelids heavy with sleep. He stretches in the early morning sun with a resounding yawn. A glint of light reflects off something metal, and he’s instantly awake, staring at an army of men ready to kill him and his master. He backs up a step, his shaking hands sloshing his morning coffee when he hears Elisha step outside. The wide-eyed servant frantically whispers, “Oh no, my lord, what shall we do?”

Elisha probably issued his servant a confident, we-got-this sort of look and said, “Don’t be afraid. Those who are with us are more than those who are with them.” The servant must have glanced around, doing another quick count, and still came up with just two versus an entire army. Elisha prayed, “Open his eyes, Lord, that he may see.” God revealed to the servant hills full of horses and chariots blazing with fire that surrounded Elisha, ready to battle against their enemies (2 Kings 6: 2-23). In a single moment, the servant moved from hopeless despair to an attitude of bring-it-on King Aram.

The chances initially looked bleak, but help had been there the whole time. God had those blazing chariots lined up before the servant even realized he needed help, and God has already prepared for our battle too. We must focus on the invisible, not the visible.

I pray that God will open your eyes to see the warriors He has ready and waiting. I pray your faith will remain strong even in the blackest moment, and may you always have an Elisha to confidently stand beside you and remind you, don’t be afraid. Help isn’t just on the way—it’s already here.

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Boxer throwing a punch

Facing Battles – Are you a Warrior or a Captive?

Tankman - Photo by Jeff Widener
Tankman – Photo by Jeff Widener

He stood in front of a line of tanks of at least fifteen or more—one man—grocery bags still in his hands. This lone man made a stand. He refused to let the artillery vehicles pass. When the tanks moved to drive around him, he moved with them, blocking their path. It was him or them. His identity and what happened to the lone man was never discovered, but the man will go down in history as Tankman. Whether he’d lost a loved one or merely had had enough of the Chinese regime and the killing, on that day in June of 1989, he’d had enough. He faced off with a tank.

“No one avoids battle. You’re either a warrior or a captive.” – Pastor Derrick Frye

David watched the entire Israel army cower in fear in front of the Philistine’s prizefighter, and he’d had enough. David says, who does this guy think he is that he can defy the armies of the Living God? He decides to go all in and challenge a giant. (1 Samuel 17)

Bonfire

Elisha burned his plow. He was all-in. There was no going back to planting fields and farming. He left everything to follow Elijah and become a servant of God. (1 King 19:21)

To me, Jacob was the most daring because he fought God. (Crazy right?) Jacob spent a good chunk of his life running from his brother’s wrath and then his father-in-law Laban. After an ominous note from his brother, Jacob divides his family and sends them on different routes so they all won’t be killed. After aiding his wives, children, and livestock across a river, darkness falls, and he finds himself alone—or so he thought. I can imagine the hair lifting on his neck and him calling out, “Who’s there? Show yourself!” Whether Jacob or God made the first move is unknown. The Bible just says, they wrestled until daybreak. Jacob’s all in. He’s desperate. He clings to God and says, “I won’t let you go until you bless me.” (Genesis 32:22-32)

Jacob walks away with a limp and a new name—Israel, which means struggles with God. It’s not that God couldn’t take Jacob, my husband wrestles with my boys all the time (in fact they’re doing as I type this). I can imagine God pinning Jacob and making him voice what it is he wants. I want your blessing! I want to know I have your favor. I want to know You are with me, and I’m not alone.

Boxer punching

How badly do we want it? We are perpetually fighting the temptation of getting comfortable. It’s easy to stay on the sidelines, but we were meant to join the fight. How is God calling you to be a warrior? What is your fight? Is it to help kids learn to read? Is it to start a Bible study? Witness to the guy or gal next to you at work? Letting someone know you’re praying for them this week?

Our courage must be greater than our complacency. Whatever the tanks are that have kept you on the sidelines, it’s time to stand up and show them God’s firepower.

“Faithfulness isn’t holding the fort; it’s storming the gates of hell.” – Mark Batterson, author of All In.

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Hawk

Perspective – Is Your View that of a Field Mouse or a Hawk?

Hawks can see up to eight times better than humans.This is roughly 20/5 to 20/2 compared to our normal 20/20 vision, and that’s if you don’t already need glasses. Hawk One swooped down from its grand birds-eye view from the top of one of our oak trees and captured something in our yard over the weekend. My son and I watched it spread its wings and strut about with its feathers puffed as if pleased by its catch, then fly off back to its high perch to eat in peace.

We have no idea what it had caught, much to my son’s disappointment and my squeamish stomach’s delight. We don’t have the 1 million per mm photoreceptors that the hawk does. Nor can we distinguish between wide arrays of colors the way a hawk can. We also lack the indented fovea which acts like a zoom lens and allows the hawk to hone in on its subject.

Compared to the hawk, our eyesight is sorely lacking, we’re like blind moles Rabbitfumbling our way around in the dark. Life can seem like that to us. Our problems seem overwhelming, insurmountable. We feel like the poor field mouse or the tiny rabbit vulnerable to an attack at any moment.

I can imagine Joshua and his small army felt exposed and defenseless as they silently circled the wall of Jericho. Yet, Joshua’s small army crumbled those walls with only the blaring of their trumpets and the shouts of their voices (Joshua 6:1-21). Within the Bible, we even more examples of the weak underdog doing the impossible. Gideon, who claimed to be the least in his father’s house, sent home ten thousand soldiers at God’s command and battled the fierce and vast Midianite army with a mere three hundred men (Judges chapters 6 & 7). Elisha’s servant woke up and went outside to stretch one morning and found the city surrounded by the Aramean army. Instead of panicking, Elisha (and I believe he smiled as he did this) asked God to open his servant’s eyes, and God revealed a heavenly army filling the hills with chariots of fire (2 Kings 6:8-22).

With God all things are possible. So why do we act like frightened field mice when we have access to hawk vision. We need to take a step back and get a better perspective. I don’t mean climb up an oak tree or scale building to the rooftop. I mean to get a God perspective. Joshua, Gideon, and Elisha overlooked their smallness to focus on God’s greatness. They realized what Paul later explained in Romans 8:31, “If God is for us, who can be against us?”

As Christ-followers, we have a direct line to God’s omnipotent power. Prayer connects us to the one who created the heavens and breathed the earth into existence. But, we need to stop holding a field mouse mentality, and in faith, turn to the One who is so big, the earth is His footstool. We need to realize that God is bigger than our circumstances. For He is the God of miracles.

“Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9

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