And Elisha prayed, “O LORD, open his eyes so he may see.” Then the LORD opened the servant’s eyes, and he looked and saw the hills full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha – 2:Kings 6:17 (NIV)
My wife and I recently purchased a new, at least new to us anyway, vehicle. Our vehicle of choice was a 2011 Subaru Outback. The moment upon driving the vehicle off of the lot, Subarus in large numbers appeared from out of nowhere to greet us on the highway. I felt like I was in the middle of just about every mummy movie ever filmed. You know the movie where the naïve archeologist stumbles upon the previously undistributed tomb of some ancient pharaoh, removes an amulet that awakens the mummified monarch along with his angry hoard? The simple act of me placing the Outback into drive apparently sent out some sort of homing signal that arrested Subarus everywhere from their peaceful slumber and drew them to me. I could resonate with Haley Joel Osment’s character in the movie, The Sixth Sense but instead of seeing dead people I was seeing Subarus!
Career coach, Dan Miller, discussed on a recent podcast this phenomenon of suddenly seeing previously unseen vehicles after you purchase the same model. He indicated the action of purchasing a car activates the brain’s reticular activator. The reticular activator’s job is to stay on alert and it does this by making you notice some things and ignoring others. After purchasing a vehicle, you suddenly “notice” other vehicles of a same make, model and color.
If you are a Christian, at the moment of the new birth, your “spiritual” activator is turned on. You have the ability to “see” things that were previously blind to you. Scripture describes in various places the unconverted person as being in darkness or belonging to the kingdom darkness while the believer is encouraged to walk in the light. Jesus said speaking of himself in John 12:46, “I have come into the world as a light, so that no one who believes in me should stay in darkness.” However the spiritual activator is more like a dimmer switch than a simple on and off switch. Your actions and thoughts control the intensity of the dimmer and impact the amount of lumens the light source emits.
Embracing fear and not faith is one of the biggest ways to dim the lights. Elisha’s servant embraced fear when he went and found the Aramean army surrounding the city where he and his master where staying. Upon making this discovery he said exasperatingly to Elsiha, “Oh, my lord, what shall we do?” (2 Kings 6:15 – NIV). The servant could only see his troubles but failed to see his deliverance. Elisha seeing with the eyes of faith responded, “Don’t be afraid,” the prophet answered. “Those who are with us are more than those who are with them” (2 Kings 6:17 – NIV). Elisha prayed for his servant’s spiritual activator to be engaged and his servant saw the hills filled with horses and chariots of fire (2: Kings 6:17).
When we are tempted to become overwhelmed by fear, doubt and worry, we need to use our eyes of faith to see the unseen – the invisible hand of providence working on our behalf. “If God is for us, who can be against us?” (Romans 8:31B). God is the creator and still undisputed ruler of the universe who loved you and I so much that he gave his only Son so that we could live with him eternally. God is limitless in his in power and in his love for his people.
So I end with the same question I began with, “what car to do you see?” Do you see the hoopties of fear, doubt, disappointment or bitterness? Engage your spiritual activator and see the chariots of fire.