“When the servant of the man of God got up and went out early the next morning, an army with horses and chariots had surrounded the city. “Oh, my lord, what shall we do?” the servant asked. “Don’t be afraid,” the prophet answered. “Those who are with us are more than those who are with them.” 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 6:15-17
I often pray “Open my eyes to see You Lord; open my ears to hear You Lord”. This prayer comes out of reading over and over in God’s Word of men and women whose eyes and ears are closed to the voice and direction of the Lord. Inevitably this blindness and deafness leads to catastrophe and loss. I know how hard headed I am and how blind. Even when I want to see, hear and follow the Lord my pride and ignorance just plain get in the way.
There is another dimension to this prayer that has been recently impressed upon me. Our daughter Kristin gave Steve the book “Surprised by Scripture” by N.T. Wright for Father’s Day. As always Steve is reading several things at a time, so this book has been tantalizing me and I’ve taken up reading it first! The book is comprised of several short essays on various topics related to scripture and one chapter focuses on Jesus’ second coming. In this chapter Wright talks about what Jesus’ appearing will look like.
“Think about the meaning of appear for a moment. When we talk of Jesus coming, we make it sound as though he is presently far away; as though, to come, he would have to make a lengthy journey. But appear is different. As we find in passages of the New Testament, Jesus is not far away; he is in heaven, and heaven is not a place in the sky, but rather God’s dimension of what we think of as ordinary reality. This is an essential feature of biblical cosmology, and the failure to grasp it leaves many Christians puzzled about how to put together the biblical picture of eschatology. The point is that Jesus is presently in God’s dimension, that is, heaven; however heaven is not a place in our space-time continuum, but a different sphere of reality that overlaps and interlocks with our sphere in numerous though mysterious ways. It is as though there were a great invisible curtain hanging across a room, disguising another space that can be integrated with our space; one day the curtain will be pulled back, the two spaces or spheres will be joined forever, and Jesus himself will be the central figure. (“Surprised by Scripture” page 96, 97)”
This concept that Wright describes is perfectly reflected in the 2 Kings account of Elisha’s prayer that his servant’s eyes would be opened to the other dimension reality of God’s help surrounding them. You can find this other dimension concept in Daniel 10:12,13 where the ‘one who looked like a man’ comes to Daniel to explain that his prayers were heard from the moment he prayed them but the evident delay in responding happened because of a 21 day battle the this messenger had fought.
There is a veil over our eyes and ears that prevents full comprehension of what is happening all around us. We live in this other dimension and the day will come when we will fully apprehend and experience the reality in which we currently dwell. I pray for sensitivity to what is happening all around me, an understanding of the battle and provision in the spiritual realm.
Lord, today open my eyes to see You at work. Open my ears to hear what You want to do in and through me in this world. Give me courage to love boldly serving You and those You place in my path. In Jesus’ name I pray!