16 “DON’T BE AFRAID!” ELISHA TOLD HIM. “FOR THERE ARE MORE ON OUR SIDE THAN ON THEIRS!” (2 Kings 6:16)
- When the darts come from the enemy…we stare at them bold faced and say…..nuh uh!
- I KNOW. I KNOW there are more for me than against me. You can feel faith rising up in you.
- You can see the tendency to ZOOM IN…to zoom in to fear….but as you speak life and His promises….you can see it diminish as you’re zooming out! Your PERSPECTIVE CHANGES
BACK TO OUR STORY: Then Elisha prayed, “O Lord, open his eyes and let him see!” The Lord opened the young man’s eyes, and when he looked up, he saw that the hillside around Elisha was filled with horses and chariots of fire.
- Sometimes you have to ZOOM OUT of your situation….to see that hey!
- God is far more powerful than what I’m looking at. We are victorious!
- This is a temporary emotion or this is a temporary situation. He has been faithful in this and that. When you start renewing your mind on God’s goodness….you start ZOOMING OUT.
- What did Elisha say in response: TWO THINGS: Don’t be afraid and There are more on our side, than theirs. He knew he was dealing with fear and then he encouraged him.
- Sometimes there are people around you zooming in…you be the only one to zoom out.
- When Elisha ZOOMED OUT, it was not only calming to HIS mind, he also calmed his servant.
- When God has ordained your steps and you know you are walking in His will….that doesn’t mean that difficulties will escape you…but that means that an entire army of chariots of fire will outnumber the opposition from the enemy! Let promises like that help you ZOOM OUT
- When you ZOOM out you stop seeing the intensity of the problem and you start seeing His handiwork in that situation.
Zoom In: stress, anger outbursts, fear, not seeing the whole picture, impatient, emotionally led…men…anger is an emotional response…shutting down is an emotional response…most of these are temporary and all of them are exaggerated responses that we tend to regret later.
Zoom Out: a decision to look at the whole picture, recognizing there is more to the story than the tiny detail you’re staring at, seeing God’s handiwork and faithfulness and voice instead.
TRANSITION: Now I’d like to read you a completely different story and see how the response compares to Elisha’s response to his servant and the Aramean army surrounding them.
SCRIPTURE: This story is from Numbers 13
Moses sent these tribal leaders to scout out the promise land. So they scout everything out and come back with a report that the cities are fortified, the people are giants and powerful. ONLY Caleb says in the midst of the rest of the leaders tries to shush them and rises up and let’s go guys! We can conquer them! See Caleb is Zooming out while the rest have zoomed in! The rest say no way and spread the fear among the rest of the Israelites. Look at what they say at the end at verse 33:
We seemed like grasshoppers in our own eyes, and we looked the same to them. (Numbers 13:33)
- They had zoomed in so much to the point that fear had completely overtaken and they rendered themselves powerless. Get this….the enemy saw them the same way.
- These are tribal leaders here. Leaders!
- They viewed themselves as grasshoppers. And the enemy viewed them the same.
- When you ZOOM IN a situation that you feel unqualified for and you cancel yourself out, the enemy and those around you view you the same way.
- Rise up and view yourself VICTORIOUS! Don’t look at the tiny details of your situation… but rather look at the story wholistically through the lens of His promises in your life.
- When you ZOOM out you stop seeing the intensity of the problem and you start seeing His handiwork in that situation. Caleb saw the opportunity for God to move mightily but the rest saw limitation and fear.
- What also struck me is They both viewed the SAME EXACT THING ? But some ZOOMED IN and one ZOOMED OUT and had completely different responses!
- Can we do this too? Can we see a situation and see the positive and glean the promises etc.
- The way you view your life, your day, your relationships make all the difference. Zoom out….SAY ZOOM OUT WITH ME!
There are 3 areas that tend to be the most difficult to resist the urge to ZOOM OUT:
- Zoom out when you feel tension and stress
- Remind yourself of His Word….that He is sufficient for you! (2 Cor 12:9) That He delights when you lean into His strength rather than your own natural strength…He has more than enough strength to go around. Stop trying to do in on your own.
- Remind yourself that if he can take care of the birds of the air like in Matt 6:26….can’t he take care of that situation that feels so gigantic right now…
- Zoom out when you feel offense creeping in
- We have all felt this sting haven’t we? Someone has wronged us…. There are times when we have been truly wronged and times when we THINK we have been wronged.
- Whichever one a situation may fall under….our response is crucial. We can rehearse the wrong and be like stir it back up in our mind and heart over and over. That’s ZOOMING IN.
- Or we can ZOOM OUT. We can say this: “Ok…this is not a big deal and I know it if I’m being honest….there is far more good to this person than the way they just responded…maybe they’re struggling with things I don’t know…give them grace.” Or “this is absolutely not ok this happened but I’m not letting my whole day, year, whatever be dominated by this wrong. Who knows what’s going on internally that this person felt it was ok to behave like this. I for real need to pray for them. It softens my heart towards them and frees me from this prison of offense.”
- Don’t pick apart every detail…broaden your view and see how that helps you see things differently.
3. Zoom out in relationship with other people
- We have been learning these past few weeks how important relationship and connection is with other people.
- People disappoint….I disappoint…you disappoint…
- Consider: sometimes we may be putting an unfair amount of expectation on people.
- Zoom out when we view the shortcomings of a person…we all have them! I want someone to view me with patience and grace…view them the same way.
STATEMENT: Look through the lens of eternity. Then we will see…the stuff we let consume so many hours really don’t matter. Look at the bigger picture of the vapor of our life and what we really really truly want to spend our time, our emotions, our heart on.
CLOSING STATEMENT: I know things get hard. I know and hate it for you. Life’s blows hit hard sometimes ….some are completely out of your control and at the hands at other people.
Some are within your power. Some are not. What is within our power for every single person here is our choice to ZOOM IN or ZOOM OUT.
The stuff that was meant to take you out and render you defenseless … that can be used by God in His sovereignty to do the opposite! Use the very thing meant to destroy you as your launching pad to show God’s faithfulness and power in the worst of situations. Let others see the incredible redeeming power of God. God in His all powerful way can turn all things for His good and glory like Rom 8:28 says.
What areas do you tend to ZOOM IN with? Surrender those and open up to help and adjusting your behavior in those areas where too much ZOOMING occurs. Ask the Holy Spirit to reveal why we tend to respond in those areas. Is it fear of loss of control? Is it fear of failing? Is it fear of rejection? What drives you to ZOOM IN. Ask God to help you in these areas.