Victory at the Buzzer
“For everyone born of God overcomes the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith.” 1 John 5:4
The game was tied, and the Saints get the ball in the last 30 seconds. Seeing Cory open, Brantley passes the ball, and he maneuvers around a Pirates’ man with a clear pathway up the right side. Simon sets up in the right corner, and Cory pass off to Simon in the last 5 seconds. Simon dribbles around one man and shoots. Just as the buzzer sounds, the ball swishes through the net. The Saints rush the court, jumping up and down and yelling, “Simon, Simon.” The Saints pull out a victory at the buzzer.
Just as the Saints celebrated a sweet victory, Elisha and his friends celebrated a victory over King Aram’s army in 2 Kings 6. Elisha’s victory was not won by physical might but by spiritual might. How can we gain spiritual strength and wisdom like Elisha? First, we must open our eyes to be aware of God’s presence. Paul’s prayer for the church members of Ephesus in Ephesians 1:18-19 captures the human heart’s need to be reminded over and over again that in Christ we already possess all the hope, insight, and strength to face any situation.
God did not say that we need to strengthen our eyes, but we need to open our eyes. When we become a Christian, we are given Christ’s vision, perfect vision to see God for who He is. “Whenever anyone turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away” (2 Corinthians 3:16). “For in Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form, and you have been given fullness in Christ, who is the head over every power and authority” (Colossians 2:9-10). I would say that most of us go through life with our eyes half open on a good day, right? I want my eyes to be wide open, how about you?
In 2 Kings 6:15 Elisha opened his eyes early one morning to a bad situation as King Aram’s army with horses and chariots surrounded his city. From the outside defeat looked imminent. However, Elisha’s first response reveals that he was aware of God’s presence and deeply trusted in God to help him know what to do. “ ‘Don’t be afraid,’ the prophet [Elisha] answered, ‘Those who are with us are more than those who are with them.’ ” Secondly, to become more aware of God’s presence we need prayer to be our first response as Elisha in 2 Kings 6:17. When Elisha opened his eyes after praying, he saw the hills full of horses and chariots of fire.
Then as the enemy advanced, Elisha prayed that God would strike them with blindness, and it was as Elisha asked. Seeing the chariots of fire deeply encouraged Elisha’s faith because He knew that God’s presence and His army was with him and fighting for His people. Physical blindness distorted and confused the men, just as spiritual blindness. Israel’s security was in God, not in military force. No physical might can overcome spiritual blindness; for spiritual blindness is far more deadly.
Where do you need God to open your eyes to see spiritual wisdom and truth?
How can you make prayer more of a first response in a difficult situation?
How has God intervened in your life when it seemed possible that anything good could come from the situation?
How has God shown His faithfulness in answering your prayers?
Share about a time when you celebrated a sweet victory?
Read Bummi’s story about how she experienced God’s presence at an all-time low and how He gave her the strength to have a difficult conversation with her family and make changes in her life from the Sacred Story collection.
~Mary Carmen Englert