Luke 24: 28-32
28When they got close to the village where they were going, Jesus did as if he were going farther. 29But they urged him to stay, saying,
– Stay with us because it’s late, and the night is coming.
So Jesus came in to be with the two. 30 He sat down at the table with them, took the bread and thanked God. Then he broke the bread and gave it to them. 31Then their eyes were opened, and they recognized Jesus. But he disappeared. 32Then they said to each other:
– Didn’t it seem that our hearts burned inside our chest when he spoke to us on the road and explained the Holy Scriptures to us?
Brothers, here we have an account of the appearance of Jesus after his resurrection. Two followers of Jesus walked to Emmaus and talked, probably lamenting, about the death of the Messiah. They were saddened by the events and we can even imagine that they were discussing what they should do, since the Master would be dead.
Just as the two men did not recognize Jesus, it is very difficult for human beings to see events on the spiritual plane, as our spiritual eyes are closed. Discernment is required to differentiate the carnal from the spiritual. Without discernment, we run the risk of considering all problems as spiritual, and this is an error, since there are mental and carnal problems as well, since the human being is composed of spirit, soul and body.
There are some struggles that we have to fight in the flesh, under spiritual protection: once David and his men were in anguish, because the Amalekites had plundered their city and taken their women and children as prisoners. The revolt was so great that the soldiers threatened to stone David to death!
1 Samuel 30: 8
8Then David asked God the Lord,
– Should I go after these invaders? Will I be able to catch them?
– Go after them. You will take them and free the prisoners.
Note: of course, God is sovereign and has power over everything, but this is not the topic of today.
Brothers, there are several types of battles, keep that in mind, but today we will talk about battles in the spiritual field.
Let’s see what the Bible teaches us.
On one occasion, Israel was under attack by the king of Syria. The Syrians chose a strategic location and set a trap for the king of Israel. The prophet Elisha, inspired by God, warned the king of Israel about the hidden Syrians to attack him, thus avoiding the attack. This happened several times until the king of Syria became suspicious of his officers. He called his officers to find out who was on the king’s side of Israel, but they replied that it was the prophet Elisha who revealed the Syrians’ plans.
2 Kings 6: 13-17
13Then the king ordered:
– Find out where he is, that I will arrest him.
He was told that Elisha was in Dothan, 14and he sent a large troop of soldiers there with horses and chariots. They arrived in the city at night and surrounded it. 15The very next day, Elisha’s servant got up and left the house. There he saw Syrian troops with their horses and chariots, surrounding the city. Then he went into the house and said to Elisha:
– Sir, we are lost! What do we do?
– Do not be afraid, because those who are with us are more numerous than those who are with them.
17Then he prayed like this:
– O Lord God, open my employee’s eyes and let him see!
God answered his prayer. Then Elisha’s servant looked up and saw that around Elisha the hill was covered with horses and chariots.
Here there was a carnal battle in the eyes of Elisha’s servant. However, the Syrian attack was against God’s people, the motivation was to conquer the lands that God had given to the Israelites. Elisha saw this and could see the army of angels standing by to defend God’s people. Seeing the spiritual side is the first step in fighting on this plane. Every time a child of God is attacked for being a child of God, we are facing a spiritual battle. Just as Elisha prayed, we must also pray to be able to see clearly and avoid the useless wear and tear of carnal battle.
There is no way to win a spiritual fight on the carnal plane! Think about the struggles you have been through and pray for God to open your eyes so that you can see your true enemies.
But what to do after seeing?
2 Kings 6: 18-20
18When the Syrians attacked, Elisha prayed like this:
– O Lord God, make these men blind!
God answered Elisha’s prayer and made the Syrians blind. 19Then Elisha went to talk to them and said,
– You are on the wrong path; this city is not the one you are looking for. Come with me, that I will take you to the man you are looking for.
And guided them to the city of Samaria.
20 As soon as they entered the city, Elisha prayed like this:
– O Lord God, open their eyes and let them see.
Then God made the Syrians to see again, and they saw that they were inside the city of Samaria.
Here we have an important lesson to learn. Note that Elisha did not defend himself from the attack and did not counterattack, he reversed the attack with God’s help!
Battles require a sequence of defense and counterattack until one side is defeated. In this battle Elisha preferred not to enter this sequence, as it was not his intention to hurt people who did not even know what they were doing, as they acted under the influence of the evil one.
We must also look for these less violent alternatives to end a conflict. Is there a friend of yours who has been attacking you lately? Avoid attacking him back, see how Elisha ended this episode:
2 Kings 6: 21-23
21When the king of Israel saw the Syrians, he asked Elisha:
– Should I kill them, sir? Should I kill them?
22 – No! No way! He replied. “Do you happen to kill soldiers who are taken prisoner in war?” Feed and drink these and let them return to their king.
23Then the king of Israel had a great feast for those Syrians. And after they had eaten and drank, he sent them back to the king of Syria. Thereafter the Syrians stopped attacking the land of Israel.
The group of enemy soldiers was placed by God inside a fortress city where the army of Israel was assembled. It would be easy to end them. The king of Israel wisely asked for guidance from Elisha, the Lord’s prophet.
By feeding the soldiers and sending them back, God proved to the Syrians his immense power by removing the influence of the devil and putting his love in place. If He can leave this group unscathed, it is because He could effortlessly defeat the entire Syrian army. The king of Syria got this message, and stopped his attacks on Israel.
We can reverse evil with love. Jesus told us to love and pray for our enemies (Mt 5: 44), because we don’t know if they are really our enemies or if they are being dominated by the evil one.
So Paul recommends us:
10To conclude: become stronger and stronger, living together with the Lord and receiving the strength of his great power. 11 Put on all the armor that God gives you to stand against the devil’s traps. 12For we are not fighting against human beings, but against the spiritual forces of evil that live on high, that is, the governments, the authorities and the powers that completely dominate this world of darkness.
Let’s stand up and thank the Lord for his teaching today.
Sir, thank you for your message. May all glory be your Father, who teaches us with love to apply his love. We ask you to open our spiritual eyes so that we can glorify your name even in our struggles. May the victory be yours! Amen.