During the past year, I’ve had the opportunity to meet more non-Christian people than I have for a long time. I have had the privilege of leading a couple of ladies to the Lord, and the honor of having new sisters in Christ! As I handed each of those ladies their very own Bible, this question came up: “Where do I start?”
Wow! What an amazing thought – the Word of God, in the hands of someone who has never had God’s Word, and they want to know where to start reading. The fact of the matter is, they could start anywhere, but if they ask, I usually point them to the gospel of John and the books of Psalms and Proverbs. These are relatively easy reading, and they are full of truth and wisdom.
I was sharing some of my favorite Bible stories with one of the ladies, because she had asked, and I was enjoying the opportunity to share about my favorite book. There are so many wonderful stories of God’s goodness and faithfulness in the Bible. How do you take a lifetime of Bible reading and try to share the excitement of all that God does in the Bible, with someone who doesn’t even know the basics? Where do I start?
One of my favorite stories to share is one of a person feeling overwhelmed, not sure what to do next, and asking for help. I find these feelings are easy to relate to, especially for someone who is new to following Jesus. You can read the full story here, or if you want to look it up in your own Bible, the passage is from II Kings 6:8-23.
Elisha and his servant have been aiding the king of Israel by sending messages about the location of the king of Syria. The king of Syria found out about this and sent his army to capture Elisha. When Elisha’s servant woke up in the morning, he saw that they were surrounded and he asked Elisha what they should do.
Elisha’s answer must have seemed a little strange to the servant:
So he answered, “Do not fear, for those who are with us are more than those who are with them.”
II Kings 6:16
If the servant had seen “those who are with us,”
I don’t think he would have asked Elisha what they should do.
So Elisha did what he knew to do in a tough situation. He called on God.
And Elisha prayed, and said, “Lord, I pray, open his eyes that he may see.” Then the Lord opened the eyes of the young man, and he saw. And behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha.
II Kings 6:17
The servant’s eyes had been blinded to the angels sent to protect Elisha, just as our eyes are often blinded to the help God has in place for us.
God may not choose to open our eyes to the angels protecting us, but we can know that they are there. In Psalm 91:9-12 we read,
Because you have made the Lord, who is my refuge,
Even the Most High, your dwelling place,
No evil shall befall you,
Nor shall any plague come near your dwelling;
For He shall give His angels charge over you,
To keep you in all your ways.
In their hands they shall bear you up,
Lest you dash your foot against a stone.
I love sharing the story of Elisha and his servant. Many of us, myself included, try to manage life on our own. We see the enemy circling around and we fear. But I think we forget that God doesn’t leave us on our own. He places His angels in our lives for our protection, and He is always faithful to see us through.
So, where do you start? Where do I start? We start with remembering the words of II Kings 6:16 – that those who are with us (in the heavenly realm, protecting us) are more than those who are with them (the enemy).