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Horses and Chariots

January 6, 2024


What is your greatest fear? I’ll tell you mine. My greatest fear is that my children won’t choose to love and follow Jesus. 


My kids are ages 17 and 19, right in this in-between stage between childhood and adulthood, and I have realized over the past couple of years that I have no control over their personal faith. Faith is something that happens inside an individual’s heart and mind, and only that person can choose it and determine what it looks like. 


And I’m in this weird in-between stage of learning to let go of my children and trust them to make their own choices. 


Aaaaand, it’s not easy. If I think the most important, life-altering, eternity-impacting decision a person can make is to believe in and follow Jesus Christ, how do I just step back and let them make their own decision? I mean, I have to, because pushing it on them won’t make it their own, and it will also likely drive them farther from Jesus. But it's not easy.


God is teaching me to trust Him in this area. I bet I’m not the only Christian parent who has these concerns and who is trying to do the right thing with their teen or adult children and just back off and let them make their own way. 


I actually feel pretty grateful about how often I hold my tongue and don’t express to them my greatest fear, but inside my head, I worry. I pray for them. I hold onto hope when people share stories about being raised in a Christian home but then later their faith became their own. Like in their late 20s or something. 


Last Saturday I was praying for my friend’s daughters, who turned three that day, and then praying for my own kids, and feeling discouraged. The world and its influences loom so large. So many things contrary to Jesus can be so distracting and persuasive…can any of our children find Jesus through all that noise? sighhhhh.....I cried and told God I believe He is more powerful than than the world! I asked Him to bring to mind an example from the Bible that shows His mighty power. 


And I thought of that Old Testament story where one guy prayed for God to open the eyes of the other guy to see all the angels fighting in the battle…


Do you know you can Google stuff that like? I couldn’t remember the names of the people in the story, so I think I typed in "God opened the eyes of…” and one of the suggestions was “God opened the eyes of Elisha’s servant.” And I was like, “Yes! That’s it!” 


So I found it, and read it, and it inspired me and moved me the way it always has. What a reminder of how our God is at work even when our physical eyes can’t see it!


2 Kings 6:8-17


Now the king of Aram was at war with Israel. After conferring with his officers, he said, “I will set up my camp in such and such a place.”


The man of God sent word to the king of Israel: “Beware of passing that place, because the Arameans are going down there.” So the king of Israel checked on the place indicated by the man of God. Time and again Elisha warned the king, so that he was on his guard in such places.


This enraged the king of Aram. He summoned his officers and demanded of them, “Tell me! Which of us is on the side of the king of Israel?”


“None of us, my lord the king,” said one of his officers, “but Elisha, the prophet who is in Israel, tells the king of Israel the very words you speak in your bedroom.”


“Go, find out where he is,” the king ordered, “so I can send men and capture him.” The report came back: “He is in Dothan.” Then he sent horses and chariots and a strong force there. They went by night and surrounded the city.


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 no, 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, “Open his eyes, Lord, so that 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.


The best part is there at the end! He looked and saw the hills full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha. God is at work in the spiritual realm in ways we are so often unaware of! 




Last Saturday while I was worrying about my children, God also brought to mind the testimony of a friend of mine. I got goosebumps when I first heard it a few weeks ago, and then I told my husband about it, and I have been thinking about it repeatedly ever since. If you want a story of our mighty God and how He loves us each so personally and has the power to reach us directly, read on! 


I asked my friend, “How did you become a Christian?”


In Randy’s own words: 


It’s a long story and kind of a dark story as well. But there was light at the end of the tunnel through it. I had a girlfriend who introduced me to Wicca, and I started hearing demonic voices for many years telling me that I was no good and I needed to end my life. I tried to talk to people for advice and no one could help me. I ended up trying to commit suicide. 


I heard a still small voice saying, “Stop, Randy, I love you!” 


I heard this voice multiple times. I cried out loud to the voice saying, “If you are the God of the universe I’ve been hearing about, prove it.” 


The next day I was sitting in the living room watching TV and I heard that still small voice prompting me to get up and go drive somewhere. I was debating about listening and obeying. “Where would I drive to? It’s the afternoon,” I thought to myself. “…Okay, let’s do this!” I hopped in the car and prayed and said, “Tell me where you want me to go.”


As I drove I heard the voice saying, “Turn left…turn right…” I tried to go the opposite way, but something in me knew that if I went the opposite way, I would regret it. I couldn’t even get the strength to turn the steering wheel the opposite way. The voice kept telling me to go right and left multiple times. 


I ended up in the Catholic Church parking lot at the church I hated going to for years and stopped going to. I thought, "Why would you bring me here? I hate this place.”


Get this, Christi! Mine was the only car there. The voice told me to go to the front door and go inside. I thought this was nuts. Because no one was there and the lights were turned off. I did it, though. I pulled on the door of the building, and for whatever reason, the door was unlocked!! I’m getting goosebumps telling you this! “How can this be possible???? How can the front door be unlocked when no one is here?”


I walked into the church and into the sanctuary, afraid that I was going to get in trouble. I knelt down at the steps of where the priests stand at the marble platform. I looked up in this dark sanctuary at a stained-glass image of Jesus nailed to the cross, shining in the sanctuary. I stared in His eyes. And I realized the voice was Him! I cried, in tears, asking for His forgiveness and for Him to come into my heart and change my heart! I prayed for 15 minutes. I felt all those demons inside of me leave me instantly and suddenly this wind of peace blew right into my body. I realized later that was the Holy Spirit. 


I got up and met up with my best friend to tell him my story. He had witnessed to me for 10 years. When I told him what happened, he hugged me and said, “Welcome to the family! You are saved, brother!”


That was in February of 2005.


I was so thankful that day that God rescued me from the darkness! I had gone to a priest and my parents for help and no one could help me. They all turned me away and told me I was crazy. God is so amazing! I would never trade my story or that day for anything! I was searching for a cure for many, many years, and it was always in front of me the whole entire time but I continued to avoid accepting Christ in my life. He was so patient with me! I love Jesus Christ more and more each day! I can’t wait till the day He comes and I can run into His arms and hug Him in person and look Him in His eyes and say, “Thank you, Daddy, for saving me from my sin!”


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Oh my gosh, you guys, how can I follow up Randy’s story with anything that comes close to being so powerful?


Here’s what this story means to me: Look who our God is! He loves us so much to never give up on us and to reach out to us personally to have a relationship with us and save us! My love for Jesus swelled when I first heard Randy’s story, and it swells again whenever I think of it. 


“Stop, Randy, I love you!”


This God is the same God who created my children. He loves them the way He loves Randy. God will never give up on them and never stop trying to reach them. He is always working in powerful ways, even when we can’t see it with our physical eyes. 


“Then the Lord opened the servant’s eyes, and he saw the hills filled with horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha.”


Is there an area of your life where you feel discouraged and you doubt that God is working?


Like I said, one of those areas for me is with my children, hoping they will find faith in Jesus that is their own. 


Open my eyes, Lord, so that I may see. And until I can see, increase my faith so that I believe there are horses and chariots of fire on the hills around the battle I’m fighting. 




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