Weekly Devotionals - 13 February

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. (2 Kings 6:17)

 Have you ever seen the movie “In Search of Bobby Fisher”? The movie is based on a true story of a young chess player named Joshua Waitzkin, a youngster who displayed a genius very much like the famous chess player, Bobby Fisher.

The absolute best part of the movie is the championship match where Joshua is matched up against an intimidating chess prodigy named Jonathan Poe. Joshua’s opponent is at a point where he appears to have Joshua on the ropes. To any observer, the match is over. It’s just a matter of time before Joshua will have to concede. This scenario can be likened to when Elisha’s servant was about ready to face the inevitable, it could also be any of us when we are faced with the impossibility of a situation. But hang on for a minute, is it really over?

After contemplating the chessboard, Joshua was able to see the end game; He just needs 12 moves before it becomes a reality. This was a setup he rehearsed on many occasions with his mentor, Bruce Pandolfin, played by Ben Kingsley. Joshua’s opponent (Jonathan) has just made a fatal mistake in their match. No one sees it, but the question is – does Joshua see it?

The next scene is classic. Joshua extends his hand to Jonathan to offer a draw so that the championship could be shared, however his opponent is incredulous, “A draw, you’ve got to be kidding”. Joshua then told him, “You’ve lost, you just don’t know it yet”! Joshua’s opponent refused the offer of a draw and told him to take his move. 12 moves later, Joshua wins the match.

View this scene here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ybrY9JWVBv4

I’m spending time to elaborate about this part of the movie because it contains a powerful message. Remember, in God’s economy, things are not always as they seem. We need to pray to have our eyes opened, just like Elisha’s servant did, in order to see the bigger picture.

Think for a moment when Jesus was dying upon the cross –   It seemed to be a defeat with a sense of death and finality. But the reality of what was being accomplished at Calvary was Jesus openly triumphing over the powers of darkness. To the natural eye, it sure did not seem that way!

“Having disarmed principalities and powers, He made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them in it.” (Colossians 2:15).

The enemy always seeks to offer a shortcut alternative to the sovereign direction of the Lord. To the human eyes, the fruits of the tree that Satan offers would have more appeal than the message of the cross (Genesis 3:5-6). Satan even attempted to try this tactic on Jesus after His 40 days of prayer and fasting.

“Then saith Jesus unto him, Get thee hence, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve.” (Matthew 4:10).

Jesus’ response of that “it is written” is because He understood the end game.

The account of Abraham and Lot can help us distill the message of knowing the end game into practical understanding for us. Lot made a decision to go for natural appearances that looked good – A much more appealing path than what Abraham would have chosen.

“And Lot lifted his eyes and saw all the plain of Jordan, that it was well watered everywhere (before the LORD destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah) like the garden of the LORD, like the land of Egypt as you go toward Zoar.” (Genesis 13:10)

Truth is, Abraham functioned from a much higher vision and perspective than Lot (Hebrews 11:8-10). Those of limited vision have no ability to see the “bigger picture”. Like Lot, they can be overwhelmed by the prevailing circumstances of Sodom.

“For that righteous man, dwelling among them, tormented his righteous soul from day to day by seeing and hearing their lawless deeds.” (2 Peter 2:8)

The days before us are going to be both dark and glorious (Isaiah 60:1-5). In order for us to know the end game, we must be filled with the Word of God. Let the lesson from Joshua’s chess match serve as an inspiration and reminder to us that all is not always as it seems. Appearances can be deceiving. It’s time that we, as Christians, allow our vision to be lifted higher so that we can see all things from God’s perspective. “We are on the winning side! Do we know it?” It’s time we start leading our lives with the knowledge of the end game – that our God is still on the throne. (Psalm 2:4)

Monday: Isaiah 55:9

For as the heavens are higher than the earth, So are My ways higher than your ways, And My thoughts than your thoughts.

Tuesday: Mark 8:25

Then He put His hands on his eyes again and made him look up. And he was restored and saw everyone clearly.

Wednesday: 1 Corinthians 2:9

But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, rhe things which God hath prepared for them that love Him.”

Thursday: 1 Samuel 16:7

But the LORD said to Samuel, “Do not look at his appearance or at his physical stature, because I have refused him. For the LORD does not see as man sees; for man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.”

Friday: Psalm 119:18

Open my eyes, that I may see wondrous things from Your law.

Saturday: 1 Corinthians 1:18

For the word of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.

Sunday: Ephesians 1:18

The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints,

 All scriptures are quoted from the New King James Version
By Pastor Timothy O’Connell