Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Fight Like Jehoshaphat

          In 2 Chronicles chapter 20, we find the story of a man who got some really, really bad news. War was brewing in his kingdom, and he knew that his natural circumstances spelled out defeat. Verse 3 actually tells us that "Jehoshaphat feared," but it was his reaction to this fear that sets him apart as a sound example for the way we as Christians should fight our battles. Read on to learn more.

  • Jehoshaphat feared, and set himself [determinedly, as his vital need] to seek the Lord; he proclaimed a vast. (verse 3)
    • Jehoshaphat was afraid. He didn't like the projected outcome of an overwhelming situation. He experienced a natural human emotion, but how did he respond to it? He didn't let fear run his life or overtake his faith. Instead, he set himself to seek the Lord, understanding that his life depended on it. He took this time seriously, setting his heart to search out God's will and making sure his flesh continued to succumb to his spirit by fasting. 
  • Judah gathered together to ask help from the Lord; they sought the Lord together and yearned for Him with all their desire. (verse 4)
    • Jehoshaphat did not go it alone. He gathered the whole nation around him to help pray for their safety and for guidance. The entire nation came together in unity, and as one, they asked for help. The beautiful part is they didn't just walk up to God and say, "Hey Big Man, if ya got a second, I could use a little help." They realized God was way too powerful and way too concerned with their well being to act so casual. God's love and His protection are, after all, not a casual thing. They came to Him, hearts open, yearning for the fullness of what He had for them. They desired God and His truth with everything they had.
  • Jehoshaphat reminded God of all the Lord had already done and all His promises in the scriptures. (verses 6-9)
    • Jehoshaphat stood on every piece of God's Word. He declared to the Lord, "I know these things must come to pass for my people because You spoke it." In declaring the promises God made and recounting His blessings from previous trials, Jehoshaphat was reminding himself that God was trustworthy, powerful, and sovereign. He was making sure his soul knew God was in control.
  • "We do not know what to do, but our eyes are on You." (verse 12)
    • Jehoshaphat didn't pretend he had it all together or knew what was going on. He shamelessly admitted he was clueless and helpless, but in his helplessness, he didn't panic. He was completely at a loss, but he didn't let his inability to find a solution hinder his nation's destiny. Instead, he said, "It doesn't matter that I don't know because I know You do, and I am looking to You for the answer." 
  • "Then all Judah stood before the Lord." (verse 13)
    • After they poured their hearts out before God, after they sought Him with everything they had, after they spent themselves on Him, it doesn't say they turned around and went home. The Word tells us they simply waited. They stood and waited on God's response because they knew without a doubt that He would answer.
(By the way, this was God's response: "Be not afraid or dismayed at this for the battle is not yours, but God's. Stand still and see the deliverance of the Lord Who is with you." [verses 15-18.])
  • Jehoshaphat and his people worshiped. They worshiped before God and each other (verses 18-19,) and they worshiped before their enemies (verses 21-22.)
    • While every step of the way Jehoshaphat worshiped God with his attitude and his choices, he also made sure to worship God with his voice. All of the people who gathered together to seek the Lord now came back together to praise Him for all His faithfulness. Their physical battle had not yet begun, yet they knew God deserved praise for who He is. They worshiped the Lord with loud voices and instruments and dancing; they worshiped altogether and in front of their enemies, sending a message loud and clear: "We will rejoice for God is on our side, and if He is for us, who can be against us?"

3 comments:

  1. Beautiful devotion again Megan! I always find Awakening Your Day so interesting. Our writers humble themselves and seek The Lord waiting to hear what God is putting in their hearts to write. Many times it is in the same subject yet the writers didn't have a clue what others are writing!!!! This week CLEARLY THE LORD IS TEACHING ON FEAR!!!! Oh how I LOVE the sweetness of our Lord :))) Pamela Britt Malone

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  2. I love the devotions that takes sections of the bible and explains it verse by verse. Loved the devotion for today.

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