March 31, 2015
What a predicament! The people of Judah faced an enemy alliance marching to destroy them. We looked last time at this dramatic event—God’s people caught in an impossible situation.
We saw that the people set their faces first of all to seek the Lord in earnest prayer and fasting.
Next, the King reminded the Lord of what He had done in the past. This appeal to God is a classic. Don’t miss reading it for yourself in 2 Chronicles 20:5-12, culminating in this beautiful appeal,
O our God, wilt Thou not judge them? for we have no might against this great company that cometh against us; neither know we what to do: but our eyes are upon Thee.(v. 12)
So often that’s how we feel. Jehoshaphat says, “Lord, You told us when trouble came, if we would seek Your face, You would hear and deliver us. Now I’m reminding You of Your promise. You gave us this land, and this crowd has come to kick us out of the possession You’ve given us.”
Embrace God’s Promises
God has given us something better than the land of Canaan: victory in Jesus Christ. The devil would love to kick you out of the land of victory into the wilderness of defeat. You don’t have to take it. Embrace a promise from God and stand on that promise.
“…for He hath said, “I will never leave thee nor forsake thee. So that we may boldly say, The Lord is my helper…” (Hebrews 13:5)
“He hath said…that we may boldly say.” Find something God has said and say it boldly. That’s what Jehoshaphat did: “God, because You said it, I’m going to boldly say it. I’m not going to let these people take away what You have given.” He found a promise and stood on it.
Enlist God’s Protection
“And Judah stood before the LORD with their little ones, their wives, and their children.”(v.13)
See them standing with their little children, saying, “God, we don’t know what to do, but we have a promise from You. Our eyes are not upon our enemy, not upon circumstances, but on You. If we die, we’re going to die with our eyes on You.”
Do you think God is going to forsake people like that? No.
“Thus saith the LORD to you, Be not afraid nor dismayed by reason of this great multitude; for the battle is not yours, but the LORD’S…. And ye shall not need to fight in this battle: set yourselves, stand ye still, and see the salvation of the LORD….” (v.15-17)
God says, “It’s all right. The battle is not yours.”
Prayer and Praise are the Two Wings of Spiritual Power
The battle never has been yours. But you’re going to have a part in it. Your part is praise. You can’t hide until the battle is over and then praise the Lord. If you say, “When You’ve done it all and given me the victory, then I’m going to praise You,” God replies,
“You’re not going to have victory until you start praising.”
“Well, I can’t praise yet because I don’t have victory yet.”
God says, “All right. I’m not going to do anything yet.”
If you say, “I can’t praise God in the middle of my problems,” God says, “Okay, live with them.”
Lack of praise when we pray is unbelief. Until we learn to praise God in our troubles, we will live with them.
If you’re in the middle of a problem, begin to praise God, not after the victory but before. “Thank You, Lord, for the victory. I praise You for the victory.” When we begin to praise before we see the answer, this is the ultimate faith. We’re saying, “God, we don’t know how You’re going to do it, but You’re bigger than this problem. And therefore, I praise You.”
“Then Jehoshaphat bowed…his face to the ground: and Judah and all the inhabitants of Jerusalem…, worshipping the LORD.”
As Judah begins to worship, a strange thing happens. The enemy turns on himself.
Praise Confuses the Enemies of God
There’s something about praise that sends the enemy into confusion. It’s a pattern in the Word of God: when His people say “Our eyes are upon You,” God sends confusion to the enemy.
A Timeless Spiritual Principle
Never forget: God allows these problems to bring us to Himself.
10 Things To Do When Trouble Comes