This morning the Lord impressed upon me a new battle plan based on the example of Jehoshaphat.
- Make it a priority to walk with God daily; pray for a longing to become a woman or man after God’s heart (2 Chronicles 17:3)
- When a crisis is looming (or the enemy is approaching), resolve to inquire of the Lord (2 Chronicles 20:3)
- Fix your eyes upon Him rather than the crisis or the enemy (2 Chronicles 20:12b)
- Trust His word and worship Him (2 Chronicles 20:18)
- Praise Him for “the splendor of His holiness, ” and thank Him for His enduring love as you go into battle (2 Chronicles 20: 21)
- Stand firm in faith and see the provision of the Lord (2 Chronicles 20:17)
- When the battle is over, praise the Lord (2 Chronicles 20:26)
One of my many favorite Biblical accounts is the story of Judah under the leadership of Jehoshaphat. Jehoshaphat was a godly leader for Judah, who “walked in the ways his father David had followed.” (2 Chronicles 17:3)
The part of the story I love is in 2 Chronicles 20, when a vast army of Moabites and Ammonites came to make war against Judah. Jehoshaphat immediately resolved to seek the Lord and proclaimed a fast for all of Judah. All the people of Judah responded by coming together to seek the Lord. Jehoshaphat stood before them crying out to the Lord and proclaiming:
“…We do not know what to do, but our eyes are upon you.” 2 Chronicles 20:12b
What wisdom is revealed in that verse; though I don’t know what to do, my eyes are fixed on you rather than the problem, or a frantic search for my own solutions.
God responded through Jahaziel:
15b This is what the LORD says to you: ‘Do not be afraid or discouraged because of this vast army. For the battle is not yours, but God’s… 17 You will not have to fight this battle. Take up your positions; stand firm and see the deliverance the LORD will give you, O Judah and Jerusalem. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged. Go out to face them tomorrow, and the LORD will be with you.’ ” 2 Chronicles 20: 15b, 17
Jehoshaphat and all of the people immediately fell down in worship before the Lord.
This is the part I really love; their faith is evidenced by their action when:
21 After consulting the people, Jehoshaphat appointed men to sing to the LORD and to praise him for the splendor of his holiness as they went out at the head of the army, saying:
“Give thanks to the LORD,
for his love endures forever.” (2 Chronicles 20:21)
How I long for that kind of faith! If only I would follow their example consistently as I face the battles of my life. Notice, it says the men were appointed to praise Him for “the splendor of His holiness.” Not to praise Him because the battle was going their way, the physical battle had not even begun yet. Notice also that the singers were placed at the head of the army, not behind. How significant that we put our faith, our praise and thankfulness for Him ahead of any other means we might have to manage or fight the battles of our lives.
God was faithful to His Word, as He always is. Judah didn’t have to fight the battle. As they were singing praises to God, He set ambushes for the attacking armies, and they slaughtered one another. By the time Judah arrived at the battle site, “they saw only dead bodies lying on the ground, no one had escaped.” (2 Chronicles 20:24)
As he promised deliverence to Judah (2 Chronicles 20:17), He has promised provision for us. Through faith in Jesus Christ, the God of the universe is on our side, and “we are more than conquerors, through Him who loved us!”
“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him who have been called according to his purpose.” Romans 8:28
“What, then, shall we say in response to this? If God is for us, who can be against us?” Romans 8:31
Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? As it is written:
“For your sake we face death all day long;
we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.” No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. ” Romans: 8:35-39