Jen Powers, Reception, CYFM and Student Ministries Assistant
Specifically 2 Chronicles 20, (NIV)
I love reading the story of King Jehoshaphat. He’s the underdog, and doesn’t seem to have much say in the matter. So what does he do? Calls together every town in Judah to fast and pray to the Lord for an answer. How many of us can honestly say the first thing to pop into our heads when things start going downhill is to praise God and pray for victory over the situation? I know that I start sounding like that old Shel Silverstein poem, “Whatif.” Before I know it, I’ve mapped out the 10 worst possible scenarios and played them through in my head. In fact, I’m so good at it that I can even work myself into a good cry about all the things that…well… haven’t happened yet!
But not Jehoshaphat. He goes right for the big guns and lays it all on the line: “Our God, will you not judge them? For we have no power to face this vast army that is attacking us. We do not know what to do, but our eyes are on you.” And guess what? God answers–pretty specifically, too. “’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…You will not have to fight this battle. Take up your positions; stand firm and see the deliverance the Lord will give you… Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.’” Powerful words. When they go out the next day, Jehoshaphat has people singing praises to the Lord. Think about it. They’re walking into a situation they can’t see a way out of, but they do it, not only with complete trust in God, but singing His praises! And they watched Him not only take care of their enemy, but bless them with the abundant riches left behind.
What a great example of something we’re all good at telling others to do, but not necessarily so great at following through on in our own lives. I don’t know about you, but I can think of at least one big battle I’m facing right now. And I’ve run through every Eeyore-ish path in my head. But what I haven’t done is truly turn to God with all I have and lay everything at His feet, knowing that he’s got this. My prayer today is for that same faith Judah showed in the Lord, and the knowledge that the battle’s not mine.
“For we walk by faith, not by sight.” (2 Cor 5:7)