Read 2 Chronicles 20:1-30
King Jehoshaphat was up against it. Out of the blue, a vast army was bearing down on Judah and its capital, Jerusalem. Even if he’d been expecting the onslaught, Jehoshaphat didn’t have the manpower to withstand it. Fortunately for his people, he didn’t look to manpower to meet the crisis, but to God’s power. His first response was to seek God and His answer. Close on its heels, Jehoshaphat called the whole country to join him in asking for God’s help.
Jehoshaphat’s prayer is a model for us of how to deal with a crisis:
- He focused on God’s power and sovereignty.
- He remembered God’s promises.
- He acknowledged his own inability to resolve the situation.
- He confidently looked to God for His response.
The answer came swiftly. The Holy Spirit spoke through a Levite named Jahaziel:
- Don’t be afraid or discouraged, not matter what things look like.
- The battle is Mine, not yours. You can’t handle it, but I can.
God described how the battle would unfold. The men of Judah wouldn’t have to fight, but they did have some instructions to follow: 1) Take up your positions; 2) Stand firm; and 3) See the deliverance the Lord will give you. “Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged. Go out and face them tomorrow, for the Lord will be with you!” Jahaziel concluded.
Both the King and the people had the same response to this message from God, and that was to fall on their faces in worship. Then the praising started, getting louder and louder. In fact, Jehoshaphat appointed men to sing God’s praises and put them in front of the army when they went out to meet the enemy the next day. As God’s praises rang out, an amazing thing happened.
“As they began to sing and praise, the Lord set ambushes against the men . . . who were invading Judah, and they were defeated.” The different segments of the enemy army started to literally tear each other to pieces, until they were destroyed. There was so much plunder it took three days for the men of Judah to collect it all.
How can we have this kind of victory when we’re being threatened and feeling overwhelmed? We too can use the seven-point battle plan that Jehoshaphat followed.
- Seek God first, and not as a last resort.
- Give the battle to Him and follow His instructions.
- Take up your position; you’re a child of God. You are powerless, but your Father is all-powerful. No one and nothing in the world can defeat Him. Because of who you are in Christ, you can face any enemy with courage and confidence. But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” 2 Cor. 12:9-10.
- Stand firm. What you see in front of you is nothing compared to the power that’s behind you.
- See God’s deliverance. Watch for what He will do, which will often be something you could never have imagined.
- Face the enemy with praise for who God is, what He has done, and that His presence goes with you. Praising God will keep you focused on Him and not on yourself or the enemy. Praising God causes our enemies to turn on each other. Satan can’t stand to hear God praised and exalted, because he thrives in an atmosphere of fear and discouragement. Praising God drives Satan away.
- Plunder the enemy. Take what he planned to use against you and turn it over to God. Take lessons from the experience and use them to encourage others. Take people that Satan has used and then discarded, broken and bleeding, and help them to heal in God’s love. Gather up the feelings of hurt and betrayal Satan wants to use to make you depressed or bitter or vengeful, and use them instead to empathize, to exercise forgiveness, to grow in dependence on God, and to know peace because you’ve discovered its source. Take adversity and make it a university – a place of higher learning. God, who knows you, will show you how to grow through what you go through.