Do you have a major threat looming on the horizon of your experience? Are you filled with fear or despair? Have you ever felt totally inadequate over what was facing you? Are you in a tight corner?
King Jehoshaphat was faced with a major threat of an invading army and he wasn’t afraid to admit he was scared. But his fear did not paralyze him. Do you know what it’s like to be paralyzed by fear? It means to be shivering and shaking – unable to do anything or to think rationally or to act spiritually.
Jehoshaphat acted very responsibly. He took decisive steps to deal with his fear. He enforced a ‘fast’ on his entire kingdom. It was a national emergency. All people, in all locations, were required to suspend normal daily activities like eating and without distraction …
ask help of the Lord.
2 Chronicles 20:4
Everyone came together to pray including husbands, wives, infants and children. Everyone attended that prayer meeting. They didn’t leave the kids at home. The King ended his public prayer with these words:
O our God, will you not execute judgment on them? For we are powerless against this great horde that is coming against us. We do not know what to do, but our eyes are on you.” 2Chronicles 20:12
In times of crisis we need to tell it like it is. No fanciful words. No rote prayers. No beating around the bush. “I have no power for this one Lord. I haven’t got a clue what to do but I am fixing my eyes and all my hopes upon You.”
It is the #1 obstacle for a sinner in trusting Christ. Admitting absolute weakness is the last thing sinners are willing to admit before they cry out to the Lord for salvation. (Romans 5:6, Romans 10:13) And for those of us who are saved – it is the last thing we are willing to do in a crisis; admit total weakness and then rest in the Lord’s might.
The mighty King Jehoshaphat wasn’t afraid to admit to the Lord, before all his people, that he had ‘no might’. Heaven’s response to a prayer like that?
…The LORD to you, ‘Do not be afraid and do not be dismayed… for the battle is not yours but God’s…You will not need to fight in this battle. Stand firm, hold your position, and see the salvation of the LORD on your behalf…Do not be afraid and do not be dismayed. Tomorrow go out…and the LORD will be with you.” 2Chronicles 20:15-17
If God was going to fight the battle, did that mean they could become casual and careless about the situation? Absolutely not! The rest of that day and the next morning they were engaged in spiritual activities such as singing, praising and praying.
The Apostle Peter said words something like this: “Keep a cool head. Stay alert. The Devil is poised to pounce and would like nothing better than to catch you napping. Keep your guard up.” That’s how Eugene Peterson paraphrased 1Peter 5:8. Just before the Apostle Peter sounded that warning he wrote: God “gives grace to the humble; humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God.” (1 Peter 5:5-9)
King Jehoshaphat prayed humbly and God responded powerfully! Are you willing to acknowledge that what’s on your plate just now is far too big for you? Will you just leave it in the hands of the Lord while you stay in constant communion with Him?
Walk carefully and closely with the Lord today.
Warmly in Christ,