Thursday, May 15, 2014

2 Chronicles 17-20

Asa's son, Jehoshaphat, is king of Judah in 2 Chronicles 17-20.  He does his best to be faithful to God.  Jehoshaphat is so smart to send a team of faithful officials and religious leaders throughout the land to minister to God's people.  See, God's people have become distracted and lost from the strong foundation they have in their Savior.  They are strengthened and renewed by God's Word.  God is with Jehoshaphat as he reigns, hearing his prayers and fighting his battles.   

Being a Christ follower doesn't mean we will have a life free of troubles and struggles.  It means we will never have to face our troubles and struggles alone...and that leads to so much more for us...

Jehoshaphat experiences a trying test in today's reading when many of his enemies (the Moabites, Ammonites, and Meunites) unite and try to attack Judah.  It's personal for Jehoshaphat, and he's scared out of his mind.  But, I think we can learn so much from how the guy handles the situation.

Look at what he does when He's scared to death and life is on the line...

Alarmed, Jehoshaphat resolved to inquire of the Lord, and he proclaimed a fast for all Judah. The people of Judah came together to seek help from the Lord; indeed, they came from every town in Judah to seek him.

Jehoshaphat shows all of us what it looks like to rely on our faith.  I realized as I was reading that we can apply his strategies not only to crisis situations but even in our more ordinary day to day moments.  Check it out...

1. Jehoshaphat is determined to seek God and trust Him, and he brings all God's people together to do it.  For believers, there's God power in numbers.
  • So for you and me, we need to be determined about our faith, and we need a circle of fellow believers.  Who is in your circle?
2.  And where do we find Jehoshaphat and his crew of believers?  Notice, we don't find them locking their doors, packing up their belongings, and running away or hiding from what lies ahead.  No.  We find them where they can be close to God.  For them, that means being at the Lord's temple.
  •  We all need a go-to place to be close to God.  Where is that for you?
3.  Most importantly, Jehoshaphat prays his heart out to God.  Instead of scrambling around like a chicken with his head cut off, Jehoshaphat takes time to be still and talk to God about what he is facing.  He acknowledges God's sovereignty in his life and God's great works and many promises.  Then, Jehoshaphat hands the whole situation over to God with these simple words...
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.
  • Whatever it is for us, whatever decisions, circumstances, and battles we face, these simple words will work for us too.  God wants us to keep our eyes on Him.  It's okay to admit we don't know what we are doing.  
 4.  As soon as Jehoshaphat and God's people humbly hand everything over to God, the battle is already won.  God assures them,
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. Go out to face them tomorrow, and the Lord will be with you.
  • God assures us too.  He can show us His power and be glorified through us when we face life with Him.  We have to be firm and resolved about remembering His promises. 

When we faithfully hand our lives to God, as Christ followers, He is able to work all things for good.  The more we hand over to Him, the more He can do...

God's love for us triumphs all, even death.  

A prayer for today...

Dear God,

Thank You for Your everlasting and powerful love.  Thank You for being with me and fighting through me and for me.  

Forgive me for all the ways I try to handle things on my own and fight battles that aren't mine to fight.

I trust You with all my heart.  I pray for Your love to triumph in my life and in the lives of those on my mind today ________________.

In the name of Jesus I pray,

Peace of Christ,
*This post is part of A Mind-Maker-Upper's Everyday Reading Project.  Click here to read more.

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