Do you ever feel overwhelmed by your circumstances, hemmed in by trouble and confusion with no way out? Does the future sometimes seem hopeless with all the chaos and confusion in the world?
I’ve been there, my friend. Sometimes it seems that no matter which way we turn, we are faced with opposition, discouragement, or uncertainty.
Jehoshaphat was the king of Judah who faced a vast army, and he didn’t know what to do. But he knew that only the power of God would be able to deliver Judah from the enemy.
His people faced the Moabites, Ammonites, and Meunites. It was a “vast army” that he had no idea how to defeat. What enemy are you facing today? Anxiety? Depression? Fear?
Judah turned to the Lord and with fasting, prayer, worship, and seeking God’s Word. But there was one more key element that was necessary for Judah to overcome.
“Early in the morning they left for the Desert of Tekoa….As they began to sing and praise, the Lord set ambushes against the men of Ammon and Moab and Mount Seir who were invading Judah, and they were defeated.”2 Chronicles 20:20a, 22a, NIV (emphasis mine)
Key #5: Obedience
Jehoshaphat had called the people to a fast. They had all stood before the Lord to pray and seek His face. They listened to the Word of the Lord spoken through the prophet. They appointed men to sing and praise the Lord at the head of the army. But they didn’t stop there.
Jehoshaphat and his people obeyed what God told them to do. Imagine if they had fasted, prayed, heard the Word, worshiped, and then never set out against the enemy as God had instructed them.
The Word of the Lord had come to them through the prophet Jahaziel, saying “March down against them…take up your positions; stand firm and see the deliverance the Lord will give you, O Judah and Jerusalem” (v.16-17).
They were up against a vast army that they had no power to face (v.12). They went forward in obedience out of complete faith that God would come through for them. And He did.
So what about you and me? Are we willing to walk in obedience to the Lord in every area of our lives? Praying for a breakthrough in some situation, while walking in disobedience to the Lord, is counter-productive.
God may give clear instruction through His Word, or He may speak to our hearts and instruct us through His Spirit (which will never contradict His Word). When we hear His voice, we need to step out in obedience, even if we are afraid.
So, what enemy are you facing today? Our first response in a difficult situation should be to look within. Is there some sin in my life of which I need to repent?
“Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Come near to God and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded.”James 47-8
Sin will keep us from experiencing a breakthrough. Sometimes we are in a battle as a result of our own choices. Surrender to God, confess your sins, and commit yourself to walk in obedience to the Word of the Lord.
The devil cannot defeat us if we will do the right thing, even if we have to do it over and over until the breakthrough comes.
I love the rest of Jehoshaphat’s story!
The Lord caused the enemies of Judah to destroy one another. By the time Jehoshaphat’s men got to the battlefield, all they saw were dead bodies. The enemy had been destroyed. It took three days to carry off all the plunder!
On the fourth day, they gathered together in a valley and praised God, because they knew they had not defeated their enemy. God had. Their praise was so great they called that place the Valley of Beracah, which means praise.
“The fear of God came upon all the kingdoms of the countries when they heard how the Lord had fought against the enemies of Israel. And the kingdom of Jehoshaphat was at peace, for his Lord had given him rest on every side.”2 Chronicles 20:29-30
Wouldn’t you love to have peace and rest on every side right now?
No matter what you are facing today, seek the Lord. Don’t let the enemy keep you bound in defeat, confusion, fear, or anxiety. Don’t keep rehearsing in your mind or with your mouth all the negative things you see going on in the world.
Feed your spirit by seeking the Lord through fasting, prayer, His Word, worship, and obedience.
Because no devil in hell and no power on earth can keep us from the love God has for us. Our ultimate victory will be rest on every side for all eternity. So, keep believing and praying and trusting and obeying. We win.