Every Man has a Battle.
Every one of us faces difficulties and trials. Our natural inclination is to figure out what we can do about them. There’s a story in the Bible that gives guidelines for responding when an enemy appears to be conquering.
Jehoshaphat became king of Judah when he was twenty-five and reigned for thirty-five years. During that reign, enemy armies came to battle against Jehoshaphat and his people. You can read the entire story in 2 Chronicles 20.
According to the Biblical account, a great army was on its way. Jehoshaphat and the people were afraid. I would be, too.
Jehoshaphat did something interesting, and what he did is a pattern for us today.
- Jehoshophat recognized his fear.
- He set himself to hear from the Lord.
- The king proclaimed a fast.
- He gathered the people together to hear what God had to say.
- Then he declared, “We do not know what to do, but our eyes are on You.”
God sent word through the Spirit. Jahaziel presented the word to Jehoshaphat and the people.
- Don’t be afraid!
- Go down against them, but don’t be dismayed [afraid].
- Go down and position yourselves at the end of the brook before the Wilderness of Jeruel.
- Don’t fight this battle because the battle is not yours, but God’s.
Jehoshaphat consulted with the people and appointed some of them to sing to the Lord and to praise the beauty of holiness. Imagine that! There’s an army coming, and the king assigns people to sing and praise God for His holiness!
The people followed their leader. As they went to meet the army, they said, “Praise the Lord, for His mercy endures forever!”
God took care of the rest. He provided an ambush to slaughter the armies. The people of Ammon and Moab destroyed these enemies, then turned on each other! Not a single one survived. Who would have thought?!
Applying this Battle Plan today
The enemy wants to destroy us, like the armies in this story planned to destroy Judah. If we follow this battle plan, we can win.
To begin with, we’re foolish if we ignore the threats and potential dangers we are facing. We’re foolish to deny our fear – no matter how small we think our fear is. Jehoshaphat knew that his people were God’s chosen people, yet he was afraid. He faced his fears and moved toward God instead of away from Him. We need to do the same. Our wisdom needs to come from God instead of from others.
We need to do what Jehoshaphat did.
- Acknowledge the fear.
- Get a word from the Lord by going to Him.
- Get the battle plan from God and implement it.[“Stand still and see the salvation of the Lord.”]
- Praise God.
- Recognize all that He has done in the past. [God had given the people this land.]
- Recount His past provisions. [God drove out the inhabitants of the land to make room for the twelve tribes.]
- Remind yourself – and others – of His track record in your life. Jehoshaphat reminded himself and the people that God had given the land to the descendants of Abraham.
- Remember His promises. [“If disaster comes, I will hear and save.”]
- Rejoice! Sing! Praise Him! Lift your voice and worship! [Scripture says they praised “with voices loud and high.]
God doesn’t answer every plea like He answered the plea of Jehoshaphat. Yet, He promises provision and wisdom if we run to Him and ask. When we praise Him in the middle of our darkest days, we turn our focus from our problems and our enemies to God. When we focus on Who God is, what He has done and what He will do, we can also praise God with voices loud and high.
How about it, folks? What enemies are threatening to consume you? Follow the example of Jehoshaphat – and you will be victorious.