2 Chronicles 20: 15 ..This is what the Lord says to you: ‘Do not be afraid or discouraged because of this vast army. For the battle is not yours, but God’s.’
Do you ever get tired of fighting a battle in your life that is emotional, relational, spiritual or physical? And you grow so weary that you break down and say, “I can’t do this.”
Well this is how I have been feeling these days. And you know what? I think that this is a good place to be. Why? Because I can’t fight my battles on my own. This position of helplessness points my heart towards God and away from my self-reliant thoughts that say, “I’ll lift myself by my own boot-straps and beat this thing.” When I go into this battle called life on my own power, then fear grips my heart and chokes out all hope and courage even if I’ve given it my best effort.
If you have been keeping up with my blog posts over the past 10 months, you know that I have had to face some big losses, and through each loss I have resolved to trust God and believe that he has got my back. However, the news I have received recently has me standing at the edge of the battle line staring down the enemy. On September 7th, just one week after returning from a trip to London and Paris with my daughter, I received a call from my doctor to inform me that I have invasive ductal carcinoma in my right breast. Though it appears to be caught at an early stage, this diagnosis is a shock to me. I will be learning about my treatment plan on September 20th.
So what is a girl to do with this type of news?
I have a choice to feed my fear or feed my faith in God.
Fear looks at the battle with dread and generates feelings of defenselessness and hopelessness.
Faith looks at a soverign and all powerful God and remembers what He has done in my life and in the lives of others including all those mentioned in the Bible, and then looks at the battle with courage and an overwhelming sense of protection.
Romans 10:17 17 Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word about Christ.
So I picked up my Bible and discovered a really cool guy named Jehoshaphat in the book of 2 Chronicles 20. He was the fourth king of Judah and reigned from 870 to 849 BC. Jehoshaphat demonstrates to me in very specific ways how to rely on God in the face of a scary situation. Let’s look at the steps Jehoshaphat has taught me to take in order to live by faith rather than fear and to allow God to fight my battles.
2 Chronicles 20
STEP 1: Don’t focus on the problem, the impending danger or the enemy. Turn immediately to God and resolve to inquire of Him.
2 Some people came and told Jehoshaphat, “A vast army is coming against you from Edom,[b] from the other side of the Dead Sea. It is already in Hazezon Tamar” (that is, En Gedi). 3 Alarmed, Jehoshaphat resolved to inquire of the Lord, and he proclaimed a fast for all Judah.
STEP 2: Talk to God and acknowledge his power, might and his rule over all kingdoms and nations and remind him of his promises to his descendants and talk about the problem you are facing. Then admit you don’t know what to do but your eyes are on Him.
5 Then Jehoshaphat stood up in the assembly of Judah and Jerusalem at the temple of the Lord
in the front of the new courtyard 6 and said:
“Lord, the God of our ancestors, are you not the God who is in heaven? You rule over all the kingdoms of the nations. Power and might are in your hand, and no one can withstand you. 7 Our God, did you not drive out the inhabitants of this land before your people Israel and give it forever to the descendants of Abraham your friend? 8 They have lived in it and have built in it a sanctuary for your Name, saying, 9 ‘If calamity comes upon us, whether the sword of judgment, or plague or famine, we will stand in your presence before this temple that bears your Name and will cry out to you in our distress, and you will hear us and save us.’
10 “But now here are men from Ammon, Moab and Mount Seir, whose territory you would not allow Israel to invade when they came from Egypt; so they turned away from them and did not destroy them. 11 See how they are repaying us by coming to drive us out of the possession you gave us as an inheritance. 12 Our God, will you not judge them? 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.”
STEP 3: Understand that God wants to fight your battle, but that doesn’t mean you sit back and do nothing. You still have to show up for the battle. Your job is to not be afraid or discouraged. March forward right through the battle lines.
14 Then the Spirit of the Lord came on Jahaziel son of Zechariah, the son of Benaiah, the son of Jeiel, the son of Mattaniah, a Levite and descendant of Asaph, as he stood in the assembly.
15 He said: “Listen, King Jehoshaphat and all who live in Judah and Jerusalem! This is what the Lord says to you: ‘Do not be afraid or discouraged because of this vast army. For the battle is not yours, but God’s. 16 Tomorrow march down against them. They will be climbing up by the Pass of Ziz, and you will find them at the end of the gorge in the Desert of Jeruel. 17 You will not have to fight this battle. Take up your positions; stand firm and see the deliverance the Lord will give you, Judah and Jerusalem. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged. Go out to face them tomorrow, and the Lord will be with you.’”
STEP 4: Worship, sing, give thanks and praise God before the outcome of the battle is revealed. Believe that God has got your back and he is fighting your battle. Your job is to praise him while he fights for you.
20 Early in the morning they left for the Desert of Tekoa. As they set out, Jehoshaphat stood and said, “Listen to me, Judah and people of Jerusalem! Have faith in the Lord your God and you will be upheld; have faith in his prophets and you will be successful.” 21 After consulting the people, Jehoshaphat appointed men to sing to the Lord and to praise him for the splendor of his[c] holiness as they went out at the head of the army, saying:
“Give thanks to the Lord,
for his love endures forever.”
22 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. 23 The Ammonites and Moabites rose up against the men from Mount Seir to destroy and annihilate them. After they finished slaughtering the men from Seir, they helped to destroy one another.
STEP 5: When a battle is won, continue to worship, sing, give thanks and praise God because he kept to his promises. Understand that your faith inspires everyone around you.
27 Then, led by Jehoshaphat, all the men of Judah and Jerusalem returned joyfully to Jerusalem, for the Lord had given them cause to rejoice over their enemies. 28 They entered Jerusalem and went to the temple of the Lord with harps and lyres and trumpets.
29 The fear of God came on all the surrounding kingdoms when they heard how the Lord had fought against the enemies of Israel. 30 And the kingdom of Jehoshaphat was at peace, for his God had given him rest on every side.
During this past year, my faith muscle has been exercised more than it ever has in my entire life. I’m ready to face this battle. I’m ready to take the steps Jehoshaphat took and let God fight my battle. Please pray for me.