Thus saith the Lord unto you, Be not afraid nor dismayed by reason of this great multitude; for the battle is not yours, but God’s. (II Chronicles 20: 15)
What should you do when you feel that your problems are closing in on you? When it seems that everywhere you turn, you sight another “enemy” threatening to rob and even destroy you and yours? And those challenges outweigh and outnumber your personal resources to handle them?
Well, first of all, you are not alone in this experience. Got the t-shirt on that one, and so have most of the other folks reading this devotional message. That’s why it will be well worth investing some reflection on one of the most instructive stories in the Bible.
Today I’ll share with you what happened. (Read it all yourself in II Chronicles 20: 1-30) We’ll glean from it very practical understandings of what to do when you don’t know what to do.
Jehoshaphat, king of Judah, received word that the powerful Moabites and Ammonites were on their way to attack his people. In fact, these enemies were closing in, having already almost reached the Dead Sea not far from Jerusalem.
What should Jehoshaphat do?
He called the people to fast and pray. The king led his people in a desperate and faith-filled prayer, extolling God’s greatness and power. He laid this big problem before his big God. He told the Lord that when this or any other calamity came upon Judah, they would stand in God’s temple and cry out to Him in their distress. They were confident that He would hear their cries and help them. Jehoshaphat recalled how these were people the Israelites had refrained from attacking when they took the Promised Land. (Yes, be mindful sometimes people you’ve tried to help will hurt you.)
Then the king said, “We don’t know what to do, but our eyes are upon You.” (II Chronicles 15: 12)
This story is so rich! Let’s don’t go any further without bringing it forward into our problematic lives today. What’s happened, and how on earth could a event so old have any possible relevance to you and me? Think about it.
Do have a blessed day.
1. You experience a problem (or problems) that you are clueless about how to solve on your own. Welcome to the world of being a human being. It happens.
2. Fast and pray. Fasting is more than just going on an extreme diet (hoping you’ll lose some weight). It means setting aside food and using that time to communicate with God. It means that you allow every hunger pain to be a call to prayer. Jesus Himself instructed His disciples to fast when they faced an especially tough case.
3. Begin by praising God for Who He is. Go to prayer but not immediately to your laundry list of requests. Build your faith by reminding yourself of the power of the One with Whom you are in covenant. The more you enumerate God’s attributes, the more your own lack of understanding and power become irrelevant.
4. Recall God’s faithfulness in the past. The scripture often calls us to “remember.” Remember His promises. Recall how He’s brought you (and others) through adversity in the past. Trust that He will never leave you or forsake you.
5. Throw yourself and your loved ones into His care. Loving God is completely capable and willing to see you through this. He sees it all, beginning to end. He has a plan, and He is at work behind the scenes right now. Furthermore, He is working in your heart and habits to mature your faith and trust in Him, not in yourself.
6. Admit your powerlessness, but turn your eyes upon the all-powerful One. Desperation can be a most powerful antidote for pride. Sometimes the most powerful words your heart can utter are, “I can’t, but You can! My eyes are upon You!”
Consider the words of God himself and personalize them.
“But you, Israel, are my servant. You’re Jacob, my first choice, descendants of my good friend Abraham. I pulled you in from all over the world, called you in from every dark corner of the earth, Telling you, ‘You’re my servant, serving on my side. I’ve picked you. I haven’t dropped you.’ Don’t panic. I’m with you. There’s no need to fear for I’m your God. I’ll give you strength. I’ll help you. I’ll hold you steady, keep a firm grip on you.
Isaiah 41:8-10 MSG
God, please forgive me when I try to fight a battle that’s not mine to fight. I don’t know what to do, Lord, but my eyes are upon You.