It happened after this that the people of Moab with the people of Ammon, and others with them beside the Ammonites, came to battle against Jehoshaphat. Then some came and told Jehoshaphat, saying, “A great multitude is coming against you” . . . And Jehoshaphat feared, and set himself to seek the Lord, and proclaimed a fast throughout all Judah. So Judah gathered together to ask help from the Lord; and from all the cities of Judah they came to seek the Lord.
Then Jehoshaphat . . . said, “O Lord God of our fathers, are You not God in heaven, and do You not rule over all the kingdoms of the nations, and in Your hand is there not power and might, so that no one is able to withstand You? Are You not our God, who drove out the inhabitants of this land before Your people Israel, and gave it to the descendants of Abraham Your friend forever? ‘If disaster comes upon us—sword, judgment, pestilence, or famine—we will stand before this temple and in Your presence (for Your name is in this temple), and cry out to You in our affliction, and You will hear and save.’”
Now all Judah . . . stood before the Lord. Then the Spirit of the Lord came upon Jahaziel the son of Zechariah. . . . “Thus says the Lord to you: ‘Do not be afraid nor dismayed because of this great multitude, for the battle is not yours but God’s. . . . You will not need to fight in this battle. Position yourselves, stand still and see the salvation of the Lord, who is with you, O Judah and Jerusalem!’ Do not fear or be dismayed; tomorrow go out against them, for the Lord is with you.” And Jehoshaphat bowed his head with his face to the ground, and all of Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem bowed before the Lord, worshiping the Lord. 2 Chronicles 20:1–4, 6–7, 9, 13–15, 17–18
D. L. Moody said, “We ought to see the face of God every morning before we see the face of man.” In this section of Scripture, we find Jehoshaphat and all Judah under attack from the world, the people of Moab and Ammon. Jehoshaphat was outnumbered and all looked hopeless. He was afraid.
Faith does not keep us from fear, but enables us to seek God in spite of our fears. To seek God simply means we pursue God. He is preeminent. That means He is not merely a priority, but everything is around Him. When we seek God, we desire more than anything the “face” of God, His presence. We desire intimacy with Him more than anything else. Our lifestyle is that of pursuing, learning about, and communing with God. It takes time, energy, even resources to seek God.
Our attitude determines if we receive God’s Word or not. According to James 1:21, we are to have an attitude of meekness to receive the implanted (engrafted) Word of God. All of this is a result of our having a hunger for the approval of God more than the approval of humans.
Jehoshaphat put aside everything in order to seek God. This was not a spur of the moment decision. We see in 2 Chronicles 19:3, he had removed the wooden images and prepared his heart to seek God. He did this before the invading army showed up to battle against him.
American evangelist R. A. Torrey, who was a contemporary of D. L. Moody, said: “The reason many fail in battle is because they wait until the hour of battle. The reason why others succeed is because they have gained their victory on their knees long before the battle came. . . . Anticipate your battles; fight them on your knees before temptation comes, and you will always have victory.” Jehoshaphat succeeded in battle because he had already positioned himself to seek God. Likewise, we must remove from our hearts and lives anything that is offensive to God and distracts us from Him. Then we can fully seek God on our knees.
–Adapted from Praying with Fire: Seeking His Presence through the Revival Passages of Scripture by Mark Partin. This book is available at prayershop.org. Use the code CONPSP3 at checkout to receive an additional 10% discount.
Praise God for seeking and saving the lost. Give thanks that Jesus is “the good shepherd [who] lays down his life for the sheep” (Jn. 10:11). Confess those instances and ways in which you ignore the voice of your Shepherd. Commit yourself to learning to be content whatever the circumstances (Phil. 4:11). Ask God to give you the fullness of life which comes with following the Savior.
Pray for those who serve in law enforcement, that the stress of their jobs will not be too much for them to bear. Ask God to give them special strength to do their jobs well.
–Prayer Points taken from Patterns for Prayer by Alvin VanderGriend
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Connection (Devotions for Everyday Life) © 2014 is published daily by Harvest Prayer Ministries.