Facing one battle after another and feeling defeated, I turned to the Word of God to find answers and direction. I was seeking an understanding of why I am not receiving the victory. I was searching for the missing link. I know God heard me the first time that I prayed and the hundredth time that I prayed. I know He is more than able and listens to the cries of His children, so why in the midst of turmoil, do I still feel overwhelmed, defeated, anxious, worried?
2 Chronicles 20
The armies of the Moabites, Ammonites, and some of the Meunites declared war on Jehoshaphat, King of Judah. Messengers came and told him that a vast army from Edom was marching and were ready at Hazazon-tamar or En-gedi.
Jehoshaphat was terrified by this news and begged the Lord for guidance. As I read this I began to relate my current situation to that which Jehoshaphat was facing. I have had periods of fear and worry that sometimes seemed so overwhelming that I was terrified. Maybe it wasn’t visible on the outside, but inward was a different story. I too have felt as if a vast army was declaring war on me…mentally, physically, spiritually. I have had periods where I have felt alone as I watch the enemy march toward me. I pray and for short periods feel comfort and strength only to find myself once again in that vulnerable state, waiting on the beat down that I call discouragement and defeat.
Jehoshaphat orders everyone in Judah to begin fasting. The Word says, some things only come by prayer and fasting. So people from all the towns of Judah came to Jerusalem to seek the Lord.
Jehoshaphat stood before the people and prayed to God, “O Lord, God of our ancestors, You alone are the God who is in heaven. You are ruler of all the kingdoms of the earth. You are powerful and mighty; no one can stand against You!” He continues to pray, “Whenever we are faced with any calamity such as war, plague, or famine, we can come to stand in Your presence before this Temple where Your name is honored. We can cry out to You to save us, and You will hear us and rescue us.”
Jehoshaphat seeks the Lord as he prays about the promises of God. This is exactly what I continue to do with each and every prayer spoken. Yet, I do not receive. I believe the Lord already has it prepared and ready for me to receive but I don’t fully know how to get to that point at this stage in my battle. I want victory! I want healing! I want the blessings of God! What is the missing link? Why have I not received since I believed?
The story continues as Jehoshaphat pleads to the Lord. He says, “O our god, won’t You stop them? We are powerless against this mighty army that is about to attack us. We do not know what to do, but we are looking to You for help.” Just as Jehoshaphat felt helpless against this mighty enemy, similar feelings I have repeatedly. The feeling of being powerless and hopeless is crippling and the result is bondage. He had questions. He was looking for the Lord’s help as I am this very hour.
As I sat tonight at my dining room table, reading and studying God’s Word and seeking answers to similar questions, I honestly and desperately want to know how to defeat the enemy and move forward to a place of peace and blessing. He guides me to read onward.
There comes a Word from the Lord by means of Jahaziel, a Levite after the Spirit of the Lord came upon him. Jahaziel said, “Listen, all you people of Judah and Jerusalem! Listen King Jehoshaphat!” and I insert my name here as well, since I feel God is trying to speak to me in His Word. Jahaziel said, “Do not be afraid! Don’t be discouraged by this mighty army, for the battle is not yours, but God’s” Wow! What a powerful statement of revelation! I find myself often trying to “fix” things myself or work up ways that I think will bring favorable results. I am definitely guilty of trying to tweak or tinker with things that I often ought not and have to learn the hard way. I have a stubborn determination at times that sometimes is beneficial and sometimes nothing but trouble, as I am sure others can relate.
Jehaziel continues to tell the people to march out against the army but that they will not even need to fight. He instructs them through the Spirit to take their position; then stand still and watch the Lord’s victory. He reminds them once again to not be afraid or discouraged, but go out against the enemy, for the Lord is with them. Jehoshaphat responds by bowing low to the ground, worshiping the Lord, joined by the clans of Kohath and Korah who stood to praise the Lord with a very loud shout.
The amazing move of the Holy Spirit breaking the bonds of fear, bringing encouragement, ministering to the Lord’s people at a time when they needed to hear the voice of the Lord. God will send us word, confirmation, direction when we seek and listen. Tears begin to well up in my eyes and run down my cheeks as the Spirit of the Lord began ministering to me. I have been going about my prayers and these battles completely the wrong way. I need to continue to march forward not cowering from the enemy, knowing that the one who paid the price for my victories is with me and I won’t have to do anything but stand still and believe. It seems so simple but yet has been so hard for me to do. I have felt like I have had to fight when all I have had to do is give it to the Lord and place my battles in His very capable hands for He is able.
The next morning, the army of Judah is prepared to face the enemy. On the way Jehoshaphat tells the people to “Believe in the Lord your God and you will be able to stand firm. Believe in his prophets, and you will succeed.”
King Jehoshaphat appoints singers to walk ahead of the army, singing to the Lord and praising Him for the Holy splendor. This is what they sang: “Give thanks to the Lord; his faithful love endures forever!” What a significant change in Jehoshaphat’s attitude. He went from a defeatist attitude to having an attitude of thanksgiving! Before the battle even began, he was confident, believing with faith for God’s Divine intervention. And at the very moment they began to sing and give praise, the Lord caused the armies of Ammon, Moab, and Mount Seir to start fighting themselves. They began attacking one another until all of the enemies were destroyed. Not a single one of the enemies escaped. All that the army of Judah did was march in praise and thanksgiving for they knew God was going to honor His promise and take care of this battle for them.
Sing praises! Shout praises!
Not only did Jehoshaphat’s army have victory without fighting but had so much plunder to gather from the enemy, that it took them three days to collect it all! What the enemy had meant for destruction and defeat, the Lord brought blessing and increase! The very place for battle didn’t end up in defeat but was given the name Valley of Blessing!
On returning home from this victory won by the Lord, they were overjoyed. So Jehoshaphat, who was once gripped with fear, would live at peace, for his God had given him rest on every side.
I fully believe what God can do for one, He will do for me. He is no respecter of persons. Just as Jehoshaphat lived in peace, so can I. I don’t have to be in bondage under the stronghold of fear. I don’t have to live in defeat. God can give me rest on every side.
I receive this word to precede my victory! I have released this battle unto the Lord. I will stand firm on His Word and promises. I will remind myself to stand still and let God be God and fight for me as only He can and quit trying to help the Lord with my ways for His are much higher than mine. I will rejoice and sing praises to Him for my victories as I march forward. I will give thanks to the Lord, for His faithful love endures forever!
About the author: I have been a Christian for 23 years. I enjoy Bible study and growing in the knowledge of God’s word. I literally want to soak up God’s Word like a sponge.