September 21, 2010

Hold Your Positions!

I have been reading 2 Chronicles 20 over and over for the last couple of weeks.
I can't seem to tear myself away from the story!

The Moabites Ammonites and Meunites were coming to make war with Jehosaphat and all of Judah.
No doubt Jehosaphat felt shaken.
But notice his first response.......he was determined to seek the Lord!

I don't know about you, but I am ashamed to admit how many times I have been in a situation that seemed impossible where MY first response was panic. Jehosaphat was clearly aware of the situation.
But instead of panic----he turned his fear into prayer. What leadership!!!! He calmly gathered all of Judah to seek the Lord about what they should do. He didn't seek out intelligence about the armies about to attack to see what he was up against. He didn't go to his armies first to see how strong in battle he would be. He didn't seek counsel from those around him. He didn't gather his armies to plan an offensive attack. He gathered all of pray.

In vs. 7 he says, " 7Did not You, O our God, drive out the inhabitants of this land before Your people Israel and give it forever to the descendants of Abraham Your friend?"
Jehosahat remembered a time when God had delivered before....He made good on His promises.
God has a track record.
God has a history with you. Has He not proven Himself faithful to you in times before?
Has He not provided before where the impossible suddenly was made possible?
Did He not surprise you before? He is the same yesterday today and forever! His Word is FULL of promises to YOU. His Word is full of HIS-story. REASONS for you to BELIEVE without wavering...without doubting....being persuaded that those things in your life that you've committed to Him....He will be faithful to.
You have every reason in this world to place your full confidence in Him...full rely on Him....when everything around you seems overwhelming. You could be attacked from every side.......completely surrounded. The devil has you surrounded......but God has you surrounded as well. And I have news for can throw up the white flag of surrender.

Look at what happens next. Jehosaphat says in vs. 12, "For we have no might to stand against this great company that is coming against us. We do not know what to do, but our eyes are upon You."

He knows it seemed to be an impossible situation. He had not a CLUE how to proceed or what to do next.
BUT................."Our eyes are on you".
I can't help but think of Peter....on the water.....with Jesus. You all know the story well. As long
As his eyes were fixed on Jesus, the waves did not overwhelm him. But when he took his eyes off of Jesus he began to drown."
Isaiah 26:3 says, "You will guard him and keep him in perfect and constant peace whose mind [both its inclination and its character] is stayed on You, because he commits himself to You, leans on You, and hopes confidently in You."
He will keep you your mind. In your emotions. Stay focussed on the one who is holding you.
He's got you. He's not about to let you go. He's the ONE sure thing in your life. He's the ONE with all the answers. Not only will He bring your deliverance...but He's the ONE who will sustain you and keep you through it all.

Jehosaphat understood that. He had not a clue how to handle this situation....but he fixed His eyes on the One who did.

God's response to Jehosaphat's faith and resolve?
He spoke through Jehaziel to say this to them, vs. 15 be not afraid or dismayed at this great multitude; for the battle is not yours, but God's."
Vs. 17 You shall not need to fight in this battle; take your positions, stand still, and see the deliverance of the Lord [Who is] with you, O Judah and Jerusalem. Fear not nor be dismayed. Tomorrow go out against them, for the Lord is with you.

God told them.."you don't even HAVE to fight this battle. Just HOLD YOUR POSITIONS....and stand....wait and watch the deliverance of your God!" Wait and WATCH GOD DO WHAT ONLY HE CAN DO!!!

So in vs. 20, Jehosaphat, being great in leadership, became the cheerleader for all of Judah and reminded them of the Word of the Lord to them, "Hear me, O Judah, and you inhabitants of Jerusalem! Believe in the Lord your God and you shall be established; believe and remain steadfast to His prophets and you shall prosper."
He told them that they could put faith in what the prophet said to them and that God would keep them...they WILL succeed! He was convinced of this!!!! Of COURSE he knew what was at stake. Of course he was aware of the armies approaching and what it could mean for Judah. He even said in vs. 12, "We don't stand a chance against this!" But his confidence was NOT in his own armies. His confidence was in God. His eyes were not fixed on his enemies...his eyes were fixed on God.

Now this part I LOVE!!!!!!!!!!!
Jehosaphat appointed singers and praisers to go before the army.
They were not on offense OR defense. They did not come after their approaching enemies with a vengeance and fear in their hearts. They just praised.
While they were shouting and praising God.....confusion came upon the 3 armies attacking Judah and they were "self-slaughtered".

Hear is the TRUTH that sums it all up!!!!!!
God will defend His word....for His name's sake.....He will honor His name....simply for the sake of defending what He's already promised He would do.....He'll defend who He is. He WIll be sure to fulfill His promises.
For the GLORY OF HIS NAME!!!!! That's reason enough for Him to come through for YOU! This is an opportunity for God to do something GREAT in your life...on your behalf....for YOU...and for the sake of His name! But there's another reason He WILL come through for you...He loves you relentlessly!!!! He will NEVER let go. He Is fighting for you. He Is sustaining you.
He is keeping you and holding you. Because He LOVES you!!!!! How He loves us!! very much!

One of my favorite passages of scripture is this: Psalm 126:2-3. And it says
2 Our mouths were filled with laughter,
Our tongues with songs of joy.
Then it was said among the nations,
"The LORD has done great things for them."
3 The LORD has done great things for us,
And we are filled with joy.

Look at the end of the chapter. 29 "The fear of God came upon all the kingdoms of the countries when they heard how the LORD had fought against the enemies of Israel. "
(They were the TALK of the nations!!!!!!!!!!!)

30 And the kingdom of Jehoshaphat was at peace, for his God had given him rest on every side!!!!!!!!!!!!
He doesn't need our HELP. What good would it have done for Jehosaphat to panic, and spend all his time drawing up a plans and a course of action of how best to approach the situation? The battle was already WON in God's eyes!!!!
He is not a man that He should lie....He will do it!!!!
I am convinced of this. I am persuaded.

Look at what God's already done for you. 1 chronicles 16:12 says, "REMEMBER what He's ALREADY DONE!"
You have His you more than enough reasons to take your positions and just stand FIRM and watch and SEE Him bring you through. He WILL deliver you! And He's got you surrounded.
Just RELAX! And start praising Him NOW for who He is what He's already done and what He's about to do!!!!
Because soon He will bring you rest on EVERY SIDE!
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