By Toni Ford
One of my favorite chapters in the Bible comes from 2 Chronicles 20. In my bible, the heading given for this chapter is, “War with surrounding nations.” Thankfully, America is not at war with surrounding nations; however, many might feel as if America is at war within itself. I know that in my lifetime, I have never seen America so divided and unsettled. I have spent a good amount of time this month praying for our nation and reading in the book of 2 Chronicles. It is my belief that both believers and non-believers will be faced with some critical decisions regarding good and evil in the days ahead. While reading this particular chapter, I felt as if the Lord revealed to me some important strategies that will be needed this coming year as we navigate our way through life especially in the next few months.
Seek God first for guidance. 2 Chronicles 20:2-3 tells us that messengers came to Jehoshaphat warning him of a vast army that was coming to attack him and the people. Although, Jehoshaphat was terrified by this news, the very first thing he did was seek the Lord for guidance. Jehoshaphat didn’t run to hide and didn’t have a meltdown. Instead, scripture tells us the very first thing he did was seek the Lord! Jehoshaphat didn’t seek out other people but rather sought the Lord first. May we remember that God is our first “go to,” our first resource, no matter what we encounter in life.
Take practical steps in the spiritual. 2 Chronicles 20:3 & 9 says, “He ordered everyone in Judah to begin fasting.” Then in verse nine we see where the people were standing at the Temple, crying out to God to hear their prayers, to save and rescue them. Jehoshaphat knew that after he sought the Lord, the people had a responsibility to seek the Lord in prayer and fasting. These principles of fasting and praying help us place our focus on the Lord and not just on our problems.
Declare the attributes of God. In 2 Chronicles 20:6, King Jehoshaphat begins speaking and declaring out loud who God is. “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.” Recognizing who God is builds our faith and helps us trust Him more. In this verse alone, Jehoshaphat recognizes God as the one true ruler, powerful and mighty. No king, no president, no ruler is greater than our God. He will always have the final word!
Humble ourselves. 2 Chronicles 20:12 says, “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.” I love how Jehoshaphat immediately recognized his need for God and the fact that he was completely powerless without God. Humbling ourselves before the Lord is often the first step to victory.
Take your position. 2 Chronicles 20:17 is one of my very favorite verses of which I have referred to many times in life. It says, “But you will not even need to fight. Take your positions; then stand still and watch the Lord’s victory. He is with you, O people of Judah and Jerusalem. Do not be afraid or discouraged. Go out against them tomorrow, for the Lord is with you!” After we have done these strategies, God says to take your position, stand and trust Him. This strategy challenges our faith the most and can be the hardest principle to carry out, because it involves an unwavering faith in God, regardless of what we see in the natural.
Worship and give thanks. 2 Chronicles 20:18 says, “Then King Jehoshaphat bowed low with his face to the ground. And all the people of Judah and Jerusalem did the same worshiping the Lord. They stood to praise the Lord, the God of Israel with a very loud voice.” We must never forget this strategy, regardless of the outcome, for our God is always working and nothing will stop His plan for this earth.
Oh Lord, today we ask you to strengthen us in Your Word and to help us learn these strategies as we enter into a new year and a new season of life. Please guard our hearts and minds, and may we keep our focus on You!
If you would like me to join you in prayer please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I would love to pray for you!