One morning during one of my studies, I came across a semi-familiar passage, 2 Chronicles 20. The story was about Jehoshaphat, king of Judah, and a time when he was faced with fighting a vast army. The scripture shares that there were a number of tribes coming to wage war against him. As soon as the news traveled to Jehoshaphat there were men, or should I say instigators, who ran to Jehoshaphat to warn him of this “vast” army. I like the way Jehoshaphat responded because he immediately called a fast for all of Judah. As I read this I thought, how many times, when I am faced with a challenge that is supposedly larger than I can handle, do I immediately shut down all outside influence and turn my attention to God? Probably, not as much as I should. The passage states, “The people of Judah came together to seek help from the Lord; indeed they came from every town in Judah to seek Him.”2 Chronicles 20:4.
Later, Jehoshaphat stood up and started declaring the things of the Lord. He did what I call, “reading the resume.” Sometimes when I am faced with a battle that infringes upon my self-confidence or threatens my security for self, I start reading my resume. Not my professional vitae, but my resume in the kingdom, which states, “Greater is He that is in me, the he who is in the world.” “1 John 4:4 KJV. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” Philippians 4:13 KJV “I am the head and not the tail, I am above and not beneath.” Deuteronemy 28:13 KJV “I will praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made.” Psalms 139:14 KJV “They that wait on the Lord shall renew their strength, they shall mount up on wings as eagles, they shall run and not get weary, they shall walk and not faint!” Isaiah 40:31 KJV.
I say these things to myself to encourage me in the Lord. Well Jehoshaphat did just that. He started calling out God’s resume saying, “Lord, the God of our ancestors, are you not the God who is in heaven?” 2 Chronicles 20: 6. Meaning, aren’t you the ruler of everything? He continues to say, “Power and might are in your hand, and no one can withstand you.” 2Chronicles 7 Jehoshaphat continued this edifying dialog with God and was strengthening and establishing his faith in God regarding this situation at the same time. Jehoshaphat and the people of Judah began to bask in the spirit of the Lord that now consumed them. See how God moved? Jehoshaphat focused on the problem solver, not the problem, and God answered. God replied through one of the men in the assembly saying, “The battle is not yours, but God’s. Tomorrow march down against them. You will not have to fight this battle. Do not be afraid, do not be discouraged.” (paraphrased 2 Chronicles 20:15-17)
After that, Jehoshaphat worshipped the Lord. He bowed and all of the people of Judah and Jerusalem followed suit. The people broke out into a loud praise and they carried this praise into the next day as they went down to meet the vast army. The scripture reads, “After consulting the people, Jehoshaphat appointed men to sing to the Lord and to praise him for the splendor of his holiness.” 2Chronicles 20:21 Jehoshaphat now had full confidence in the problem solver, not the problem.
This is where it gets interesting.
When the men of Judah approached the land designated for war, they saw only dead bodies. The Lord went before them and set ambushes against the vast armies. Isn’t that something? An ambush is a surprise attack amongst people waiting to attack someone else. God had destroyed the vast army and the plunder that remained was for Jehoshaphat and his men. The Bible says it took them three days to collect everything; equipment, clothing, valuable items, more than they could carry.
This story is such a blessing to me because there are four major points:
- When a trial is coming your way, do not allow those who notify you to amplify your response or fear, immediately turn to the Lord. Fast even.
- Praise and worship your way through trials. Set the atmosphere in your environment and evoke a praise.
- Tell God how mighty He is. This isn’t for God, this is for you. When you speak it, you begin to feel confident and strong in the Lord, recognizing how mighty He is. Your tongue is powerful, it sets the tone for your mind sometimes.
- Finally, when God goes before you, He not only fights your battles, but you will reap the benefits in the end.
How great is Your name! How awesome You are in power! How great are thy works! Lord we thank you in advance God and praise Your Holy name! Lord, teach us how to respond like Jehoshaphat when we are faced with trials of any kind. Help us to seek you in all things and to remember “whose” we are. I thank You in advance for winning for me, for giving me the victory, and for allowing me to recover the benefits! In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.
Ladies, I EMPOWER you to let God do it! Stop worrying about the “vast army” in your life and start a praise party. God will go before you and fight your battle. After all, it isn’t your battle anyway.
How do you deal with the vast army in your life?
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As a professional, Mrs. Khalilah Burton is a university administrator. She is also currently pursuing a Doctorate of Education in Community College Leadership. Khalilah is passionate about her faith journey and uses this key scripture as her inspiration: “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” (Romans 8:28 NIV) Khalilah also serves as a guest speaker and panelist for various events for women and Christian empowerment. Her passion is mentoring young women and marriage empowerment. She resides in Orange Beach, Alabama with her wonderful husband Donald Burton, Jr. and their two daughters. They are members of New Beginnings Christian Center in Foley, AL.