What precedes victory?
What sets up a strategy that wins?
What helps solidify an unsure direction?
You probably haven't heard this explained this way before. Or, maybe you have and have written its power off because it seems too simple, too ordinary and too commonplace. But, activating our hearts in these small two steps, often activates our hearts in new hope.
Let's look at King Jehoshaphat, named "Yahweh has judged."
Sound like a scary name?
It would to me. I would probably hide from myself with a name like that.
But, you see, Yahweh had judged him in a good way.
And He not only judged, but also in many cases he also blessed - because Jehoshaphat removed idols, cleaned up the land, purified hearts in truth and focused hearts on the one true God. Sure, he made a mistake or two, but his heart was right.
Mistakes come and mistakes go, but a heart sold out for God, is one God blesses.
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled. Mt. 5:6
Yet, despite his goodness, Jehoshaphat had enemy Moabite armies stacked up to his neck.
Notice, God doesn't remove hardships from good people -
often, he confronts us with them to release us from them.
Jehoshaphat certainly wasn't spared - and he wasn't so scared he couldn't move.
He pushed harder against the force that wanted to push him down.
Did he realize he would grow stronger in faith by being faithful?
Like Jehoshaphat, our help isn't found in our artillery,
but it's found in humility before our God.
Pushing into God pushes us into his plan.
Suddenly we see - God's deliverance is always had -
it is just a matter of when.
When we push into God, we get all we need to proceed.
So, what did "Yahweh has judged" do to push in when the forces of the Moabites stood against?
1. He prayed: Alarmed, Jehoshaphat resolved to inquire of the Lord, and he proclaimed a fast for all Judah. The people of Judah came together to seek help from the Lord; indeed, they came from every town in Judah to seek him. 2 Chron. 20:3-4
Notice that although he felt "alarmed," he still "resolved."
Do you "resolve to inquire of the Lord" when alarm bells sound?
Offering the resolve of your heart, your mind, your soul and your strength, will resolve them to God's will.
2. He worshipped & trusted: You rule over all the kingdoms of the nations. Power and might are in your hand, and no one can withstand you...‘If calamity comes upon us...we will stand in your presence before this temple that bears your Name and will cry out to you in our distress, and you will hear us and save us.’
2 Chron. 20:6, 9
Seeing God in his true place sets his true ways into place - in us.
Looking up helps the things around, not bring us down.
Remembering Jesus' victory locks our heart into His victory too.
What might true and faithful worship, in the face of battle, do for you? In the face of finances? In the face of arguments? In the face of poor health? In the face of fear? In the face of wayward children?
Let's see what it did for Jehoshaphat...
Then the Spirit of the Lord came on Jahaziel...as he stood in the assembly. He said: “Listen, King Jehoshaphat and all who live in Judah and Jerusalem! This is what the Lord says to you: ‘Do not be afraid or discouraged because of this vast army. For the battle is not yours, but God’s." 2 Chron. 20:14-15
The Spirit showed up. God gave instructions on how to win and he also gave his presence that said, "I will be with you."
When we seek God, we find him.
When we find his face, he faces us with real truth.
When we know where our help comes from, our help often comes.
What I love even more is how Jehoshaphat literally headed foot-by-foot into war.
“Give thanks to the Lord,
for his love endures forever.”
As they began to sing and praise, the Lord set ambushes against the men of Ammon and Moab and Mount Seir who were invading Judah, and they were defeated. 2 Chron. 20:21-22
What if our battlegrounds became praying and praising grounds?
What would go do in us, through us and for us?
This sounds like unstoppable, not easily defeated, winning faith.
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