We have options. Some are better than others.
- We can bury our heads in the sand and pretend everything is ok.
- We can fight external enemies with bigger weapon and better strategies.
- We can fight internal corruption through the legal and political system.
- We can fall on our knees before God and beg for His salvation.
Jehoshaphat, king of Judah, found himself in a similar situation. Several nations formed an alliance for the purpose of destroying Judah. The king was afraid. He recognized that the problem was bigger than his military's resources. He could have formed more alliances of his own. He could have run away. Instead, he fell on his face before God.
With fear in his heart, Jehoshaphat gathered Judah together to fast and seek God. He led them in a prayer of praise and petition. He praised God for His past deliverance, for His might, for His control of the nations. The king reminded God of His promises. Then he simply acknowledged their helplessness and asked God for help.
God spoke to them through a single prophet. His instructions were:
- Do not be afraid.
- Go down to meet the invaders.
- Stand firm.
- Hold your position.
- See God's salvation.
- Do not be afraid. (Yes, He said this twice!)
At this reply, all of Judah bowed before God in worship to praise Him for His steadfast love. Then the army did as God instructed. The Lord Himself ambushed the invaders and utterly destroyed them. It took three days for Judah's army to carry off all the spoils of battle.
What can we, as American Christians, learn from this ancient story? We might not be able to see the dust of the enemy's army in the distance, but they are there just the same.
1. We must gather with fellow Christians to seek God.In this election, we do not need more political opinions. We need more Christians to seek God with everything we have.
"Then Jehoshaphat was afraid and set his face to seek the LORD, and proclaimed a fast throughout all Judah. And Judah assembled to seek help from the LORD; from all the cities of Judah they came to seek the LORD." --2 Chronicles 20:3-4 ESV
2. We must praise God.When we focus on God Almighty, we remind ourselves that He is infinitely bigger than our problems. We sometimes forget that we pray to the Creator of the universe. Praising God ushers us into His presence.
"O Lord, God of our fathers, are you not God in Heaven?
You rule over all the kingdoms of the nations.
In your hand are power and might,
So that none is able to withstand you." --2 Chronicles 20:6 ESV
3. We must claim God's promises.Search for His promises. Pray them back to God.
"Because he holds fast to me in love, I will deliver him;I will protect him, because he knows my name.When he calls to me, I will answer him;I will be with him in trouble;I will rescue him and honor him." --Psalm 91:14-15 ESV
4. We must ask for help.Ask God to perform His perfect will for our nation. Ask Him to strengthen and grow His church. Ask Him to give us boldness to proclaim His Word. Ask in FAITH.
Jesus told his disciples:
"Whatever you ask in my name, this will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask me anything in my name, I will do it." --John 14:14 ESV
5. We must obey His answer.Just like God gave instructions to Judah after their prayer, expect Him to give instructions to us. He might tell you who to vote for. He may tell you to let go of your fear. He might tell you to begin fasting and praying. He may tell you to run for office. He might tell you to serve the poor. Listen expectantly. Seek answers in His Word. Then obey.
6. We must stand.God never told the army of Judah to fight. He told them to stand. I wonder if Paul was thinking of these soldiers when he wrote Ephesians 6...
"Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm." --Ephesians 6:13 ESV
So don't let current events pull you into a whirlpool of fear and emotionalism.
Seek God. Pray. Obey. Stand.
Will you join me?