“Our God, will you not judge them? For we have no power to face this vast army that is attacking us. We do not know what to do, but our eyes are on you.” 2 Chronicles 20:12 NIV
Sometimes life presents some unexpected realities in each of our lives. We are going along thinking things are pretty good and out of nowhere everything changes. This was the reality for Jehoshaphat and the people of God. They had seen victories, and knew God’s hand of deliverance upon their lives. They had seen Him defeat their enemies but this was a new day and a new challenge was upon them. What were they going to do?
The word comes to Jehoshaphat that a great and vast army was coming at them. They were outnumbered and this army was coming for the purpose of destruction. When the enemy is ready to invade, we better have an understanding of the reality of God.
Fortunately, Jehoshaphat did. He knew God was truly God alone and that He was the only real and safe place to run to in such an hour. Jehoshaphat does three key things here that I find incredible but also life-giving if we choose to do the same in times of overwhelming odds. It does not mean he was not trembling inside at what he was facing, but in the midst of his unknown he ran to the One that was Known.
While alarmed, Jehoshaphat resolved to inquire of the Lord, he proclaimed a fast for all Judah, the people came together to seek the Lord, and they confessed not only their inadequacy but also God’s ability.
They acknowledged that they, in their own strength did not know what to do, but they committed to keep their gaze set on the One who did. In this, Jehoshaphat presents me with three questions:
- What are you looking at?
- What is your position?
- What is coming out of your mouth?
Jehoshaphat chose to look at God when he did not know what to do about his situation. He acknowledged his inability but God’s overwhelming ability. His determination to make God his place of refuge produced a man that dropped on his face and bowed in the presence of God.
Jehoshaphat’s position was not one of pride or arrogance but one of humility. He knew the only way of rescue was through God’s power and not in the size of their army. He lowered himself to lift up the One who was worthy. As he did, a strategy was revealed to him about how to face his new reality. He was to go in the morning, not declaring the big enemy, but singing the praises of a God who has always been faithful. What came out of their mouths were not, the negative news of the day, but the truth about a God who still reigns. For them, it came out as a song and that song defeated their enemies because God created confusion in the camp of the enemy and brought a sweet victory to Judah that day.
When I pull this into my life and into our day, I am asking myself these three questions today. What am I looking at? What is my position? What is coming out of my mouth? Do not dismiss these questions because I believe they reveal a lot about us. The answers tell whether I am trusting God to be my rescue or trusting myself and the size of my army. The answers reveal whether I am allowing my heart to be filled with pride and arrogance in this hour or whether I still believe humility comes before honour. What is coming out of my mouth says a lot about me. It speaks to whether I am confident in a God who is working in my present or whether I have bought into the latest information and am running with it. Jehoshaphat did not gain victory by looking at himself, walking in pride, and speaking the “size of the dangerous army.” He won because he believed God. Period.
When we believe God….the first step revealing that we do will manifest as humility in our lives. From there we will declare who He is in all seasons, not just in the ones we feel good in or full of faith in. God did not change from the day He spoke a promise to Abraham, to the moment they were singing that his love endures forever as they stood and faced this enemy. His nature and character remained faithful and that was what they needed to know and speak in that season.
Maybe if we become a bit more intentional in setting our gaze, lowering ourselves, and guarding our “song” or speech, we just might be surprised at how much victory awaits us in every new challenge. Just maybe.
I want to get this. I want to make sure this life is looking at the only One who knows the real way through this. I want to make sure in a generation filled with lots of information that my heart is not becoming prideful and thinking that I know more than I really do. I want the steps of my heart to be led by humility. For me, my song or speech are my challenge, but I am asking the Father to enable me to lean on His nature and declare who He continues to be even when I hear the sound of the army coming. I need to know the One who has been faithful will continue to be just that in all seasons. Not because I say He is, but because He truly is!!!!
Look at Jesus
Position yourself in humility
Declare truth over what appears to be facts!
j Holmes says:May 29, 2020 at 10:07 pm
What are we looking at? What do we see?
Does the world see… what you see? I would like to consider taking our thoughts from seeing what we hope for, who our hope is in… and looking at… to bringing that Light which we see to a world that is in this present darkness. Can others see the Rock upon which we stand in the midst of today’s unexpected turn of events and shattered dreams… and future hope.
It is as if a wave of trouble wants to dash upon our shores…to take hold …desiring us… to sweep us away. Is God still our refuge and strength?
Will others know that we run to the life giving One when we do not know what to do in our present circumstances?
Jehoshaphat presented Pastor Freda with three questions. As an “epistle of Christ”, how do her three questions speak about us as regards to our “sufficiency” that “is from God.” Paul writes in 2Cor.3:2-5…
“You are our epistle written in our hearts known and read by all men; clearly you are an epistle of Christ, ministered by us, written not with ink but by the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of flesh, that is, of the heart. “
1. I would say then, that we too carry the markings of God’s writing upon our own hearts….we are letters of Christ….that are read by the world…. Do they read Christ? Does our life reflect the One Whom we are looking at? “We all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord.” (2Cor.3:18)
2. What position does a servant take? Jesus is the Way, the Truth, and the Life. He humbled Himself, and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross. Paul says “Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus.” Phil2:5,8 and in 2Cor.4:10,11…”always carrying about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh.”
3. What is coming out of my mouth? Jesus said the words that He spoke…are spirit and they are life. James 3:8 says that “no man can tame the tongue. It is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison.” But we read in 1John2:27 that “the anointing which you received from Him (the Holy One) abides in you, and you do not need that anyone teach you; but as the same anointing teaches you concerning all things, and is true, and is not a lie, and just as it has taught you, you will abide in Him. (Jesus) Will we hear what the Spirit is saying? What have we to say?
Have I yet to trust God with my life? …or…Is my life hid in Christ in God?
There is a mighty spiritual battle taking place. The victory is… the Lord’s.
Sue Holmes says:May 29, 2020 at 10:51 pm
I am glad that we get to see this side of Jehoshaphat. This is a man who knew God. He was a direct descendent of King David. Jehoshaphat had a great military force. So when the enemy was looking massive against him no one would have blamed Jehoshaphat for recalling his army for the battle. But he didn’t do that. Jehoshaphat “had an understanding of the reality of God” & knew that his God was greater than any coalition army raised against him.
Jehoshaphat did what his great, great …. great grandfather David did at Ziglag. He encouraged himself & his people in the Lord. “Are you not the God who … “, Are you not our God who …”, “Are you not God in Heaven who rules …” Jehoshaphat declared who God is as a reminder to the people of Judah & likely to himself as well. This is who Jehoshaphat was looking at & kept his gaze focused on.
Jehoshaphat didn’t hesitate to take a position of humility. He was confident enough in his knowledge of & relationship with God that as the highest earthly authority in the kingdom of Judah, it was only natural for Jehoshaphat to say, “We do not know what to do, but our eyes are on you.” As king, Jehoshaphat was ready & willing to put himself in a place of submission to God …. in front of the whole kingdom.
Jehoshaphat’s words were a refection of who God is. This wasn’t just a recital of the God that Jehoshaphat had heard about in the recounts of his famous grandfathers battles. Jehoshaphat had made these stories & God’s promises personal to himself. The God of yesterday was also the God of today for Jehoshaphat.
This is maybe my weakness … what comes out of my mouth.
Getting off track in any of the three questions raised can turn the whole battle for any of us. The potential to lose the battle for me may very well be what I proclaim. “For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.” (Matt 12:34) Unlike Kings Jehoshaphat & David I can lose sight of who God has been in my life. I can find it easy to speak of the strength of the problem & speak of my own weakness while allowing God’s victories to go unspoken. But what I speak not only flows from my heart but is the expression of my worship.
“Therefore I urge you, brothers and sisters, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies [dedicating all of yourselves, set apart] as a living sacrifice, holy and well-pleasing to God, which is your rational (logical, intelligent) act of worship.” (Romans 12:10)
I believe that Pastor, your mention of the need to be intentional can be key. Being intentional usually involves all of me … mind, body & spirit … or it is too easy for me to get off track. Maybe it is why the greatest commandment is “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind” (Matt 22:37) God knows our weaknesses & He knows He is our true strength.
I found it interesting that in looking into who Jehoshaphat was, I discovered that, in spite of his relationship with God, he made a few questionable moves. Jehoshaphat at one point joined forces militarily, politically & economically with Israel’s King Ahab. To make matters more interesting he arranged for his son Jehoram to marry the daughter of Ahab & Jezebel, Athaliah. We read further on in the Old Testament that Athaliah acquired some of the same characteristics of her famous mother.
Did Jehoshaphat get his eyes off of his Deliverer? Did this king who trusted God with his entire kingdom forget where his victories came from? In the end Jehoshaphat came back to his God but the battle with the one (Jezebel) that he made an alliance with continues to this day.
My intention (with God’s help) is to be intentional in “encouraging myself in the Lord”. I need to be intentional to “turn my eyes upon Jesus, look full in his wonderful face”. And to follow the lead of King David in saying “Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O Lord, my strength, and my redeemer.” (Psalm 19:14)
Tracy says:June 1, 2020 at 3:29 pm
This message really hit home with me. My journey back to fully trusting, and wanting to KNOW Jesus has been ongoing for the past couple of years. But this COVID-19 pandemic has really kicked it into gear.
These three directives are so powerful.
1. What am I looking at?
For so much of my life, I have let what has happened to, and around me keep my focus. That is never a good thing. As I have been delving more into The Word, and really listening to Freda’s and others’ teachings, my eyes, and my mind have spent less time on “me” and the circumstances going on around me, and more on God. Who He is! What He has done, what He is doing, and what He will do. When my focus remains fixed on Him, it’s all good. Not that everything is good with no problems or anything like that. Just that in the midst of it all, regardless of the circumstances I find myself in, there is peace, and safety, and security, and hope. So I can really say, “It’s all good!”
2. What is my position?
Again, for much of my life, I have been self-sufficient. Let me rephrase that; I have lived under the delusion that I was self-sufficient. I could take care of myself and the boys. No need to ask for help. What a joke.
I owe everything to Christ! I am, and I can do, and I have nothing, aside from Him. It is all about Him, and His grace, and mercy, and promise, and strength, and love.
In the book, “The Final Quest” Rick Joyner is given a very plain, drab mantle to put on over his shining armour. Wisdom told him that it was “Humility”, and that he would not be able to see very well without it. It turns out that the mantle was the highest rank in the kingdom, because those who wore it were clothed in the grace of God. There is no power greater than that!
It is in this position of humility that I can truly believe, and accept God’s Grace. Otherwise, it becomes about me, rather than about Him.
3. What is coming out of my mouth?
God has been convicting me of this over the past while, and I am truly a work in progress, but with His help, and grace, I am getting there. There is so much power in the spoken word. The song “I speak Jesus” has truly become an anthem for me. I want to speak Truth, and Life, and Light, and Peace, and Love! I want my words to build up, rather than tear down.
I find that when I have been reading/listening to the Word, and filling my mind with worship music throughout the day, this is much easier. Because again, it gets my mind off of me, and onto Him. There is Power in the name of Jesus! When I speak His name(s) darkness, lies, fear, jealousy, anger, depression, hopelessness, hurt…..it all has to flee!
“Jesus! Jesus! Jesus!
There’s just something about that name
Master, Saviour, Jesus
Like the fragrance after the rain
Jesus, Jesus, Jesus
Let all heaven and Earth proclaim
Kings and kingdoms will all pass away
But there’s something about that name.”
I sang this song every night since my boys were born, when I tucked them in at night. And every time I — ever since I was a teenager — or they, woke up with a nightmare. Or when I can’t get to sleep. I know the power of that Beautiful name, so I will continue to speak It over every situation!