Today I read about Jehoshaphat; inspiring and convicting...
Jehoshaphat was king of Judah, and a vast army was coming against him. He was scared; there was no way his own army could take the enemy. So he calls a prayer meeting with all the people of Judah. He prays, "... 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 upon You."
God answers! God says, "Do not be afraid or discouraged because of this vast army. For the battle is not yours, but God's....You will not have to fight this battle. Take up your positions; stand firm and see the deliverance the Lord will give you... Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged. Go out to face them tomorrow, and the Lord will be with you."
Notice what God says. They will not have to fight the battle, but they will have to take up their position in the army, they will have to stand firm, they will have to go out to face the enemy. Oh yeah, and don't be afraid. Yikes.
So the next day the army heads out to meet the enemy. Leading the army, are the singers! Yes, they are singing "praises to the Lord for the splendor of His Holiness." "Give thanks to the Lord, for His love endures forever." Can you picture this?! As they began to sing and praise, the Lord set ambushes against the invading armies. The invading armies destroy each other, rather than destroying Judah. "When the men of Judah came to the place that overlooks the desert and looked toward the vast army, they saw only dead bodies lying on the ground; no one had escaped." And you know what? It took them 3 days to carry off all the plunder from the dead armies.
The people believed God would do what He said He would do, and they praised Him first, as they were marching out. As they praised Him, He began to work.
When I am afraid and overwhelmed, I don't often go out singing to meet my enemy. I believe what God says about delivering me from Satan and the world and my sin nature... but do I act like I believe it? Do I joyfully take my position, standing firm in God's army, or do I fearfully crawl along? All too often it is the later. I have seen God work, I have seen Him fight for me, I have seen Him hand the victory to me. Yet it still goes against my nature to stand strong and be courageous and trust Him.
Lord, give me courage. I cannot face the enemy. Put a song of praise in my heart and fight the battle for me! Fill my mind and my emotions with Your Spirit, so I can stand strong and watch You fight.