'Ever notice that things come in threes?
2 Chronicles 20.1-30
In my being, I could not yet move on. When last we were together, I talked about Joe, but today I would like to switch the emphasis to you. Let’s talk about you.
Because whether or not you are in a battle, there are personal challenges out of your reach . . . people who you love who need a touch from God - whether healing, relationship with Him or God's intervention. Truly, unless God performs a rescue, the situation is dire for some I love.
This is an incredible story. The king is made aware that he is about to be attacked by three foes: Ammonites, Moabites and Meunites. To say that the king's back is against the wall is an understatement, but what is his response? He prays to God for help and declares a fast, (and as a respected leader, the people heed his words). From the temple courtyard, he stands and addresses his Commander in Chief, God. Notice how he starts his prayer with adoration and then recalls how God has taken care of the people up until this point. He concludes his prayer with, "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."
So, Jehoshaphat? The Lord hears his prayer and sends a message to the people:
“Do not be afraid or discouraged because of this vast army.”
For the battle is not yours, but God's. (verse 15)
Your attention? What are you up against, my friend, trying to fight, control or fix on your own? Or who is on your heart that needs God? With the realization of our helplessness, we have an invitation to call out to God, surrender ourselves and transfer what we have in our hands into his capable hands.
>>> Dear Father, some of us are in a battle right now…I think of my friend Madhava in India, Joe in Maui, Diana in California... We are comforted that nothing escapes your notice and nothing has caught you by surprise. You told us to pray continually, to bring our needs to you. Here are our three things or our three people--our Ammon, Moab, etc. _______, _______, ________. We surrender each into your hands.
We do not know what to do, but our eyes are on you, Lord. We give you what we are trying to manage or fix, what we are worrying about; we will not be afraid, we will not let ourselves be discouraged. We take you at your word--the battle is not ours, but yours. Our trust is in you, sweet Lord. Come, move. . .
In your powerful name we pray, Amen.
Meanwhile back on the hillside outside of Jerusalem with Jehoshaphat . . . what happens? Well, as his men are marching down to face the battle, Jehoshaphat appoints men to sing praises to God-- (can you just imagine what the opposition was thinking as they heard them coming? Crazy Jews)-- certain of the victory God had promised them (verse 17). The opposing armies then turn on each other, destroy one another, and Jehoshaphat's men never have to fight! Isn’t that crazy? Oh, how I love this story of God's faithfulness!
We see how different things are when we are operating in God's economy--God didn't just help Jehoshaphat's armies, he divinely intervened so that Jehoshaphat's men never had to fight the battle!
Not much has changed in 3000 years. God is still willing . . . no, not just willing, but wanting to fight our (just) battles. Surrender your three to God today, go often in prayer with whatever concerns you and then trust God to act.
God is Able,