What battles rage on your field today? Are you disappointed in someone who has let you down? Are you frustrated in your job, suffering from financial loss, grieving a loved one, struggling with addiction? Take “time out” to regroup your troops and “stand down.” King Jehoshaphat led the Israelites in a literal war against their evil enemies. These same lessons can be applied to today’s spiritual battles.
In 2 Chronicles 19:21, the enemy troops seemed to multiply before the eyes of King Jehoshaphat. Vast and impenetrable, the armies of the pagan Moabites, Ammonites and some of the Meunites were not far from attacking King Jehoshaphat and the Israelites. Terrified, the king turned to God and prayed. The prayer began with praise as he recognized God as His creator, acknowledged God’s sovereignty and His power.
God’s ways are not our ways, especially when it comes to fighting battles. God gave unusual instructions when King Jehoshaphat asked how to win a battle against a vast army. God said, “stand still.” If the command would have been given in today’s military terms, it would have been, “stand down.” We all know in offensive battle this is not done. The king gave the orders to the people. King Jehoshaphat’s words are recorded in 2 Chronicles 19:21, “Believe in the Lord God and you will be able to stand firm.”
The king’s desperation and commitment to God assured the Hebrew people of God’s presence and certain victory. In 2 Chronicles 19:6, “We can cry out to you to save us and you will hear us and rescue us”.
“Take your position, stand still,” the priest’s son, Jahaziel said, “and watch the Lord’s victory.” Whatever battles we face, we must know the Lord will be victorious. Here are a few pointers from 2 Chronicles 19, the battle of King Jehoshaphat:
One of the most difficult things to do in advancing into battle God’s way is to stop. “Cease striving and know I am God,” Psalm 46:10.
When we are stopped, we must choose to remain unmoved. “Take your position, stand still, and watch the Lord’s victory,” 2 Chronicles 19:17.
Do you think God is taking too long? He wants us to wait. “That is why I wait expectantly, trusting God to help, for He has promised,” Psalm 130:5.
We must trust Him – that’s called belief. “Believe in the Lord your God, and you will be able to stand firm,” 2 Chronicles 19:21.
When He wins the victory, we can celebrate. “Then all the men returned to Jerusalem, with King Jehoshaphat leading them, overjoyed that the Lord had given them victory over their enemies,” 2 Chronicles 19:21.
If we allow our battles to be fought God’s way, there is no question who will win. The victory has already been won. We need to believe God will conquer our foes. Our natural reaction is to look at the magnitude of our problems. Like enemy troops multiplied before the eyes of the king, we might be distracted to focus on the problem and not the solution. If we do this, we fight our battles, using the temporary quick-fix methods of the world—words with pat phrases, fad diets, worldly advise or even ignore another person’s emotional pain. If we submit and commit the person to God’s plans: stop, stand still, wait, and believe, we expect God to work. When the victory comes, it will be obvious it came from God. Then, we celebrate.
Let’s pray, “Heavenly Father, thank you for showing us how you want us to gain the victory in our battles. You know our tendency – to run ahead of you. Forgive us for our impatience, our manipulation, our unwillingness to allow you to work. Help us to stop, stand still, wait and believe you are working. We celebrate the victory you bring. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.”