2 Chronicles 20 changed my life. And that’s not an exaggeration. About 6 years ago I read this story of King Jehoshaphat and it stopped me in my tracks. Threatened by attacking forces on all sides, KJ had the perfect excuse for a royal freak-out. Instead, he “resolved to inquire of the LORD.” With no time to spare, KJ kept his wits about him and talked with God about what to do next.
It’s easy to sling that kind of theology until a crisis is breathing down your neck. KJ did what many of us preach about but rarely do. He used prayer as his first weapon. That hits me hard. But what happens next sweeps the feet right out from under me:
“Early in the morning they left for the Desert of Tekoa. As they set out, Jehoshaphat stood and said, ‘Listen to me, Judah and people of Jerusalem! Have faith in the LORD your God and you will be upheld…’ … Jeshoshaphat appointed men to sing to the LORD and to praise him for the splendor of his holiness as they went out at the head of the army, saying: ‘Give thanks to the LORD, for his love endures forever.'” ~ 2 Chronicles 20:20, 21
Whoa, daddy. KJ is facing eminent death and destruction at the hands of a massive approaching army, and instead of picking up weapons and donning his Braveheart kilt he appoints people to lead in worship.
Six years ago I faced an “advancing army.” Being the mature person that I am (not), I responded by attempting to perfect the royal freak-out. And then God showed me KJ and a different way to face my giants.
And, yes. It changed my life.
- Day 183 (Monday): 2 Kings 1-4
- Day 184: 2 Kings 5-8
- Day 185: 2 Kings 9-11
- Day 186: 2 Kings 12-13, 2 Chronicles 24
- Day 187: 2 Kings 14, 2 Chronicles 25
- Day 188: Jonah 1-4
- Day 189: 2 Kings 15
By the way …
WE’RE HALFWAY. Yep, week 27. Only 25 weeks left to go. For those who are hanging in there with me (regardless of your pace), WAY TO GO. I’m proud of you. Stay committed and see this to the end. You won’t be sorry.
Very, very cool. Another “battle seen” that always gets me is in Joshua 1. Just about to head into battle, God’s giving him a pre-game pep talk. Right before saying “Be bold. Be strong” God says, “Do not let this book of the law depart from your mouth. Meditate on it day and night. Then you will be prosperous and successful.” Worship & God’s Word. (And we thought weapons were the best way to win a battle. Hmmm…)
I am learning that prayer and praise in the midst of crisis has an actual effect on the mood of the crisis. God tells us to “Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks, . . .” I Thes. 5:16-18.
I used to think these verses were just a platitude, but, as you have discovered, it is demonstrated in Scripture that God fills the situation with His Presence when we pray and praise.
Thanks for sharing this Michele
Joshua 1 … a great example, Keith. You’re so right. Worship and God’s Word. The original one-two punch.
I used to think the same thing, Denise. Now I’m starting to believe more and more that there is something about the obedience of doing it when I don’t feel like it that’s changes the playing field. Thanks for being authentic …
i need to get my worship on.