Have you had a time in your life, when you didn’t know what to do? You didn’t know the direction you were to take? You see a huge challenge in front of you – no, it’s even more than a challenge. You see a situation or battle or circumstance that seems unbeatable or even hopeless for you – and you just don’t know what you are to do?

O our God, will you not execute judgment on them? For we are powerless against this great horde that is coming against us. We do not know what to do, but our eyes are on you.”2 Chron 20:12 (ESV)

Here we see Jehoshaphat, the godly fourth king of Judah after the division of the kingdom, praying to God because he has heard the Moabites, Ammonites and others were preparing to attack Judah. (2 Chron 20:10-11). Jehoshaphat and his people are worried and upset because they know they won’t be able to fight against such a “great horde” or large throng or multitude of people. Jehoshaphat and the men of Judah aren’t large or powerful enough! They don’t know what to do. So, they seek God’s help! They keep their eyes on him.

I don’t know about you – but I needed to read this passage. (Funny how God realized that, huh?) I’m certainly not facing a massive group of people who want to take my life or possessions, but I am at a time in my life in which I’m facing a situation that makes me feel powerless and even hopeless at times. I don’t see my direction. I don’t know what to do. I feel like I’m letting myself and others down because I’m stuck. Admittedly, I’ve been in this place for quite a while. Can you relate? It’s not a fun place to be!

So, where do we turn? Well, this passage tells us to turn to God. We – I – need to keep my eyes on God and away from the circumstances. Seems like I’ve told myself this many times over the years. It’s just so easy to move my eyes from God to what I’m facing. I keep trying to survive on my own strength. I keep trying to find answers on my own. ….I keep trying…

Those words say a lot. I just can’t figure out how to face a challenge – move forward – do what I need to do and let God work through me. I just don’t know what that means. How do you face the day – yet keep your eyes on God?

I keep reading this passage with these questions running through my head. The verse above and the passages following it – 2 Chron 20:12, 15-18 seem to lay out steps and guidance for what I – we need to do when we are facing an unbeatable enemy or circumstance. Rather than “keep trying” on our own (Carol!), we are to:

1. Realize we are powerless on our own (2 Chron 20:12) I don’t have a problem understanding or agreeing with this step, how about you?!

2. Seek God – and have our eyes on him (2 Chron 20:12) Focus on God (our source of help!) either anxiously (Ps 121:1) or confidently with hope and trust in him. (Ps 25:15; Ps 141:8) Hopefully we will learn to do so-more and more-with hope and trust, rather than with anxiety! If we will consciously seek God wherever we are, we will look less at the circumstances we are facing or even worrying about the future! We don’t know what tomorrow will bring – so why continue to worry about it? Most of what we worry about probably won’t even happen! (Phil 4:6-7; Matt. 6:25-34) (Oh if I could tell my mind to stop when it gets going!)

3. Listen for God (2 Chron 20:15; Ps 81:8-16) Be still, be quiet – take time to hear God, rather than filling the quiet with noise or continually crying out for help. He wants to help. He wants to talk with each of us (Ps 81:8, 13). If we don’t listen to him, He will turn us over to our own stubborn hearts to follow our own counsel (Ps 81:12). What a scary thought!

4. Don’t be afraid or dismayed at our situation – the battle is not ours – but His! (2 Chron 20:15b) That sounds so easy, doesn’t it? But, God knows this is a struggle for us. I mean, think of how many times he puts these words in the Bible! We aren’t the only ones to struggle with fear and discouragement! (Ex 14:13-14; Deut 31:6; Joshua 1:9; Ps 112:7; Is 35:4; Is 41:10; Jer 1:8)

5. Face our challenge (2 Chron 20:16a) Even though this is God’s battle, it doesn’t mean we sit passively along the sidelines and do nothing. We face what is in front of us! – BY:

                         SOMETIMES:

    • Take up arms or fighting the battle with God’s strength IF God tells us to do so. Here, God tells them they will NOT need to fight (2 Chron 20:17a). Well, if we aren’t to fight – what are we to be doing?

                         ALWAYS:

    • Exercise faith, pray and praise God (evidenced in this whole passage in 2 Chron 20)
    • Stand firm (2 Chron 20:17b). So often in the Bible – where you see “do not fear” – you see – “stand firm”! (See the devotional entitled “How Reassuring! Fear Not“)(Is 41:10)
    • Hold our position (2 Chron 20:17b) Wait for God! Wait prayerfully for God. Wait with hope. Wait patiently on God. Wait in silence or in tears for God. Wait expectantly and eagerly for God. (Ps 25:4-5; 27:14; 33:20; 39:7; 40:1; 62:1, 5; 69:3; Hab 3:16; Heb 6:15; Rom 8:25). Our timing is not God’s timing. We are in a hurry. But, God isn’t. He is working in us and around us – for us.
    • Watch what God will do to save you (2 Chron 20:17b) Wait for his guidance, his direction, his wisdom, his provision, his answer – his deliverance! (Ps 3:7; 5:11; 7:1; 9:3)

6. AGAIN – Do not be afraid or dismayed (2 Chron 20:17c) God tells us this a 2nd time in this passage. He knows it’s important for us to hear this again – emphasis! If God tells us something more than once – it’s important and he knows we need to hear it again! (Jos 10:25; Deut 1:29; 1 Chron 22:13)

7. God is with us (2 Chron 20:17d) (Deut 20:4; 31:6; Josh 1:5; Ps 118:6; Jer 1:8; Matt 28:20; Heb 13:5) No matter how you feel. No matter how alone you think you may be … you aren’t! God is with us!

8. Worship the Lord (2 Chron 20:18) We are to receive these assurances with faith, reverence and thankfulness, just as Jehoshaphat did

My Prayer:

Lord, you know my hurt, my pains and my questions. You know my struggles, my mess-ups and my weaknesses. You know my short-comings, my inconsistencies and my pride. Yet you love me anyway. You want to talk with me and be with me. I know where I’ve been and you know where I’ve been. Yet, even at that point – you saved me!

You know where I still struggle. But you know my heart – both the part that wants to do better – and the part that is still so very stubborn. Lord, please don’t turn me over to my own stubborn heart – to follow my own counsel (Ps 81:12). That scares me so. There are times – when you seem so silent and distant from me – that I fear that’s what is happening. Either that or I am the one pulling from you. I certainly don’t want to do that. I know you want us to seek you. You want to have an intimate relationship with us. I know I am your child. I know I am saved. So, please – show me if there is anything that may be coming between you and me. I need you. I want you first in my life. I can’t handle the situation I am in right now or any situation in life on my own. I need your wisdom, guidance, direction and companionship.

I believe you when you say you are with us. Now help me to believe it and feel it more personally – that you are with me. Help me to seek you – truly. Help me to keep my eyes on you – to truly see you and all that you are. Help me to use that knowledge of you and relationship with you to face each day. I want to have so much confidence in who you are that I don’t panic and worry and struggle with my circumstances. Please show me how to listen for you. Help me to take time to be quiet. Thank you for last night and tonight – just taking the time in this passage has been so meaningful for me.

Please help me to cling to your word – that tells me not to fear or be dismayed. Calm my fears. Help me to lean on your word – to lean on You. Help me to realize it’s not my fight – not my battle, but yours. You have a plan. You are with me. You are with dad. You will not leave me or him. You will finish what you have started in me and him. I may not see how now – but I am waiting on you – and will do my best to do so patiently, quietly (knowing there will be times of not so quietly), honestly, prayerfully, hopefully and eagerly. You will be with me and working through me and around me. You will give me guidance, direction, needed wisdom, provision and whatever is needed at the right time.

I will not give up! I will not stop believing! I will stay full of hope and expectation! I will not fear and I will stand firm – for you are with me and for me & I am yours – always! You will strengthen me and help me and uphold me with your right hand! (Is 41:10) I praise you as I know how. I love you. In Jesus Christ’s name I pray. Amen.