Have you ever had a bad day? One of those days where nothing seems to go right? You’ve fought with your spouse. Your children are riding out your last nerve. Your boss is on your case and being completely unrealistic! Your car breaks down or your tire goes flat!
Maybe its a day that is even more complicated than that. A day when you know spiritual warfare has been engaged in your life and the devil is fighting hard against you.
We’ve all had those difficult and draining bad days. So what do you do when these terrible, horrible days come?
In 2 Chronicles 20 we read the story of Jehoshaphat and the really bad day he was experiencing.
“It happened after this that the people of Moab with the people of Ammon, and others with them besides the Ammonites, came to battle against Jehoshaphat. Then some came and told Jehoshaphat, saying, “A great multitude (vast army) is coming against you from beyond the sea, from Syria; and they are in Hazazon Tamar”. And Jehoshaphat feared…” (2 Chronicles 20:1-3a, NKJV).
Jehoshaphat, this amazing king of Judah and courageous man of God, became afraid because of the enemies that surrounded him. This was perhaps the worst day of his life. Everything he had worked so hard to build in the kingdom of Judah was now at risk. It seemed everything would be taken by the enemy.
Have you ever dealt with fear so great that it seemed to immobilze and paralyze you? Fear of the future, fear of losing everything, fear of difficulties, fear of not having enough finances to provide for your family, fear of never being good enough, fear of the battles you are facing in life. We’ve all been there. We’ve all experienced that all consuming fear.
Jesus said: “These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33).
For Jehoshphat this was a test. The test of a lifetime! So often, things in life that cause us to fear are simply tests which God allows us to walk through to show His own glory in us!
These tests are inevitable in every life and we must prepare our hearts and minds for the tests before the tests ever come.
In other words, study and prepare for the test before test day ever arrives. Don’t try to cram for the test at the last minute.
And then when the tests do come, focus on God and His promises! Not the enemy or situation that stands before you.
“3 And Jehoshaphat feared, and set himself to seek the Lord, and proclaimed a fast throughout all Judah. 4 So Judah gathered together to ask help from the Lord; and from all the cities of Judah they came to seek the Lord… 6 and said: “O Lord God of our fathers, are You not God in heaven, and do You not rule over all the kingdoms of the nations, and in Your hand is there not power and might, so that no one is able to withstand You? 7 Are You not our God, who drove out the inhabitants of this land before Your people Israel, and gave it to the descendants of Abraham Your friend forever? … 12 O our God, will You not judge them? For we have no power against this great multitude that is coming against us; nor do we know what to do, but our eyes are upon You.” 13 Now all Judah, with their little ones, their wives, and their children, stood before the Lord. (2 Chron. 20:3-4, 6-7, 12-13).
In times of trouble we must: * Seek the Lord in prayer and fasting (v.3). * Remind yourself who God is – powerful and mighty (v.6).
* Remind yourself of what God has done – in the Bible and your life (v.7).
The bible is very clear that we are to seek God in all things and to fast. Many times, really bad days only get turned around when we have prayed and fasted. Fasting adds a whole new level of breakthrough to our prayer life.
When we seek God and get a glimpse of Him in all His holiness and glory, everything else seems smaller. The situation you face seems less intimidating and overwhelming.
If you focus on God, the obstacles will always shrink because of your changed perspective.
“14 Then the Spirit of the Lord came upon Jahaziel the son of Zechariah, the son of Benaiah, the son of Jeiel, the son of Mattaniah, a Levite of the sons of Asaph, in the midst of the assembly. 15 And he said, “Listen, all you of Judah and you inhabitants of Jerusalem, and you, King Jehoshaphat! Thus says the Lord to you: ‘Do not be afraid nor dismayed because of this great multitude, for the battle is not yours, but God’s. 16 Tomorrow go down against them. They will surely come up by the Ascent of Ziz, and you will find them at the end of the brook before the Wilderness of Jeruel. 17 You will not need to fight in this battle. Position yourselves, stand still and see the salvation of the Lord, who is with you, O Judah and Jerusalem!’ Do not fear or be dismayed; tomorrow go out against them, for the Lord is with you.”” (2 Chron. 20:14-17).
When Jehshaphat and the nation of Judah had prayer and fasted, the Spirit of God spoke to Jahaziel with the solution to their victory!
The solution multifaceted and yet so simple. God spoke to this king and to this nation “Don’t be afraid! Just stand still and watch Me work.”
That can be tough for us to understand. Being still and waiting on God can be so dificult and tedious on us as believers because we feel so programmed to work hard and fix the problem. Standing still and doing nothing seems counterproductive to us. But when God say stand still…then stand still, we must!
“So they rose early in the morning and went out into the Wilderness of Tekoa; and as they went out, Jehoshaphat stood and said, “Hear me, O Judah and you inhabitants of Jerusalem: Believe in the Lord your God, and you shall be established; believe His prophets, and you shall prosper. And when he had consulted with the people, he appointed those who should sing to the Lord, and who should praise the beauty of holiness, as they went out before the army and were saying: “Praise the Lord, For His mercy endures forever.” (2 Chron. 20:20-21).
Here are the two keys to victory in your life.
Jehoshaphat began to walk in obedience even though he may not have completely understood what God was going to do!
He appointed singers and musicians to praise God and to lead the army into battle. Really? The Praise and Worship Team is going to the frontline of the battle? The singers and musicians are going to be the front line of defense? In military tactics this makes no sense to the logical mind but in the spiritual sense it is the best battle plan ever!
The singers and musicians led the people by singing and praising God and the scripture says “Now when they began to sing and to praise, the Lord set ambushes against the people of Ammon, Moab, and Mount Seir, who had come against Judah; and they were defeated.” (v.22).
You need to understand that sometimes, the only way you’re going to defeat the enemy, is to praise. God will destroy your enemy through your praise!
When you are engaged in battle and you begin to praise, the devil doesn’t know what to do with that kind of praise and that kind of perspective. It messes with the enemy’s mind when you are fighting for your life and instead of running or declaring defeat, you are lifting your hands and giving God praise.
Your victory is in your praise!