2 Chronicles 20:3 ~ NKJV
“And Jehoshaphat feared, and set himself to seek the LORD, and proclaimed a fast throughout all Judah.”
I want to do a three-part devotional here because this is one of my favorite stories in the whole Bible. And because I can. There are three things I want you to see for today, the first one is the order of events in this verse. There were three armies coming against the people of Judah to engage in a battle. Well, King Jehoshaphat hears about it and gets scared, you would too. Even in that fear, Jehoshaphat still knows what he needs to do, so he talks to God. Perfect ten out of ten response to fear right there. Jehoshaphat gets bad news, he seeks God. It doesn’t say he had a meeting and they decided to seek God, he knew that he had to seek God if he wanted to win the battle. So that’s what he did. Then he figures that he is probably going to need backup so he tells the entire land of Judah to fast and pray while they try to figure this thing out. That’s the first thing I want you to see, the first place Jehoshaphat ran was straight to the Presence of God.
The second thing I want you to see is the words used to say HOW Jehoshaphat sought the Lord. It says in the NKJV that he set himself to seek the Lord. In the ESV it says he set his face to seek the Lord, the meaning is the same. Jehoshaphat SET himself, he was focused, he was all in for the long haul. It wasn’t just a quick five-minute prayer that he said really quick before he started making a battle plan. How often do we say we have prayed about something and mean that we did that? “Oh God, please help me. Amen.” And on to something else? That’s not what Jehoshaphat did, he prayed and he meant business. Why? Because he was desperate. When you get to the point where you are desperate for God to do something, your prayers start sounding different.
Here’s the last thing, Jehoshaphat knew that he couldn’t pray through something this big by himself. Did God hear him? Absolutely! But sometimes, there are things in our lives that we need the support of other believers who are willing to fight with us. Like it talks about in Exodus, we need people who can hold up our hands when we are tired. Don’t try to fight the battle by yourself! Get other people working with you on the big stuff. Well, how do I define big stuff? I’m glad you asked. If you think it’s big, so does God. There you go, that’s the only rule.
So, the quick summary here we go. When you get freaked out, where do you run? Sometimes you have to get desperate with God, not so that He will hear you but so you can hear Him. Don’t fight alone. Three things, one day, and more to come tomorrow.