Read 2 Chronicles 20:1-29.
When you’re facing a battle, what do you do?
I used to panic about everything. I would follow it up with complaining about it to my close family and friends, dwelling on how hopeless I felt about whatever it was, and then I turn to prayer. But even then, I had a really difficult time worshipping in this place of intimidation.
If your heart isn’t in the right place, it makes worship suddenly seem extremely daunting.
Overtime, I’ve come to understand the heart of worship and what it actually looks like. Worship is both an invitation for God to come and a response to his presence. Looking at it this way, it is so much easier for me to enter into worship at any point – whether I’m praising God for the good in my life or inviting him to reveal himself in the rough seasons.
When I look at this story in scripture, I am overwhelmed with the power of worship it shows. There was no logical reason King Jehosephat should have won this battle. He was rightfully terrified (I mean, come on, if a vast army was closing in to attack you, you’d freak out a little, too).
But what we see here is a perfect example of what worship can do. Worship puts you in the prime position to see the hand of God and to hear the voice of God. When your heart has a posture of worship it seeks to find God in every situation, no matter how bad it may seem.
And Jehoshaphat got this so right. Scripture says he was terrified, but he immediately turned to the Lord in guidance, urged everyone to begin fasting, and positioned himself in a posture of worship:
“O Lord, God of our ancestors, you alone are the God who is in heaven. You are ruler of all the kingdoms of the earth. You are powerful and mighty; no one can stand against you!”
We see Jehosephat wrestle a few times with the knowledge of how imminent the danger of this war was, but he ultimately returned each time to his faith in a good Father who fights for his children. In fact, his heart of worship was God’s answer to his prayer for guidance. He led his people into battle assuring them that God would fight for them. He urged them to be still and watch the Lord’s victory.
Worship comes even more into play in the climax of this battle. The enemy army is closing in, and you can imagine that the tension is building with each step they take. Jehosephat continues to encourage his people to stand firm and worship God, and immediately as they begin to sing the whole trajectory of this war shifts.
Give thanks to the Lord…
In the middle of the battle?
His faithful love endures forever.
Can you imagine the power? Standing in the face of a raging army and thanking God for his faithful love? What would our lives look like if we faced our battles this way? Family problems – thank you God for your grace. Health issues – thank you God for how loving you are. Job problems – God, thank you for your faithfulness.
We know that with this proclamation of praise the enemy armies turned on themselves until the battle was over – none of them remained, and none of King Jehosephat’s men had to lift a finger. All they had to do was worship.
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