Summary: The record of King Jehoshaphat learning about a planned invasion of Judah provides an example of how we are to respond when we feel overwhelmed and unprepared when we are attacked.
Take your bibles and turn to 2 Chronicles 20. We’re going to start in verse 17 and then we’re going to back up and get into the chapter a little bit.
(17) Ye shall not need to fight in this battle: set yourselves, stand ye still, and see the salvation of the LORD with you, O Judah and Jerusalem: fear not, nor be dismayed; tomorrow go out against them: for the LORD will be with you.
What strikes me about this verse is something that many in the Body of Christ have difficulty in doing. We will seek the Lord about something but we often don’t have the patience to wait for Him. That’s another way of saying we don’t have the faith to wait for Him.
Patience and Faith go hand in hand and that’s why we see God saying “stand ye still, and see the salvation.”
Now “stand still” doesn’t mean just sit back and say “God I’m trusting you and I’m not going to do anything.” That’s not what that means. We’re going to see as we read the record that what God is telling the people to stand still on is “the promise He made to them about the battle.” So the standing still is standing firm in your faith that what God says He will do.
Now go back up to verse 1.
(1) It came to pass after this also,
[What this is referring to is what happened in chapters 18 and 19. In chapter 18, Jehoshaphat went to battle with Ahab, the rebellion king of Israel. So, Jehoshaphat went to battle with a king who was in rebellion to God and he almost dies. Ahab dies in the battle.
In chapter 19, Jehoshaphat returns home and is met by the prophet Jehu, who reads him the riot act. “You went to battle with the ungodly. Why on earth would you do this?” And we see this in verse 2: “Shouldest thou help the ungodly, and love them that hate the LORD?” Jehoshaphat responds by taking the kingdom of Judah and reestablishing its reverence toward God. This is the back drop to verse one of chapter 20.
(1) It came to pass after this also, that the children of Ammon, and with them other beside the Ammonites, came against Jehoshaphat to battle.
(2) Then there came some that told Jehoshaphat, saying, There cometh a great multitude against thee from beyond the sea on this side Syria; and, behold, they be in Hazazontamar, which is Engedi.
The first thing we see in these verses that the enemy came upon Judah suddenly and without warning. And look at Jehoshaphat’s response.
(3) And Jehoshaphat feared, and set himself to seek the LORD, and proclaimed a fast throughout all Judah.
The word “fear” means “terror, fright, intimidation. And the word “himself” means “face” and the word “seek” means to inquire or consult. Jehoshaphat turns away from the message – the upcoming attack – to seek the counsel from the One who has ability to deal with the attack.
So we see here in verse 3 that when Jehoshaphat was faced with a sudden and unexpected attack, his first response was fear and intimidation. Then he realizes that God just saved him in a battle that he never should have been in. So he says, I need to seek My God, the one who saved me, and find out what I need to do.
How many times have you had something like this happen and God was not your first thought? (I held up my hand.) One of the reasons we don’t think about God first is because that is not how we are taught. We taught that we need to figure out how to handle it.
Now I want you to listen what the Lord shared with me about this.
“If My Word is not hidden in your heart before the attacks come, your fear will strip you of your authority over the situation. 2 Timothy 1:7. “For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.”
Now let’s make this a confession. “Father, whenever I am faced with the unexpected, I thank you that you have given me a spirit that is fearless. And I thank you that I am filled with your power. I am filled with your love. And I think with a sound mind.”
Now I’m going to finish reading this word from the Lord.
“If My Word is not hidden in your heart before the attacks come, your fear will strip you of your authority over the situation. My life in you gives you authority over the kingdom of the enemy. But you must choose to exercise that authority. The enemy is a skilled strategist and attacks areas of weakness – areas where there is a perceived lack of authority. If he can get you to believe that he has control in that area of attack then he has succeeded in convincing you not to choose to exercise your authority in that area.”