Summary: Victory is always preceded by worship. By observing God’s Word and the experiences drawn from his people, we see that this is the major key in victory over our spiritual battles. When all you have is God, you have all you need.
Opening illustration: A wise Bible teacher once said, “Sooner or later God will bring self-sufficient people to the place where they have no resource but Him – no strength, no answers, nothing but Him. Without God’s help, they are sunk.”
He then told of a despairing man who confessed to his pastor, “My life is really in bad shape.” “How bad?” the pastor inquired. Burying his head in his hands, he moaned, “I’ll tell you how bad – All I’ve got left is God.” The pastor’s face lit up. “I am happy to assure you that a person with nothing left but God has more than enough for great victory.”
In Today’s scripture text, the people of Judah were in deep trouble. They admitted their lack of power and wisdom to conquer their foes. All they had left was God! But King Jehoshaphat and the people saw this as reason for hope, not despair. “Our eyes are upon You,” they declared to God [2 Chronicles 20: 12]. And their hope was not disappointed as He fulfilled His promise: “The battle is not yours but God’s” (v. 15). We should get over with the notion of denial to dependence.
Lets us turn our Bibles to 2 Chronicles 20 and catch up with the story of Jehoshaphat and the people of Judah and try to learn from their lives as how victory is achieved in spiritual battle.
Introduction: In all dangers, public or personal, our first business should be to seek help from God. Hence the advantage of days for national fasting and prayer. From the first to the last of our seeking the Lord, we must approach him with humiliation for our sins, trusting only in his mercy and power. Jehoshaphat acknowledges the sovereign dominion of the Divine Providence. Lord, exert it on our behalf. Whom should we seek, to whom should we trust to for relief, but the God we have chosen and served. Those that use what they have for God may comfortably hope he will secure it to them. Every true believer is a son of Abraham, a friend of God; with such the everlasting covenant is established, to such every promise belongs. We are assured of God’s love, by his dwelling in human nature in the person of the Savior. Jehoshaphat mentions the temple, as a token of God’s favorable presence. He pleads the injustice of his enemies. We may well appeal to God against those that render us evil for good. Though he had a great army, he said, we have no might without thee; we rely upon thee.
Jehoshaphat was one of the good kings of Judah and he learned to depend on God. At times he got into wrong alliances but he did not worship other gods or practice idolatry. In this passage we will see how he overcame his greatest battle.
The Spirit of prophecy came upon a Levite in the midst of the congregation. He encouraged them to trust in God. Let the Christian soldier go out against his spiritual enemies, and the God of peace will make him more than a conqueror. Our trials will prove our gain. The advantage will be all our own, but the whole glory must be given to God.
Jehoshaphat exhorted his troops to firm faith in God. Faith, inspires a man with true courage; nor will any thing help more to the establishing of the heart in shaking times, than a firm belief of the power, and mercy, and promise of God. In all our trust in the Lord, and our praises of him, let us especially look at his everlasting mercy to sinners through Jesus Christ. Never was an army so destroyed as that of the enemy. Thus God often makes wicked people destroy one another. And never was a victory celebrated with more solemn thanksgivings.
The purpose of Ezra to write the Chronicles was ‘To bear witness to the “unity of God’s will for his people.”
Keys to Success in Spiritual battle:
1. Seek God through Prayer & Fasting [vs. 1 – 13]:
The enemy was in their backyard and the Israelites absolutely had no hope. This report filled Jehoshaphat with fear, and he resolved to seek help of the Lord. 2Ki_12:18; Jer_42:15, to direct the face to anything, i.e., to purpose something, come to a determination. He proclaimed a fast in all Judah, that the people might bow themselves before God, and supplicate His help, as was wont to be done in great misfortunes; cf. Jdg_20:26; 1Sa_7:6; Isa_2:15. In consequence of the royal appeal, Judah came together to seek of the Lord, i.e., to pray for help, by fasting and prayer in the temple; and it was not only the inhabitants of Jerusalem who thus assembled, for they came out of all the cities of the kingdom. To seek of the Lord, i.e. Help is expressed in the last clause by seeking the Lord. Do we worry about our lack of prayer? Are we sensitive to the Holy Spirit and leading a life in the way God desires it. Do we continue to feast of the world rather than focusing and feasting in our creator – fasting. Today we see very poor prayer life of God’s children. It seems to be dying out slowly. Unfortunately few Christians take fasting seriously. The world and even the church has discarded (chucked away) the aspect of fasting. If it was of no results, why would the OT saints and the NT apostles practice it? In fact Jesus had even spoken and encouraged His disciples for it on a number of occasions. Do we run helter-skelter when the enemy (Satan) attacks our lives?