“The LORD makes firm the steps of the one who delights in him…”
I’m so thankful for this story of Jehoshaphat…the king who turned his attention to seek the LORD in a time of great fear. Others might have decided to immediately prepare to fight…or surrender to such a multitude coming up against them…but he chose to seek help from the LORD by fasting and praying. (If you didn’t read any of the story on Monday or Wednesday, you can read it here in 2 Chronicles 20:1-13, or you can also check out Monday and Wednesday’s blogs.)
We may not have armies coming up against us, but we do have an enemy set against us, and he’d like nothing more for us to surrender to him because we are afraid. He’d like nothing more than for us to try and fight him without being properly equipped with the full armor of God. As a matter of fact, let’s stop right now and put it on.
Let’s not walk into another day without the FULL armor of God.
10Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might. 11Put on the full armor of God, so that you will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil. 12For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritualforces of wickedness in the heavenly places. 13Therefore, take up the full armor of God, so that you will be able to resist in the evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm. 14Stand firm therefore, HAVING GIRDED YOUR LOINS WITH TRUTH, and HAVING PUT ON THE BREASTPLATE OF RIGHTEOUSNESS, 15and having shod YOUR FEET WITH THE PREPARATION OF THE GOSPEL OF PEACE; 16in addition to all, taking up the shield of faith with which you will be able to extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17And take THE HELMET OF SALVATION and the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God. (Ephesians 6:10-17)
So Jehoshaphat turned to God in prayer. I love what God taught me Monday, and have used it all week in my prayer time with Him.
We need to OWN our powerlessness.
We need to ADMIT that we don’t know what to do.
We need to FIX our eyes on God…TRUSTING in Him alone.
There’s a freedom that comes from owning our powerlessness before an ALL-POWERFUL God. There’s a freedom that comes from admitting that we don’t know what to do and submitting to His leading. He is the Shepherd of our hearts. There is security when we fix our eyes on Him…the Author and Perfecter of our faith, and when we put our trust in the Alpha and Omega.
God asked Jehoshaphat to trust Him, and to “go down against them (the enemies).” God said “Do not fear or be dismayed…for the battle is not yours but God’s…”.
And here’s the big question.
- What would be my response? If God answered my prayer this way? If I prayed and instead of God just fixing my situation, He told me to face the thing I feared the most and trust Him to defeat it? To trust Him for victory? For deliverance?
And what exactly can I learn in this story from a king in 2nd Chronicles that I can apply to my own life? 1 Corinthians 10:11 tells us about the Old Testament that “…these things happened to them as an example, and they were written for our instruction, upon whom the ends of the ages have come.”
Here is Jehoshaphat’s response in 2 Chronicles 20:18-19…
18Jehoshaphat bowed his head with his face to the ground, and all Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem fell down before the LORD, worshiping the LORD. 19The Levites, from the sons of the Kohathites and of the sons of the Korahites, stood up to praise the LORD God of Israel, with a very loud voice.
He and his people bowed down, face to the ground. In surrender and worship.
- What was Jehoshaphat’s view of God in this situation?
- What is my view of God when He calls me to trust Him?
- When is the last time I bowed down before the Lord when He gave me an answer to my prayer???
I love the next part! After they fell to their faces and worshiped God, they stood up to praise the LORD God of Israel, with a very loud voice!!!! Can you picture it?!!! They didn’t just sing, they praised the LORD with a very loud voice!!!!
When we have this burning desire to praise the LORD OF LORDS with our whole hearts, we cannot be quiet about it!!!
The next morning they got up and as they were going, Jehoshaphat reminded them in verse 20 to “…put your trust in the LORD your God and you will be established.”
Established- supported, confirmed, upheld, nourished, carried, made firm, brought up
Go through these words and personalize it!!
“When I, __________, put my trust in the Lord, He…
Supports me…Confirms me…Upholds me…Nourishes me…Carries me…Makes my steps firm…Brings me up.
He establishes me.
“The LORD makes firm the steps of the one who delights in him…” (Psalm 37:23)
Isn’t it so simple…yet we complicate things with our stubborn and prideful hearts. The hearts that think our ways are better than God’s ways. That we know better.
God created us to delight in Him, to worship and glorify Him.
God created us to be in relationship and in conversation with Him.
When we delight in Him and trust in Him…He makes our steps firm.
Here’s the grand finale…singing and everything!!
21When he had consulted with the people, he appointed those who sang to the LORD and those who praised Him in holy attire, as they went out before the army and said, “Give thanks to the LORD, for His lovingkindness is everlasting.” 22When they began singing and praising, the LORD set ambushes against the sons of Ammon, Moab and Mount Seir, who had come against Judah; so they were routed. 23For the sons of Ammon and Moab rose up against the inhabitants of Mount Seir destroying them completely; and when they had finished with the inhabitants of Seir, they helped to destroy one another.
When they began singing and praising, the LORD set ambushes against (their enemies.)
It all started with prayer. A conversation with the One Almighty God…a man admitting his powerlessness before Him. It started with a heart that chose to turn to God, to trust in God, to fall down in worship before God, to stand up and sing praises to God, to obey God.
WHAT IF prayer led me to this place?!!! A place where God fought my battles while I sang and praised Him?!! WHAT WOULD MY LIFE LOOK LIKE if I lived in this place…a place of TOTAL surrender and trust in Him? Of simply delighting in the GREATNESS of Him and TRUSTING that His greatness is ENOUGH.
THIS IS WHAT HE WANTS FOR US…CAN WE GRAB HOLD OF IT AND TRUST AND LET HIM TAKE HOLD OF US…ALL OF US, WHOLEHEARTED US?
Let’s meditate on this name of God today…
God is Jehovah-nissi. This name means “God our banner.” Under His banner we go from triumph to triumph and say, “Thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Corinthians 15:57).