Like most pastors, I try to glean from a wealth of sources when it comes to training, resources, personal growth, etc. For instance, every day, I read about 4 or 5 different devotionals (minimum). Some come from books I own. Some are e-mailed to my inbox on a daily basis. Often, what you read here is a reflection of those seeds that have been sown into my life that day.
So, today, not once nor twice but three times, my devotionals have led me to this passage:
He said: "Listen, King Jehoshaphat and all who live in Judah and Jerusalem! This is what the LORD says to you: 'Do not be afraid or discouraged because of this vast army. For the battle is not yours, but God's. 2 Chronicles 20:15 NIV
Hey. You don't have to hit me over the head to get my attention. I figure somewhere, somebody needed to see this today and be reminded that God's deliverance comes to those who wait. And it may come from the most unlikely of sources.
Let me set the story for you. Jehoshaphat (we'll call him J for short) is in need. He's the king of Judah and he's got a big problem. Three different groups of people have combined forces and are marching his way, intent on destroying he and his people. J, being the wise ruler that he is, stops everything, declares a fast and starts talking to the only Source he has for an answer--God himself. Just a couple of verses before, the Bible says that "all the men of Judah with their wives and children and little ones stood there before the Lord." What were they doing? Nothing. Not one thing. That is, not until they had heard from the Deliverer.
Now, honestly, if this is me, I'm in the war room drawing up plans of defense. I might have sent riders in every direction looking for a few new friends to help fight off this vast army. I've got men, women and children throwing up defences. Not J. J has seen God work before and He's counting on Him doing it again. God's response? The story says that God went with them. In fact, by the time the people of Judah got to the "battlefield", there was nothing but dead bodies. God had caused the three armies to destroy each other. Can't get much better than that. And all J and his crew had to do was talk to God, sing a few praise choruses and follow God's direction for their actions.
How about you? What formidable foe has you throwing up the defences and casting life lines in every direction but Heaven? Is there something in your life that has you ringing your hands rather than raising your voice to God? Maybe God's idea of a relationship is not the one you have--where you come to Him as a last resort rather than coming to Him first as a lasting refuge. You see, whatever your facing in life, "the battle is not yours, but God's." If you'll just trust Him, he'll take the depression, the anger, the bitterness, the career change, the divorce, the broken relationships, the fear, the ________ (You fill in the blank). He will fight the battle and He'll fill you in on the role He wants you to play. He's always promised that He loves you and He'll care for you. Whatever you're facing in your life, take courage in this verse that comes from the same story about J: "Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged. Go out to face them (whatever your problem is) tomorrow, and the Lord will be with you." 2 Chronicles 20:17b NIV