Scripture: 2 Chronicles 20:1-18
‘And Jehoshaphat feared,’ who could blame him? After all, there was a great multitude headed his way to destroy Judah, a justifiable reason, if you ask me. But he doesn’t handle his worry the same way I expected. Jehoshaphat didn’t stop at his emotion like we often see and experience, scripture goes on to say, ‘and Jehoshaphat feared and set himself to seek the Lord, and proclaimed a fast throughout all Judah.’ He prayed, and God sent an answer. His answer told them not to be afraid or worried about the great number of soldiers headed their way. They were told this battle was not theirs, but the Lord’s. God instructed Jehoshaphat how to proceed and he fell before the Lord in worship. They went out the next day as instructed, and rather than preparing for battle with weapons as one would have thought, Jehoshaphat appointed singers to sing praises of holiness, and when they began to sing and to praise, the Lord began to work and the armies began to fall and Judah did not fight, they stood and watched as all others fell and they remained.
1 Peter 5:6-7
Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time: Casting all your care upon him; for He careth for you.
Jehoshaphat humbled himself before God, and God exalted him.
Humble is a hard word for many of us to accept and truly become. To be humble, means that we possess a modest view of our own importance, and having that requires we go against the grain of the culture surrounding us, which drills us constantly with slogans that tell us, ‘we’re worth it,’ and teaches us the ugliness of entitlement. BUT it is a mindset that God says is necessary and the first step in drawing closer in relationship to Him and allowing him to lift us out of our mess.
Worry is really an interesting thing to step outside of and think through. We are all familiar with it, because every single one of us has dealt with it at some point. We understand that it has the ability to cause us to become physically ill. We experience the sweat, muscle tension, headaches, nausea, shortness of breath, digestive disorders, depression – all the bad feelings it brings along with it. We even realize that it does absolutely nothing of gain for us. As Luke 12:25 points out, it is an action that doesn’t even add time to our life span, yet we can’t seem to get past the worrisome thoughts of; am I a good enough parent, is this the right degree for me to pursue, how am I ever going to find a job, when am I ever going to be in the right relationship, how am I going to pay my bills, what am I going to do if my car breaks down, and so many other questions racking our brains. These worrisome thoughts all roll around and plague us as we sit problem solving each scenario trying to come up with a solution, all the while forgetting God. We never think to humble ourselves, because we are so utterly consumed in ourselves that we can’t get past our own image in the mirror in order to fix our eyes on the one who holds the answer to all of life’s questions.
Worry is something so common place that we have come to accept it as a part of life. We openly discuss it as we sit in coffee shops with our girlfriends, we text them to a confidante, we post them for all to see on social media, or maybe we bottle them up inside and become so stressed out that our body begins to physically revolt against us. We more readily proclaim our worry to those around us than the saving grace of our Heavenly Father…and that my friends, is a problem because worry is a sin. It is a sin that we are willing to allow because, well…everyone deals with it…and we internalize it so well that often times no one even sees it…yet truth is truth, a fact – a fact. Worry IS sinful. It is a lack of trust in the all supreme, all knowing God of the universe. It is lack of confidence in the fact that the way-maker is going to make the way. It is a lack of trust that He makes paths in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert. It is a lack of faith in the God that has brought you safe thus far…Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying any of this is easy. It isn’t – at all. Because worry is the here and the now, and the in your face physical reality we see and hear and feel. Removing it from our lives requires an intentional thought that pulls us from our self-consuming thoughts and turns our eyes upon the One who put all things into motion, and holds the world in His hand.
Let us remember Romans 8:28;
And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.
Let’s start this day off right, grab a piece of paper and list out your worries one by one. Now let’s remember what we read about King Jehoshaphat. He worried, he prayed, he waited, and God answered, and delivered them from their fear. Take that piece of paper in your hand and pray over each of those worries asking God that He will help us to allow Him to have control over each and every situation, that we would truly know what it means to cast our cares on Him. That we would believe Romans 8:28 and understand that He will bring us through in His time. Acknowledge that His ways are higher than ours and that we truly do trust Him and ask Him to have His will in the situation because we know by His word that He is good, and just like he did it for King Jehoshaphat we know He will exalt us in his time. Seal that prayer in the powerful name of Jesus, and start this day new…Choose him.
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