Jehoshaphat ministered tirelessly to redirect the Israelites’ focus toward God. He poured his heart into this work.
And then an avalanche hit. Three armies teamed up to attack him. Seriously! Everything that could go wrong hit at once. Suddenly, his ministry took a back seat because extinction was imminent.
We know this feeling. Sometimes the armies look more like bills, waves of hormones, relational conflict, car repair, a summons to the boss’ office, a spouse comes home with a layoff notice, a lump.
Life does not pace itself, dealing out one hit at a time. The avalanches seem to come all at once.
We can learn a lot from Jehoshaphat as he faced this wave of devastation.
1. He didn’t try to fix things. With the armies bearing down on him, he could have marshaled the troops and headed to battle. If he had, he probably would have arrived early, at the wrong location and Israel would have been wiped out.
2. He waited for God’s response. Jehoshaphat led the nation to storm heaven and wait for a reply. The waiting is the hard part. He determined to seek God, which means he didn’t just pray “God help us” and rush to battle – he waited for God’s answer to the devastation.
3. He went out praising. Have you ever heard from God and then inched forward with fear and trepidation, hoping you heard right – hoping God will show up? Once Jehoshaphat and the people of Israel heard from God, they marched with confidence. How did they do it? With the weapon of praise. Praise focuses our mind on what God is up to instead of what could go wrong.
What does the avalanche feel like in your life? How do you go about seeking God’s perspective?
Along with the times of stress, we also have times of peace. The work Jehoshaphat did when the nation wasn’t in crisis (see 2 Chronicles 19) prepared the people to walk in faith when there was a crisis. 2 Chronicles 20:4 says, “The people of Judah came together to seek help from the LORD; indeed, they came from every town in Judah to seek him.” (NIV) This unity was brought about because when things were going good, Jehoshaphat didn’t just let things slide, he got busy preparing people’s hearts to focus on God.
What is your tendency when things are going good? How do you respond when crisis hits?
Kim Martinez is a writer, speaker and coach focused on helping people fulfill their purpose, calling and passion while living everyday life. She is an ordained Assemblies of God pastor, a Certified AG Advanced Coach and has a master’s degree in theology from Fuller Seminary. Click here to connect with her online.