Friday, August 8, 2014

Lessons from the battlefield, part 2:Treasure on the Battlefield

2 Chronicles 20:1 – 30

 

A “great multitude” was coming against Jehosophat.  It was one of the toughest challenges that he had faced as king, and he was certain that he was inadequate.  He was afraid.  In fact, he was terrified.  


Jehosophat’s response was three-fold.  He turned his attention, or focus, to seek the Lord.  He proclaimed a fast in Judah.  He prayed.  “Our eyes are on Thee.  We obeyed, Lord, and look at the result.  Regardless, our eyes are on You.”  Obedience had not worked out the way he expected, but he was still intent on following his Lord.


God instructed him to replace his fear and dismay with singing and praise.  Our Lord knew that the Valley of Destruction for Moab would be the Valley of Blessing for Judah.  The battle was already fought and won by the time Judah arrived.  All they had to do was carry away the spoil.    

Obedience does not always turn out as we expect, does it?  The result we want is not always the one we get.  When that happens, we can either become angry, bitter, and doubt our God, or we can do what Jehosophat did.  He replaced his fear and dismay with singing and praise, just as God had said.  


The song in his heart changed his attitude and the attitude of the people, but it also helped him to obey the next step in God’s plan.  Praising God helped him obey, even when destruction seemed certain.  Why?  Because through his praise, he acknowledged the power and might of the One who was ultimately in control and placed himself firmly in the hand of God.  


The only thing Jehosophat could envision was failure and defeat, but he couldn’t see his next battle through God’s eyes.  God saw not only the difficulties his people had faced and the struggles still ahead, but also the treasure on the field.  

What a surprise it must have been for Jehosophat to see the battle not only fought but also won by the time he and his army arrived!  How amazing to see such treasure simply waiting for him on the battlefield!


How often we turn away from the next battle because of what we’ve already experienced… not because we’re not warriors, but because we don’t really trust our Lord to deliver us in battle.  How often we miss the treasure on the battlefield of God because we fail to move forward simply because God’s plan doesn’t make sense to us.  


Are you facing a difficult challenge in an area in which you’ve experienced defeat before?  You can be totally sidelined by fear or you can choose to do what Jehosophat did.  Replace your fear and dismay with singing and praise.  Get your eyes on the only One who is able to deliver.  Regardless of what has gone before, He has a plan, He is working it out for you, and it is a plan for good and not evil.  (Jeremiah 29:11)  God sees the treasure on the battlefield, even when you do not.