February 2, 2022
The Lord’s Battle – 2 Chronicles 20:1-12
In his message delivered on January 30, 2022, Pastor Peter Jamieson spoke on 2 Chronicles 20:1-12.
Read 2 Chronicles 20:1-12
In his sermon introduction, Pastor Peter stated that it has been said that death and taxes are the only certainties in life. He then offered the congregation an alternative to this statement for those on a Christian journey: The only things we can be certain of in the journey of faith are trials and tribulations.
Read John 16:33 and Acts 14:22
In light of this, we must learn how to handle challenges effectively, whether they arise from family problems, financial hardships, marital difficulties, children, employment issues, or any other kind of challenge. Irrespective of our current situation, if we are going through a struggle and we feel worn out, tossed around, battle-worn, hopeless, depressed, angry, feeling alone or isolated, then it is imperative that we master the skill of fighting spiritual warfare, otherwise, we will never achieve victory.
Read John 10:10
It is evident from the verse above, the thief only seeks to steal, kill and destroy. Jesus, however, claimed to have come to give life – life in its fullness. This gospel message has nothing to do with material wealth. It specifically involves overcoming Satan so as to live a more abundant life in Christ.
1 – THE CRISIS – 2 Chronicles 20:1-3
We learn in this chapter that a large army of Moabites, Ammonites, and Meunites had gathered against Judah and had reached Engedi.
The following three points are evident in verse 3:
a) – Jehoshaphat was fearful.
b) – Jehoshaphat set out to seek the Lord.
c) – He proclaimed a national fast and gathered the whole nation to him in order to pray and fast.
Jehoshaphat was afraid when he heard the news.
Fear is a natural and God-given response to a crisis. In the event of danger, we should feel afraid; however, that fear should never lead us to panic. Fear is a survival instinct that warns us of impending danger. Whether we succeed or fail will depend on how we respond to it. Fear must never cause us to turn away from God. It should, on the contrary, draw us closer to Him. When we allow fear to exist in its true form, it will lead us into God’s presence.
Jehoshaphat set out to seek the Lord. He did not simply pray: He proclaimed a national fast for Judah and gathered all its citizens to join him in prayer. The Bible states that he sought the Lord and entered into His presence. His intention was to seek God’s will and direction. It is imperative that we pause and enter the Lord’s presence before we seek His guidance or will. This may be difficult to accomplish during times of crisis or adversity. Although we cannot summon a nation to prayer and fasting, we are encouraged to consider those around us: We have a church family who we may call upon to join us in this effort. We may also consult our pastor, who is prepared to pray for us and to provide spiritual guidance. In a similar vein, the elders of the church and the members of the council are also willing to take up our case in prayer. We also have connection groups that will strengthen us, offer encouragement, and provide direction. We have access to these resources, but we must learn how to effectively utilize them, as Jehoshaphat did. These resources were made available to us specifically for this purpose.
Read Hebrews 4:16
The devil’s intention is for us to flee in fear. His objective is to isolate us. However, God does not wish for us to flee from Him. We have an open invitation. The omniscient, omnipotent, and omnipresent Creator of the universe has already won the battle. He is merely working out the details. The Lord does not want us to run away from Him. Rather, He wishes that we run to Him since He is a strong tower where we will be sheltered from danger.
2 – THE PRAYER – 2 Chronicles 20:4-13
a) – Jehoshaphat remembered who God was.
b) – He remembered and reminded the Lord of His promises.
Read 2 Chronicles 20:6
On starting to pray, Jehoshaphat recalled the divine nature of God. He is the Almighty Creator and the Absolute Ruler of all things. Jehoshaphat asserted that God was sovereign over all nations. He was declaring God’s supremacy over all living beings and things. The Master of the universe was not alarmed by the approaching army. His plan had already been formulated. Jehoshaphat then declared with confidence, “No one can stand against You.”
Read Romans 8:31, 1 John 5:14 and 2 Chronicles 20:7-9
Jehoshaphat also reminded God of His promises.
Read 2 Chronicles 7:12-14
Since Jehoshaphat had gathered the entire nation to himself, it was not just a promise for Solomon; it was also a promise for Jehoshaphat and the entire nation of Judah. As the army approached, it rebelled against the mercy and will of God. Jehoshaphat’s response to God’s promise was to cry out in deliverance, “God strike those people down! We are unable to stop this large army from advancing on us.”
A crisis or trial generally overwhelms us; otherwise, it would not qualify as such. In times of turbulence, whether in the personal, professional, or family spheres, we often feel powerless and helpless.
Then Jehoshaphat made this remarkable declaration, “O, my God, I am unsure of what to do, but my eyes are on You.” His gaze shifted away from himself to God. He had no answers. There was no definitive path forward. It all seemed extremely complex to him. There were far too many evil forces at play. Given Jehoshaphat’s inability to accomplish this on his own, he sought the Lord’s assistance.
Read Isaiah 40:31
Pastor Peter emphasized this point: Those who wait upon the Lord will rise up in victory. It’s not knowing what we do or what to do. What matters is knowing the One who does.
Read 2 Chronicles 20:13
Christianity is not a solitary endeavour. It’s a collaborative effort. It was never designed for us to carry out our duties alone or to struggle through life on our own. Hence the term “Body Ministry”. We all have a role to play.
Read James 5:14
Pastor Peter expressed surprise that very few people approached him to request that he lay hands on them and pray for their healing. We need to take the initiative in this regard. This is a lesson we all need to learn. We must stand firmly on God’s promise. It is incumbent upon us to elevate our eyes to heaven and to declare, “This is what you said, God. I believe it and I will act accordingly.”
3 – THE RESPONSE
a) – The Spirit of the Lord came upon Jahaziel (verse 14)
b) – Do not be afraid nor dismayed (verse 15)
c) – The battle is not yours, but God’s (verse 15)
d) – Position yourselves (verse 15)
Read 2 Chronicles 20:14
We have seen Jehoshaphat’s dedication to prayer. In spite of his fear, Jehoshaphat immediately turned to God for assistance. Everyone present fasted and prayed with him: They sought the Lord together.
Read 2 Chronicles 20:14-15
The prophecy that was spoken to Jehoshaphat was also spoken to all of Israel. It is important to note that all individual Christians, families, churches, as well as all pastors and leaders are included in this inclusive promise. It was not directed merely at one individual. Jahaziel was addressing a whole nation that was gathered in the presence of God.
Through Jahaziel, God instructed them not to be alarmed nor discouraged. Similarly, we should not succumb to ungodly fear that drives us away from God. Rather, fear should motivate us to seek God’s presence.
Also within this passage is the statement, “…the battle is not yours, but God’s”. We have been assured that the Lord will fight the battle on our behalf. All we need to do is position ourselves in accordance with His battle plan. Our Lord desires that we stand up against the enemy, facing our circumstances with confidence, not because we have faith in our own abilities, but because we have faith in Him. It is His battle to fight. Our Lord simply wants us to hold our position, witness, and experience the victory He brings.
Read 2 Chronicles 20:17
How can we hold our position against the demonic forces that are set against us?
Read Ephesians 6:10-18
It is not our vocation to be strong in our own strength, but instead, it is our duty to be strong in the power of His might. Therefore, it is of crucial importance that we do not neglect to put on the whole armour of God. We are to be prepared for war. In light of the fact that this is not a physical battle of flesh and blood, we must ensure we are well-equipped and spiritually positioned. There are no worldly weapons capable of winning this war. We are engaged in a spiritual war and our weapons are not carnal, but God’s might will enable us to overcome strongholds.
Position Yourselves – Ephesians 6:10-18
1) – Helmet of salvation
2) – Breastplate of righteousness
3) – Belt of truth
4) – Shield of faith
5) – Sword of the Spirit
6) – Shoes of the gospel
We must, first and foremost, wear the helmet of salvation, since our mind constitutes the primary battleground. It is within our minds and thoughts that the devil targets us. When we fail to prepare and do not equip ourselves with the headgear of salvation, he will always defeat us.
Our second requirement is to put on the breastplate of righteousness, which covers the heart, the repository of all our values and truths. As Jesus said, “…the message of the heart flows through the mouth”. Our actions and speech should reflect the gospel message.
The third thing we ought to do is fasten our belt of truth. Paul uses the example of a Roman soldier. Due to its role in holding the sword, the belt is one of the most important parts of the uniform. It attaches to the breastplate and holds up our pants. If we are not walking in truth, the rest of our uniform is useless.
Fourth, there is the shield of faith. Faith is a powerful weapon against all the flaming darts of the enemy. In our modern world, we are hearing the devil’s voice from every direction. “If you worship me, you will have everything you desire”, declared Satan. Jesus countered every accusation and temptation with the Word of God. In similar fashion, we are to cast down lies and magnify the truth. By doing so, we will destroy strongholds in our lives.
The fifth point pertains to the sword of the Spirit. The Bible, God’s Holy Word, is our offensive weapon.
Lastly, we put on the shoes of the gospel which symbolizes our readiness to serve God; a readiness to preach, speak or share the Word of God wherever and whenever He gives us the privilege and opportunity to do so. Only when we are properly clothed and equipped with the full armour of God, will we be able to withstand and endure the evil day.
Read 2 Chronicles 20:17
The Lord will support those who stand against the enemy. The most challenging aspect of a crisis is remaining still. We are not to take matters into our own hands. Although the concept of self-reliance may seem conceivable, it is the exact opposite of what God desires of us. In other words, it is not about doing nothing: it is about doing the right thing.
Read 2 Chronicles 20:22
The ultimate victory was achieved when they began to worship God in faith. The Lord positioned an ambush against their enemies. As a result, they turned on each other and annihilated themselves.
Read Romans 8:31 and 2 Corinthians 5:7
In his closing remarks, Pastor Peter invited those in attendance to lift their hands in prayer as they approached the Lord.
Watch video here.