“‘You [need] not fight in this [battle]; station yourselves, stand and see the salvation of the LORD on your behalf, O Judah and Jerusalem.’ Do not fear or be dismayed; tomorrow go out to face them, for the LORD is with you.”
2 Chronicles 20:17
The context of this verse is the first story I ever learned about Jehoshaphat. Three armies had allied against him and he was freaked. So Jehoshaphat does what a believer should do in that situation: pray. He goes into the temple and declares a fast in the nation and gets everybody praying. As everyone is fasting and praying and looking to God for help, God’s Spirit comes upon one of the Levites and gives the answer above.
Now, Jehoshaphat’s prayer is interesting to me. It’s full of rhetorical questions about what God has done in the past — Didn’t You drive out the people who were living here? Didn’t You tell our forefathers not to wipe out the nations coming against us? Didn’t You…? These questions are, I think, a bit of Jehoshaphat reminding himself of God’s power —Yes. God did. Funny word, remind. It’s like the word tells me that my mind was once a certain way and I need to make it that way again. Or, in the archaic usage of mind as a verb, I once paid attention to something and must now pay attention to it again. That would be where Jehoshaphat is. He needs to pay attention to what God has already done. Why? To bolster his confidence that God has no problem dealing with the problem before him.
Back to God’s answer. God says (I’m paraphrasing), “This is My fight. Come on out tomorrow and watch Me work.” The Levite adds (again, my paraphrase), “Stop being afraid and freaking out. God says He’s got this.”
I am beset by unknowns at the moment. The ministry God has had me in for a couple years is being mostly absorbed into another ministry due to a move and lack of space. Where, then, does God want me to serve Him now? The place where my family and I live is sufficient, but it looks to not be sufficient for too much longer. The market in So Cal is pretty jacked up (both in terms of being messed up and being inflated and unaffordable). What does God have in mind for that? In the midst of all of these unknowns (the foregoing are just the appetizer), God reminds me of two things: (1) that He knows everything and (2) He has not left me.
I needed a reminder this morning — a gentle nudge to help get my mind out of the rut that threatened to lead me off into full-blown worry.
I needed to be reminded that I just need to stand and see what God is going to do. Standing, in the context of a battle, seems to be an active thing. One does not simply stand about daydreaming. On ancient battlefields, to stand would require keeping my shield ready to block incoming projectiles and to be focused on the battle. Standing, in that context, is about as active as a person’s mind can be. And the body must be ready to move at a moment’s notice. When God tells me to stand and watch what He’s doing, the implication is that He has plans for me to follow along and do something afterward.
I also needed a reminder that God is with me. God promised that He would never leave or forsake His followers (Deuteronomy 31:6,8; Hebrews 13:5). Jesus said that He would not leave us as orphans, but would come back for us (John 14:8). Circumstances can make it seem as though God has walked off and left me standing around alone. But it simply is not true. My daughter walks now and walks quickly. She is also loathe to hold anyone’s hand as she careens through the crowds. What she does not worry about is whether or not her daddy is with her. She has learned by experience that daddy is always nearby on her walks with him. Walking in the mall? Daddy might as well be her shadow. The park? Daddy is within two daddy strides of her. In every circumstance, she has learned that daddy is right there. I need to take a lesson from my little girl and from this reply to Jehoshaphat and remember that Daddy is right there. No fear; no worry; no doubt should be given place. Daddy; God the Father is right here.