December 11th

 

Keys for Spiritual Warfare

1 It happened after this that the people of Moab with the people of Ammon, and others with them besides the Ammonites, came to battle against Jehoshaphat. 3And Jehoshaphat feared, and set himself to seek the LORD, and proclaimed a fast throughout all Judah. 4So Judah gathered together to ask help from the LORD; and from all the cities of Judah they came to seek the LORD. 5Then Jehoshaphat stood in the assembly of Judah and Jerusalem, in the house of the LORD, before the new court, 6and said: "O LORD God of our fathers, are You not God in heaven, and do You not rule over all the kingdoms of the nations, and in Your hand is there not power and might, so that no one is able to withstand You? 12O our God, will You not judge them? For we have no power against this great multitude that is coming against us; nor do we know what to do, but our eyes are upon You."  13Now all Judah, with their little ones, their wives, and their children, stood before the LORD.  14Then the Spirit of the LORD came upon Jahaziel the son of Zechariah, the son of Benaiah, the son of Jeiel, the son of Mattaniah, a Levite of the sons of Asaph, in the midst of the assembly. 15And he said, "Listen, all you of Judah and you inhabitants of Jerusalem, and you, King Jehoshaphat! Thus says the LORD to you: "Do not be afraid nor dismayed because of this great multitude, for the battle is not yours, but God's. 16Tomorrow go down against them. They will surely come up by the Ascent of Ziz, and you will find them at the end of the brook before the Wilderness of Jeruel. 17You will not need to fight in this battle. Position yourselves, stand still and see the salvation of the LORD, who is with you, O Judah and Jerusalem!' Do not fear or be dismayed; tomorrow go out against them, for the LORD is with you."  18And Jehoshaphat bowed his head with his face to the ground, and all Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem bowed before the LORD, worshiping the LORD. 19Then the Levites of the children of the Kohathites and of the children of the Korahites stood up to praise the LORD God of Israel with voices loud and high.

20So they rose early in the morning and went out into the Wilderness of Tekoa; and as they went out, Jehoshaphat stood and said, "Hear me, O Judah and you inhabitants of Jerusalem: Believe in the LORD your God, and you shall be established; believe His prophets, and you shall prosper." 21And when he had consulted with the people, he appointed those who should sing to the LORD, and who should praise the beauty of holiness, as they went out before the army and were saying:
        "Praise the LORD, For His mercy endures forever."

22Now when they began to sing and to praise, the LORD set ambushes against the people of Ammon, Moab, and Mount Seir, who had come against Judah; and they were defeated. 23For the people of Ammon and Moab stood up against the inhabitants of Mount Seir to utterly kill and destroy them. And when they had made an end of the inhabitants of Seir, they helped to destroy one another.
24So when
Judah came to a place overlooking the wilderness, they looked toward the multitude; and there were their dead bodies, fallen on the earth. No one had escaped. 27Then they returned, every man of Judah and Jerusalem, with Jehoshaphat in front of them, to go back to Jerusalem with joy, for the LORD had made them rejoice over their enemies. 28So they came to Jerusalem, with stringed instruments and harps and trumpets, to the house of the LORD. 29And the fear of God was on all the kingdoms of those countries when they heard that the LORD had fought against the enemies of Israel. 30Then the realm of Jehoshaphat was quiet, for his God gave him rest all around.  (2 Chronicles 20 excerpts NKJV)  (see full version of 2 Chronicles 20

This battle account provides valuable principles that we can apply in the spiritual warfare situations we face.  King Jehoshaphat demonstrated humility, fear of the Lord and great faith in the face of his enemies.  His miraculous deliverance testifies to God’s faithfulness when we entrust our battles to him.   

Humility and the fear of the Lord are key attitudes that invite God to fight on our behalf.  God draws near to the humble, but keeps the proud at a distance (James 4:6).  Jehoshaphat’s humility was evident from the start.  When he heard of the approaching armies, he prepared to seek the Lord through prayer and fasting.    

Prayer and Fasting are vehicles for humbling ourselves before God and asserting our total submission to his will.  Jehoshaphat led his people in corporate prayer and fasting. Likewise, it’s important for us to unite with other believers whenever possible in fighting spiritual warfare.  The Lord responded with specific encouragement and guidance for the battle.  God assured the people that they would be victorious.   

Praise and worship characterized the peoples’ actions before, during and after the battle.  Perhaps most striking was how Jehoshaphat positioned the singers in front of the army.  Interestingly enough, God ambushed the enemy just as the singers began to sing!  God handed them complete victory, and they honored him by praising and worshipping him during the return trip to Jerusalem.  Just as praise and worship was instrumental in Jehosphaphat’s victory, it is also instrumental for spiritual warfare victories as well.  It provides a “spiritual covering” that protects us from the enemy and invites God to move on our behalf.   

Questions for further thought:

Prayer:

“Lord God in heaven, Thank you that you draw near to the humble and delight to show yourself strong on their behalf.  Please forgive me for the times when I’ve ignored you and attempted to fight battles in my own strength.  I repent from any pride that I’ve harbored. Please help me apply the principles of humility, prayer, fasting, praise and worship to my walk with you.  Please teach me how to stand in faith in the spiritual battles that come my way.  I put my trust in you, Lord, and I lean not on my own understanding or abilities.  Thank you, Lord. In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.”