July 2024 – The Battle Belongs to the Lord – Part 2


Dear Friend in Christ:

Happy July! This month, we’re continuing our journey through 2 Chronicles 20 on the theme, “The Battle Belongs to the Lord.” Last month, we were reminded that anytime we try to do the right thing, our spiritual enemy will oppose us. (See June 2024.) However, we also read that the Lord is with us and the battle ultimately belongs to Him. In fact, in Christ, the battle is already won. We discussed how to position ourselves in Him to receive what He has promised.

Let’s do a quick review: King Jehoshaphat was a seeker and a worshipper of the Lord, he detested idols, and he restored righteous leadership to the people of Judah. But not everyone was happy with Jehoshaphat or the reforms he brought. A crisis arose that threatened to destroy the entire kingdom and annihilate the people of Judah. Enemy hordes from Moab and Ammon marched on Jerusalem. God’s people were frightened as they faced likely annihilation.

But as the people cried out to God in prayer, the Lord answered them through a man named Jahaziel, saying:

“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. Tomorrow 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. You 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.’ And 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. Then 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” (2 Chronicles 20:15-19).

When King Jehoshaphat heard the word of the Lord, he didn’t say, “Well, that would be a neat trick.” He didn’t say, “Well, I’ll praise you when my eyes see it.” Jehoshaphat heard the Word of God, he believed it, he reckoned it done in the heavenlies and saw it as already accomplished. Jehoshaphat’s supernatural response in faith was to worship the Lord … to thank Him and praise Him in advance of the earthly manifestation and fulfillment of His Word. All the people bowed with the King; they were all humble before the Lord; they all worshipped together.

Understand, at this point, the enemies were still gathering; the armies were still marching against them; the conspirators were still conspiring. But the people of God were on their faces, worshipping God, receiving and believing His Word deep into their hearts and minds. As they worshipped, something began to happen in the atmosphere. The Levites stood up and praised God with voices loud and high; they began a victory shout; something rose up in them, prompted by the Holy Spirit. This happened while their enemies were still on the move, threatening their very survival.

In the midst of great danger, they received a holy confidence; a peace that surpassed all understanding; joy unspeakable and full of glory; a riotous river of refreshment devastating the dry desert of despair; the wellspring of life triumphing over death; it was a new dawn of hope after a long night of weeping!

The people stood up and started to praise, and it wasn’t a quiet little meditative murmur. There came a sound; a shout of praise that was heard in heaven and in hell. It was the loud cheer of champions, the voice of the victors. A celebration of God’s awesome faithfulness, goodness, and power broke out even as catastrophe loomed.

Faith released praise and obedience, which in turn opened their eyes to further revelation. When you are convinced of God’s Sovereign faithfulness – regardless of circumstances–you come to a place of expectation for His deliverance. Your spiritual senses are sharpened. You see and hear Him more clearly. I still believe this: Faith is the evidence of hope, and obedience is the evidence of faith. Let’s look at what happened next.

“So 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.’ And 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.’ Now 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. For 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” (2 Chronicles 20:20-23).

Faith is tangible; according to Hebrews 11, it is “the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen” (Hebrews 11:10). The writer of Hebrews goes on to give numerous examples of believers who took actions based on God’s Word to them and describes that as faith.

Faith is not just sitting in a church service on Sunday looking pretty. Faith is not waltzing around the workplace during the week thinking you’re better than everybody else. Faith is not gossiping and calling it “sharing” and it’s not half-heartedly dropping a few bills in the plate and calling it “tithing” or absent-mindedly mumbling a few ditties and calling it worship. Faith is hearing God, receiving His Word, believing what He says, rejoicing in it, and acting on it in such a way as to cause even non-believers to acknowledge God. Faith bears fruit!

God gave Jehoshaphat a unique strategy. He appointed a praise team to go out ahead of the army! You do realize the praise team had to have some faith also? They led the army out to meet their enemies and sang this song: “Praise the Lord, for His mercy endures forever.”

They weren’t praising the Lord SO THAT the battle COULD BE won … this was not simply going out and fighting by singing. Their singing wasn’t directed toward the enemy; their singing was directed to the Lord. They weren’t praising to win … they were praising because it was ALREADY WON! Can you see the difference? They weren’t just whistling past the graveyard, trying to whip up some confidence. They went out with joy, they were led forth with peace. They saw the mercy and faithfulness of God BY faith and they declared it IN faith.

The Lord set an ambush against the enemy. The demonic forces that were motivating the enemy armies assumed they had the battle won. They had all the numbers on their side, they had all the horses and chariots and spears and swords and soldiers. They had Judah surrounded … the odds were all in their favor. The enemy awaited the army of Judah. But here came the worship team! “Praise the Lord, for His mercy endures forever.” This must have been terribly confusing to the devil! “What are they so happy about? Why are they singing? WHAT are they singing?” Fear, confusion, and division came upon the enemy like a firestorm.

Jesus said in Matthew 12:25, “A house divided against itself will surely fall.” We know this is true. This is another reason we know the kingdom of the enemy is doomed. Satan’s kingdom is fatally divided. Even as the armies arrayed against Judah turned upon one another, so will EVERY foe that attempts to exalt itself against the knowledge of God and against God’s people. The forces arrayed against you right now may look impressive, there may be a lot of them, but I want to tell you that the foundation upon which they stand is crackling crumbling quicksand and they will surely fall! No weapon formed against you shall prosper. Those who are for you are greater than those who are against you. Greater is He that is in you than he that is in the world. Don’t lose heart.

And so, when the people of Judah came over the hill they looked upon a scene of utter devastation; their enemies had already slaughtered one another. Every single enemy combatant was dead. The spoils of victory were so huge that it took Judah three days to carry it all away. The wealth of the wicked is stored up for the righteous (see Proverbs 13:22). The victory that God has in store for you is greater … far above all that you could ask or imagine.

The people of Judah returned to Jerusalem and had a mighty worship service; there were shouts of joy and victory. The Lord had caused them to triumph over their enemies. Second Corinthians 2 says that God leads us in His triumph and that we are spreading abroad the fragrance of His knowledge. For all those who are seeking Him and love Him, the aroma is a sweet life-giving fragrance; but to those who despise and reject Him, it is the smell of death.

Whose side are you on today? During the great 1977 Holy Spirit gathering at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, Bob Mumford said “I’ve looked in the back of the Book, and WE WIN!” The huge stadium rocked as tens of thousands of believers shouted and praised God in a thunderous roar of worship and joy. We win, not because we’re better or smarter or stronger, but we win if we humble ourselves before the Lord, seek Him, cry out to Him, hear His voice, believe His Word, and act on it. We win because the Lord is good, and His mercy endures forever.

These promises have heartened and sustained us here at CSM in recent months. In addition to my father’s passing, many dear friends and allies of our ministry have gone home to Heaven. This is a season of great transition and challenge. We are sincerely asking you to pray with and for us, and to stand with us as we restore the generational bridge so that “one generation shall praise Thy works to another, and shall declare Thy mighty acts” (see Psalm 145).

If you would like to support us in ministry financially, please see the card enclosed or the information below. You can visit our website, csmpublishing.org, which has many available ministry resources or follow us on our Charles Simpson Ministries Facebook page and X Twitter @CSMinPublishing. We have many free Bible teaching videos on our YouTube Channel: CSMPublishing. Also, I am personally available for ministry in your church or community. For booking, contact our CSM Office.

Thank you for standing with us during these challenging months. The Lord has not left us, and the mission ahead is so worth pursuing. We love you and pray for you!

In Jesus,
Pastor Stephen Simpson

About the Author:

Stephen Simpson

STEPHEN SIMPSON is the Editor of One-to-One Magazine and the Director of CSM Publishing. In addition to publishing ministry, Stephen has served in leadership for churches and ministries in Costa Rica, Florida, Mississippi, Texas, and Michigan, as well as being the Senior Pastor of Covenant Church of Mobile (2004-2013). He continues to travel in ministry across North America and in other nations.