June 2024 The Battle Belongs to The Lord

June 2024
THE BATTLE BELONGS TO THE LORD

Dear Friend in Christ:
One of my favorite stories is found in Second Chronicles 20, and it involves young King Jehoshaphat, who became ruler in Judah when he was 35. 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.

“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. Then some came and told Jehoshaphat, saying, ‘A great multitude is coming against you from beyond the sea, from Syria; and they are in Hazazon Tamar’ (which is En Gedi). And Jehoshaphat feared, and set himself to seek the Lord, and proclaimed a fast throughout all Judah. So Judah gathered together to ask help from the Lord; and from all the cities of Judah they came to seek the Lord. Then Jehoshaphat stood in the assembly of Judah and Jerusalem, in the house of the Lord, before the new court, and 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? Are You not our God, who drove out the inhabitants of this land before Your people Israel, and gave it to the descendants of Abraham Your friend forever? And they dwell in it, and have built You a sanctuary in it for Your name, saying, ‘If disaster comes upon us—sword, judgment, pestilence, or famine—we will stand before this temple and in Your presence (for Your name is in this temple), and cry out to You in our affliction, and You will hear and save.’ And now, here are the people of Ammon, Moab, and Mount Seir—whom You would not let Israel invade when they came out of the land of Egypt, but they turned from them and did not destroy them— here they are, rewarding us by coming to throw us out of Your possession which You have given us to inherit. O 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.’ Now all Judah, with their little ones, their wives, and their children, stood before the Lord” (2 Chronicles 20:1-13 NKJV).

You can be sure that when you set your face to please God and make changes in your life, our spiritual enemy is going to get stirred up and try to oppose you. Difficulty, sickness, opposition, challenges, and trouble are not necessarily the result of sin or a lack of faith. Sometimes, trouble happens because you are doing the right thing. The devil is not passive, and he will not sit idly by whenever you begin to seek the Lord and His Kingdom. The devil’s team will stir up opponents, using whatever reason or method, to come against you and seek your destruction. So, a huge army comprised of Judah’s surrounding enemies began to mass for attack … in fact, they were already encroaching on Judah’s territory at En Gedi. Jehoshaphat was afraid, and for logical reasons. But in the midst of his trouble, Jehoshaphat made a good decision. He immediately began to seek God and he proclaimed a fast throughout Judah.

When you get into trouble, you need to know where you can turn (see Psalm 121). Jehoshaphat understood that the only hope he had was in the Lord. Trouble has a way of clarifying that truth for us. When your circumstances are dire, your only hope is in the Lord. And, guess what? When your circumstances seem great and you are feeling strong, your only hope is in the Lord! But when we’re feeling strong, sometimes we fail to see the true source of our strength and hope. Trouble has a way of stripping away our facades, our pride, and our wrong way of looking at life … it can clarify things for us in a heartbeat! It’s good to be reminded of the grace and promises of God; when trouble comes, He calls us back to Himself and reveals Himself as our deliverer.

“God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, thought the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea… Be still and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations. I will be exalted in the earth! The Lord of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge” (see Psalm 46).

The next thing that happened is that Jehoshaphat stood before the people of Judah and prayed a covenantal prayer to God. He declares the rulership of God, not only over Judah, but over all the earth. He declares that the land has been promised to them by God as children of Abraham … and regarding Abraham, he says, “Your friend forever.” He stands on God’s promise to deliver them when they call upon His Name Jehoshaphat stood firm upon God’s eternal Word and declared that God is a covenant-making and covenant-keeping God. The Lord loves it when we quote His Word and stand on His promises.

The Apostle Paul wrote: “Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God” (Romans 10:17). We need to feed upon God’s Word daily, to know what it says, to walk it out … we need to build solid foundations for WHEN—not IF, but WHEN—the storms and tests come.

Knowing God’s Word gives you faith and confidence in Him; “He Who began a good work in you will be faithful to complete it (see Philippians 1.) Jehoshaphat stood upon God’s promises as he prayed and reiterated their utter dependence upon the Lord: “We don’t know what to do, but our eyes are on you.”

And then, just to emphasize how difficult this situation was, Ezra, the writer of Chronicles, adds: “Judah, with their little ones, their wives, and their children, stood before the Lord.” It’s one thing when you are facing trouble, but when your loved ones are in danger, you are even more motivated to pray.

THE ANSWER
As Judah under the leadership of King Jehoshaphat cried out to God, Ezra writes, “Then the Spirit of the Lord came….” Hallelujah! Have you ever had a problem or crisis where disaster loomed, but as you sought the Lord, His Holy Spirit showed up? That will make you shout! A word from the Lord in times of trouble is like a wellspring of life in the harshest desert.

“Then 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. And 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. 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 20:14-19).

Under the anointing of the Holy Spirit, Jahaziel speaks and says, “Thus says the Lord, “Do not be afraid nor dismayed!” You may be in that place right now. Many warriors oppose you, the odds are against you, it looks bad, the boss said this, the doctor said that, the bills are overdue, the word on the street is grim, your name is mud, you’ve been hurt, you’re mad, you’re scared, you’ve sinned, you’ve fallen, somebody wants to kill you, your wife left you, your husband’s a cheat, you’ve been falsely accused, your boat is leaking and the sharks are circling … if it weren’t for bad luck, you’d have no luck at all!

But here is the report of the Lord: ‘Do not be afraid nor dismayed!’” for the battle is not yours, but God’s. The battle doesn’t belong to you or the enemy, but to the Mighty Warrior, the King of kings and Lord of lords, the Conqueror of death and hell, the faithful keeper of the covenant, the Lord your banner, the Lord your shield, the Lord your healer, the Lord your righteousness, the Lord your redeemer, the refining fire, the Lion of Judah, the undefeated heavyweight champion of the world, the Greatest of all-time!

In short, brothers and sisters, we are in good hands! To the people of Judah, the prophet Jahaziel said, “You won’t need to fight in this battle. Position yourselves, stand still, and see the salvation of the Lord Who is with you!” The reason they didn’t need to fight is because the battle was already won. Jahaziel said, “Position yourselves.” Know where you stand … know how you stand … get ready. Do you know where you stand today? “On Christ the solid Rock I stand, all other ground is sinking sand!” (Edward Mote).

The response of Jehoshaphat was not to doubt or argue; it was not to be apathetic or indifferent. Jehoshaphat humbled himself, bowed before the Lord, and began to worship the Lord. He did NOT 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 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 and they all worshipped together.

UNUSUAL STRATEGY
Next month, we’ll talk about the highly unusual strategy the Lord gave to Jehoshaphat, and the miraculous victory that was won. But let’s meditate now on seeking and trusting God; to position ourselves in Him to receive what He has promised.

Here at CSM, we are praying for you and trusting God with you for His provision and peace in your life, in Jesus’ name! Please let us know what you are hearing from Him and how we can stand with you. See card enclosed and visit our website: csmpublishing.org. You can also follow us on Facebook on our official Charles Simpson Ministries page, on X (Twitter) @CSMinPublishing, or on our YouTube Channel: CSMPublishing.

Also, would you prayerfully consider a special financial gift to support the work of the ministry this month? Summer is vacation time for many, but ministry opportunities and needs never take a vacation, and we have faced many recent financial challenges. If the Lord has called you to stand with us, we would be honored to have you as part of this ministry team. We love you and thank God for you!

In Jesus,
Pastor Stephen Simpson
President



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.

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