Bravery, courage, fortitude, whichever word you care to use, it takes a whole lot of it when facing an “army.” The word “army” here is obviously a metaphor for whatever obstacle is standing in front of you blocking the way or outright attacking from all sides. There’s been an army standing in front of me posting this. It’s been written & re-written, edited, re-written and just sitting here for several weeks (without this little bit of introduction, mind you). This battle has, no IS, hard fought on multiple levels and God is forcing me to walk each one out, thus the delay. What can you say to God…please no? Can’t I just post and go on to something else? Nope. That’s not how it works, which I know full well. You can’t speak, write, sing, lead anything without being tested in that same area. Otherwise, it’s just a nice story without the forceful anointing behind the words. That’s NOT what I’m about, never has been and I’m not about to start now. So, every single thing written in the first post on BRAVE and in this Part 2 is being lived out in me first. I will not back down, hear that God? I WILL NOT back down. Fear will not win!
So let’s now begin again…TODAY is a new day.
what do YOU do when facing an army?
In BRAVE! (<– linked if you haven’t read it yet), Esther is the ultimate in a strong woman, a Queen, taking a stand against the army that threatened to wipe out her people. The “more to come” is the next of my favorite Bible giants. I’d like to introduce you to another royal, this time a King. This King not only showed great faith, he gave a perfect step-by-step blueprint on what to do when facing overwhelming circumstances.
KING JEHOSHAPHAT! What a BRAVE leader! When I read his story, I get goose bumps. See if you agree~
Jehoshaphat was facing a vast army – actually three armies. I call them the “ites…” He took very clear and proactive steps as these armies were about to attack. The story begins in 2 Chronicles 20. (Stop and read the whole chapter at this link >> 2 Chronicles 20 <<)
2 Chronicles 20 After this, the Moabites and Ammonites with some of the Meunites came to make war on Jehoshaphat. Some men came and told Jehoshaphat, “A vast army is coming against you from Edom, from the other side of the Sea…” Alarmed, Jehoshaphat resolved to inquire of the Lord, and he proclaimed a fast for all Judah.
STEP 1. He Acted –
- Was resolved
- Inquired of the Lord
- Proclaimed a fast
He acted immediately, even after freaking out…just a bit. That’s why I relate to him, he was real. He didn’t freeze and do nothing, or fall out run and hide when hearing the bad news. He was alarmed BUT chose to act – with resolve. I like that word resolve. It’s defined as “firmly determined to do something.” Resolve defies fear that slaps you in the face like hitting a wall when a crisis comes. Fear can bind you in chains of passivity. He resolved to act in the face of fear – he INQUIRED of the Lord and proclaimed a fast.
Proclaiming a fast unified those around him to focus on God their deliverer. In doing this, they were ALL positioned to hear from God. Just look how the King inquired of the Lord:
5 …“O LORD, God of our fathers, are you not the God who is in heaven? You rule over all the kingdoms of the nations. Power and might are in your hand, and no one can withstand you. 7 O our God, did you not drive out the inhabitants of this land before your people Israel and give it forever to the descendants of Abraham your friend? 8 They have lived in it and have built in it a sanctuary for your Name, saying, 9 ‘If calamity comes upon us, whether the sword of judgment, or plague or famine, we will stand in your presence before this temple that bears your Name and will cry out to you in our distress, and you will hear us and save us.‘
That great prayer
- Acknowledged who God is
- Reminded God of what He’s done
- Declared Gods faithfulness – what he knew about God
It was NOT an emotional prayer; it was a faith filled prayer with declaration all through it. …”AND YOU WILL HEAR US AND SAVE US…”
STEP 2. Focused on God –
Facts are facts and Jehoshaphat states the facts clearly… Actually, he’s pretty in your face with God about what’s happened in the past that led to this situation. The best part? The ending.
10 “But now here are men from Ammon, Moab and Mount Seir, whose territory you would not allow Israel to invade when they came from Egypt; so they turned away from them and did not destroy them. 11 See how they are repaying us by coming to drive us out of the possession you gave us as an inheritance. 12 O our God, will you not judge them? For we have no power to face this vast army that is attacking us. We do not know what to do, but our eyes are upon you.”
Honesty before God…he acknowledged the facts…but kept focusing on the Truth. God was their only deliverer.
STEP 3. Waited on God –
13 All the men of Judah, with their wives and children and little ones, stood there before the LORD.
Don’t miss this one. Waiting can be the hardest part. If timing isn’t right or impatience sets in and they jump ahead without God’s help, that could mean complete failure. In this case, it meant the survival of the entire nation.
What happened next? GOD ANSWERED!
I want what Jehoshaphat realized – because of the STEPS he took, God answered…with a Word through a WORSHIPER! *SMILE* This Levite worship leader gives specific instructions, reveals the army’s location AND gives great encouragement!
14 Then the Spirit of the LORD came upon Jahaziel … a Levite and descendant of Asaph, as he stood in the assembly. 15 He said: “Listen, King Jehoshaphat and all who live in Judah and Jerusalem! This is what the LORD says to you: ‘Do not be afraid or discouraged because of this vast army. For the battle is not yours, but God’s. 16 Tomorrow march down against them. They will be climbing up by the Pass of Ziz, and you will find them at the end of the gorge in the Desert of Jeruel. 17 You will not have to fight this battle. Take up your positions; stand firm and see the deliverance the LORD will give you, O Judah and Jerusalem. 17…Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged. Go out to face them tomorrow, and the LORD will be with you.’ “
18 Jehoshaphat bowed with his face to the ground, and all the people of Judah and Jerusalem fell down in worship before the LORD. 19 Then some Levites from the Kohathites and Korahites stood up and praised the LORD, the God of Israel, with very loud voice.
Next – Jehoshaphat LEADS them in the most important step…
STEP 4. Obedience with Thanksgiving –
20 Early in the morning they left … As they set out, Jehoshaphat stood and said, “Listen to me, Judah and people of Jerusalem! Have faith in the LORD your God and you will be upheld; have faith in his prophets and you will be successful.”
“Early…” I’d say that was obedience! They didn’t waste anytime speculating on that Word. ALSO, and very importantly, Jehoshaphat declared that Word again as a reminder of what the Lord said. Speaking out loud is a position of faith and belief – it’s ACTION!
21 … Jehoshaphat appointed men to sing to the LORD and to praise him for the splendor of his holiness as they went out at the head of the army, saying: “Give thanks to the LORD, for his love endures forever.”
I am full persuaded that the battle is ALWAYS won in praise and thanksgiving…even when you don’t see it in the physical – it’s happening in the spirit. In the most difficult times in my own life – if I stop, take hold of my thoughts that want to think all kinds of other thoughts and praise the Lord – I can almost see the angelic armies of God go into battle on my behalf!
This is a very important step! We have to move, walk, pray, believe, shout, and stand – in other words, be a verb, meaning ACT! Doing nothing will not win a battle. God works with and through our obedience. Don’t take my word for it though, the Word says in James 2:14-22… (Amplified)
14 What is the use (profit), my brethren, for anyone to profess to have faith if he has no [good] works [to show for it]? Can [such] faith save [his soul]? 15 If a brother or sister is poorly clad and lacks food for each day, 16 And one of you says to him, Good-bye! Keep [yourself] warm and well fed, without giving him the necessities for the body, what good does that do? 17 So also faith, if it does not have works (deeds and actions of obedience to back it up), by itself is destitute of power (inoperative, dead).
The Levites and the army had to walk it out – walk to the battle singing praises to God all the way, fully expecting God to work on their behalf. And the best part is next…because they were obedient, look how the Lord worked on their behalf!
22 AS THEY BEGAN TO SING AND PRAISE, the LORD set ambushes against the men … who were invading Judah, and they were defeated. 23 The men of Ammon and Moab rose up against the men from Mount Seir to destroy and annihilate them. After they finished slaughtering the men from Seir, they helped to destroy one another. 24 When the men of Judah came to the place …
…they saw only dead bodies lying on the ground; NO ONE HAD ESCAPED!!!
!!! !!! (emphasis added) 🙂
This is the goose bump part! Can you just image that? They hadn’t even gotten to the battle yet and God was already acting on their behalf… AS they were PRAISING, THANKING and OBEDIENTLY WALKING. They were being BRAVE!! Being BRAVE is all about acting on what you know of WHO GOD IS and not what you can see with your own humanity. We know that He’s a GOOD GOD, always working on our behalf. We may not see Him doing that work, but the truth is, HE IS!
If you’ve gotten this far, bravo! There was a lot there. To close the loop please remember this, just as Jehoshaphat was a King, you too are Royalty, a KING or QUEEN. Study the steps he walked out and do what he did when you’re facing your army. That’s just what I’m doing. Join me, be BRAVE and:
- Take Action
- Focus on God
- Wait on God
- Be Obedient and Thankful
I’m still a Queen in Narnia, standing BRAVELY in my posted place, right beside my friend. Hear me roar, my friend. Even when you don’t see me, I’m still there!!
“…once a King or Queen in Narnia, ALWAYS a King or Queen…”