There are times when we must fast and pray simply because we need to hear a word of assurance from the Lord. This was the case with Jehoshaphat, Judah’s young king. He was faced with a grave and dangerous situation, as his nation was under attack by a very large army from the surrounding regions. His army was greatly outnumbered and unprepared to fight. When Jehoshaphat heard of the oncoming attack from the invaders, he was immediately driven into action. He called for the entire nation, men, women and children, to go into a time of fasting and praying. This fast was for one purpose “to seek the Lord,” v.3. In seeking the Lord, he expected that God would speak to them and help them to face their enemies. Notice, this fast and their prayers were not about repenting for personal or national sins, nor were they fasting and praying for a bigger army or more weapons. Instead, they simply wanted to hear from God about how to handle their situation. They prayed for God’s help, v.4. The words of v. 12 make this point rather clearly. “O our God, won’t you stop them? We are powerless against this mighty army that is about to attack us. We do not know what to do, but we are looking to you for help.” He did not tell God how to help them, but had the confidence to believe that He would.
Today’s Word of Empowerment: As you fast and pray, do not become consumed with simply asking God for “things”; He knows what you need. Let God know that you want to hear from Him, you want more of Him. Tell God, and remind yourself that “my help comes from the Lord.” The things that confront us have many names and causes: armies, physicians, lawyers, depression, divorce, loneliness, crime, unemployment, fear, and so much more. The source of your problem is irrelevant and the source of your deliverance is unquestionable: the Lord is my “light and my salvation.” When you get His favor, you can expect Him to answer you and come to your rescue (Matthew 6:33). This is what happened for Jehoshaphat: v. 15. He said, “Listen, all you people of Judah and Jerusalem! Listen, King Jehoshaphat! This is what the Lord says: Do not be afraid! Don’t be discouraged by this mighty army, for the battle is not yours, but God’s. . . . v.17. . . .Go out against them tomorrow, for the Lord is with you!”
Tue, January 18, 2011
by Dr. Alonzo Johnson