If your car falls apart you go to a mechanic. If your house is falling apart you go to a repairman. If your clothes are falling apart you go to a tailor. Where do you go when your life is falling apart? When things are unraveling at a rapid pace and you don’t quite know what to do? When there was the return of God it was often in the midst of a crisis, a situation that men could not fix.
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Here are some highlights from this message about God’s Answers from Tony Evans.
King Jehoshaphat in 2 Chronicles chapter 20:1 says, “After this the Moabites and Ammonites, and with them some of the Meunites, came against Jehoshaphat for battle.” It was reported to the king that a great multitude is coming again against you. King Jehoshaphat was afraid and turned his attention to seek the Lord. You know you’re in a crisis when life is overwhelming you, when everywhere you look there is a problem, when it’s one thing after another. Verse three says that Jehoshaphat was afraid. A crisis can burst insecurity, trauma and even terror because it looms so large in your life. Life crises come in all shapes and forms from financial, health, relational and vocational.
2 Chronicles 20:12 says, “O our God, will you not execute judgement on them? For we are powerless against this great horde that is coming against us. We do not know what to do, but our eyes are on you.” When you have this sense of powerlessness that I don’t have the wherewithal to fix it, or to change it or to reverse it or to correct it, and I don’t even know anybody else who can help me and when your actions have run out and that sense of powerlessness prevails, you’re in a crisis. Jehoshaphat says I’m in a crisis, it’s a big thing! It’s now running my emotions and I’m afraid, I feel powerless to do anything. He turned his attention to seek the Lord and proclaimed a fast throughout all of Judah. Jehoshaphat refers back to 2 Chronicles 6:34-35 when Solomon dedicates the temple and says, “If your people go out to battle against their enemies, by whatever way you shall send them, and they pray to you towards this city that you have chosen and the house that I have built for your name then hear from heaven their prayer and their plea, and maintain their cause.”
At 16:36, Tony continues teaching about Jehoshaphat’s changes:
Jehoshaphat begins to make changes in the nation because he wants the good to rule and he does not want the wickedness to overrule to make things more pleasing to God. He positioned things so that God would hear when he called. He says God is it not true that heaven rules and earth never has the last word. Don’t ever let your feelings sit in judgment over your faith, you must always let your faith sit in judgment over your feelings. Don’t deny how you feel ‘cuz that is real, but the problem is not how you’re feeling, the problem is allowing how you feel to override your faith. You need to know that you can refer back to other people who lived in the same situation that you are now facing. To know that while your situation is different, your God is the same God.
At 24:16, Tony talks about how Jehoshaphat needs to look to the Lord:
Jehosphaphat remembers he starts with the sovereignty of God…heaven rules. He remembers God you have faced this problem before with your people and you handled it, so I’m not your test case. He refers back to verse eight that says when we build this sanctuary in your name we stamp your name on it. It is your house saying should sword, judgment, pestilence, famine or distress come you will hear and deliver us. Jehosphaphat is saying I’m powerless, I don’t know what to do, but I’m changing where I’m looking. I’m looking to the Lord and he said do not fear or be dismayed because it is a great multitude, it’s an overwhelming crisis, but the battle is not yours but God’s. When we put our eyes on heaven (we can say), I don’t know how you’re gonna do it, I don’t know when you’re gonna do it, I don’t know where you’re gonna do it, all I know is you’re the only one that can do it because I’m powerless in this situation. When he (Jehosphaphat) made his focus on God, appealing to God’s nature and God’s Word, then it says the Spirit of the Lord came upon the prophet and the prophet gave them a word about how God wanted them to resolve this problem. God made the enemies turn on themselves and they killed each other without Israel having to lift his hand. Then they went in and gathered all the spoils that the enemy had. We have the Word of God joining with the Spirit of God to bring an answer to the crisis.
The good news is that the crisis is the bad news. The good news is that God allows, creates, causes and endorses overwhelming scenarios in our world so that we can discover God.
The problem may not be gone, but you handed it off because the battle is not mine. The battle is the Lord’s. We bless your name Lord, not because the enemy has disappeared, but because you handed it off and you’re going to let God run with this. You’re going to call Him down from heaven because heaven rules in spite of the situation.