Author: Ivyt

Home / Articles posted by Ivyt (Page 2)
DAILY RENEWAL – REPENTANCE IS POWERFUL!

DAILY RENEWAL – REPENTANCE IS POWERFUL!

September 13th, 2018 || Scripture of the Day

Manasseh was twelve years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem fifty-five years. He did evil in the eyes of the LORD…

He sacrificed his children in the fire in the Valley of Ben Hinnom, practiced divination and witchcraft, sought omens and consulted mediums and spiritists. He did much evil in the eyes of the LORD, arousing His anger. He took the image he had made and put it in God’s temple…

The LORD spoke to Manasseh and His people but they paid no attention. So the LORD brought against them the army commanders of the King of Assyria, who took Manasseh prisoner, put a hook in his nose , bound him with bronze shackles and took him to Babylon. In his distress, he sought the favor of the LORD his God and humbled himself greatly before the God of his ancestors. And when he prayed to Him, the LORD was moved by his entreaty and listened to his plea, so He brought him back to Jerusalem and to his kingdom. Then Manasseh knew that the LORD is God…

He got rid of all the foreign gods and removed the image from the temple of the LORD…Then he restored the altar of the LORD and sacrificed fellowship offerings and thank offerings on it, and told Judah to serve the LORD, the God of Israel.

2 Chronicles 33:1-16

Manasseh was one of the most ungodly kings of Judah. Unlike his father Hezekiah who served the LORD faithfully, Manasseh turned his back on God. He had the audacity to put the image of a foreign god in the temple of the Almighty God. He sacrificed his children in the fire as offerings to his gods; he practiced divination and witchcraft; he sought omens and consulted mediums; he did much evil in the eyes of the LORD. He did not heed to the warnings of God but continued to lead the people into idol worship.

Divine judgment was inevitable. God handed him over to the Assyrian soldiers who put a hook in his nose, bound him with bronze shackles and hauled him off into exile in Babylon. In exile, his eyes were opened to his foolishness in forsaking the God of Israel who had made him king. Manasseh humbled himself in repentance and pleaded with God for mercy. God heard his cries, brought him back to rule in Jerusalem and restored the kingdom to him. What a merciful God we serve! And how powerful it is when we humble ourselves, repent from our sins and cry out to God for mercy!

We are never too far gone to repent and turn back to God. God is ever gracious and merciful. His greatest desire is that His children will not allow themselves to be entangled with sin, but to humble themselves and turn to Him in repentance. He promises to hear from Heaven, forgive our sins and heal our land. We are never too far gone to turn back to God. No one is ever too far gone to be forgiven. Even the thief on the Cross was never too far gone when he repented right in the throes of death. Repentance is powerful.

Prayer: Father, I ask for the forgiveness of every sinful thing in my life. I repent today. Amen.

Courtesy of RENEWAL CHRISTIAN CENTER

DAILY RENEWAL – THE LORD CAN GIVE YOU MUCH MORE THAN THAT

DAILY RENEWAL – THE LORD CAN GIVE YOU MUCH MORE THAN THAT

September 12th, 2018 || Scripture of the Day

Amaziah was twenty-five years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem twenty-nine years… He did what was right in the eyes of the LORD, but not wholeheartedly…

Amaziah called the people of Judah together and assigned them according to their families to commanders of thousands and commanders of hundreds for all Judah and Benjamin. He then mustered those twenty years old or more and found that there were three hundred thousand men fit for military service, able to handle the spear and shield.

He also hired a hundred thousand fighting men from Israel for a hundred talents of silver.

But a man of God came to him and said, “Your majesty, these troops from Israel must not march with you, for the LORD is not with Israel – not with any of the people of Ephraim. Even if you go and fight courageously in battle, God will overthrow you before the enemy, for God has the power to help or overthrow.”

Amaziah asked the man of God, “But how about the hundred talents I paid for these Israelite troops?”

The man of God replied, “The LORD can give you much more than that.”

So Amaziah dismissed the troops who had come to him from Ephraim and sent them home. They were furious with Judah and left for home in a great rage.

2 Chronicles 25:1-10

One of the challenges we face as Christians is to really understand and believe God’s word. It is rather difficult for us to trust in the Lord with all our hearts without leaning to our own understanding. It is difficult for us to totally acknowledge God in all our ways and truly trust Him to direct our paths. The reason is simple: Trusting God means we relinquish control into His hand. Trusting Him means we choose to stand still and see His deliverance. Trusting Him means we choose to believe that in all situations, He is working things out for our good. That is never an easy thing to do, especially when the evidence before our eyes tell us an outcome of potential defeat and not victory.

King Amaziah had it all figured out, ready for battle. He counted his fighting men and hired an extra hundred thousand soldiers from Israel for which he paid a pretty sum- one hundred talents of silver. All was set for battle but God had a message for the king: “these troops from Israel must not march with you, for the LORD is not with Israel…Even if you go and fight courageously in battle, God will overthrow you before the enemy, for God has the power to help or overthrow.”

There are many lessons in this passage:

First: God is sovereign and He has the power to help or overthrow. No matter how much we prepare for a situation, the final word always comes from God. Scripture reminds us in Proverbs 21:31 that “the horse is made ready for the day of battle but victory rests with the LORD.”

Our dependence should always be on the Almighty, and not in our own strength.

Second: We must be careful of the alliances we form in life. Ungodly alliances are always displeasing to God no matter what gains we think we may get from those alliances. King Jehoshaphat almost lost his life because he went into alliance with the ungodly Ahab. Later, he formed an economic alliance with Ahaziah another wicked king of Israel. God destroyed all the investments he made in that alliance.

The danger of ungodly alliances is that they have the potential to pollute our relationship with God and invite divine wrath. They cost more than they deliver. They might bring short-term gains but the end is predictable death. Watch the people you allow into your life. Are those relationships sanctioned by God? Amaziah had to let go of the Israelite soldiers. Maybe you might have to let go of some alliances too!

Finally: The LORD can give us much more than we can ever give to Him! When Amaziah was told by the prophet to release the hired Israelite soldiers from his army, his greatest concern was the fact that he had already paid them one hundred talents of silver. But the prophet’s response was: “The LORD can give you much more than that.”

So, be it a relationship that God is asking you to give up; be it a job; be it a contribution that God is asking you to make – always remember that “the LORD can give you much more than that.”  The widow gave up her last meal to feed Elijah but God gave her back a three year supply of food for her entire household. The LORD can give you much more than that!

Prayer: Lord, please help me to be radically obedient to you at all times. Amen.

Courtesy of RENEWAL CHRISTIAN CENTER

DAILY RENEWAL – OUR FUTURE IS EXCITING

DAILY RENEWAL – OUR FUTURE IS EXCITING

September 11th, 2018 || Scripture of the Day

Yet what we suffer now is nothing compared to the glory He will reveal to us later. For all creation is waiting eagerly for that future day when God will reveal who His children really are.

Against its will, all creation was subjected to God’s curse. But with eager hope, the creation looks forward to the day when it will join God’s children in glorious freedom from death and decay…

And we Believers also groan, even though we have the Holy Spirit within us as a foretaste of future glory, for we long for our bodies to be released from sin and suffering. We, too, wait with eager hope for the day when God will give us our full rights as His adopted children, including the new bodies He has promised us. We were given this hope when we were saved…

Romans 8:18-24

So how often do you think about Heaven? How often do you think about the return of Jesus? How often do you think about the glorious body God has in store for you at the “end of time”?

Amidst all the busyness of our daily existence, we seldom make time to think about our future with Jesus. But it is certainly worth thinking about. The world we live in is infested with so much evil and cruelty. The greed of humanity has ravaged creation irreparably. Nations are destroyed just to acquire the resources needed to maintain the wealth and lifestyle of the rich and powerful.

Wars are fought resulting in the death of hundreds of thousands because of the struggle to maintain political power. Sicknesses and diseases are rapidly increasing because the very environment we live in and the water we drink is polluted. Creation itself is under attack. The forests, the rivers, the mountains, lands, innocent animals are all feeling the pain of man’s greed and insatiable propensity for more material things. Elephants are poached for their ivory and rare species are killed to satisfy the human ego. So, the Bible is right! Creation itself is groaning under the stress of human greed. Creation itself is looking forward to the day of redemption by God.

The Bible addresses the human situation as well: “And we Believers also groan…for we long for our bodies to be released from sin and suffering. We, too, wait with eager hope for the day when God will give us our full rights as His adopted children, including the new body He has promised us. We were given this hope when we were saved…”

So, the pain, stress, challenges, difficulties, injustice, inequities, lack, abuse, powerlessness, sicknesses and diseases that we face as part of this sin-infested world will come to an end one day. There is a day of redemption coming when our mortal bodies will be replaced with immortal ones. There is a day coming when we will no longer be victims of greed.

Are you looking forward to that day of redemption? Our groaning will all come to an end one day when our Lord and Savior Jesus brings our final redemption. We have an exciting future!

Prayer: Lord, I thank you for the exciting future I have with you. Amen.

Courtesy of RENEWAL CHRISTIAN CENTER

DAILY RENEWAL – THE INVALUABLE WORD OF GOD

DAILY RENEWAL – THE INVALUABLE WORD OF GOD

September 10th, 2018 || Scripture of the Day

The law of the LORD is perfect, refreshing the soul. The statutes of the LORD are trustworthy, making wise the simple. The precepts of the LORD are right, giving joy to the heart. The commands of the LORD are radiant, giving light to the eyes…The decrees of the LORD are firm, and all of them are righteous. They are more precious than gold, than much pure gold…By them your servant is warned; in keeping them there is great reward.

Psalm 19:7-11

No one is allowed to add to Scripture. Scripture is perfect and complete. But if there was one thing I could add by way of insight, it would be this: “ For God so loved the world that He gave us His Word.”

Scripture is God’s roadmap for successful living. From Genesis to Revelation, the Bible covers the beginnings of life to its very end when we stand before our Creator to give an account of how we lived our lives. It would be inconceivable to think of using any product without a manual about how to handle that product. Similarly, it would have been inconceivable for God to have created humans without a manual about how to live. That is the invaluable nature of God’s word. It is the most reliable manual for life.

God’s word is: perfect; it refreshes the soul; it is trustworthy; it is right; it gives joy; it is firm and totally righteous; it warns of danger; it brings great reward; it is more valuable than the finest gold. The word of God is the greatest source of wisdom and gives invaluable insight for living.

I have realized over the years that those who heed the counsel of God’s word are filled with confidence and total peace. They are never worried about what others think about them. Their only concern is whether their actions line up with the God’s word. When your life lines up with God’s word, people will invariably line up with you because God’s word is the gold standard for life! That is not religion. That is life at its best!

Prayer: LORD, I thank you for your word. Help me not to see your word as a religious duty but rather the greatest expression of your love for me. You gave me Jesus to reconcile me to you; but you have given me your word to help me live for you in peace, joy and prosperity. Thank you for your invaluable word. Amen.  

Courtesy of RENEWAL CHRISTIAN CENTER

DAILY RENEWAL – CRY OUT TO HEAVEN

DAILY RENEWAL – CRY OUT TO HEAVEN

September 9th, 2018 || Scripture of the Day

After all that Hezekiah had faithfully done, Sennacherib, king of Assyria came and invaded Judah…

He sent his officers with this message to Hezekiah king of Judah and for all the people of Judah who were there:

“This is what Sennacherib king of Assyria says: On what are you basing your confidence? That you remain in Jerusalem under siege?

When Hezekiah says , ‘The LORD our God will save us from the hand of the king of Assyria,’ he is misleading you, to let you die of hunger and thirst”…

Sennacherib’s officers spoke further against the LORD God and against His servant Hezekiah. The King also wrote letters ridiculing the LORD, the God of Israel…

They spoke about the God of Jerusalem as they spoke about the gods of the other peoples of the world – the work of human hands.

King Hezekiah and the prophet Isaiah son of Amoz cried out in prayer to heaven about this. And the LORD sent an angel who annihilated all the fighting men and the commanders and the officers in the camp of the Assyrian king. So he withdrew to his own land in disgrace. And when he went into the temple of his god, some of his sons, his own flesh and blood, cut him down with the sword.

So the LORD saved Hezekiah and the people of Jerusalem from the hand of Sennacherib king of Assyria and from the hand of all others. He took care of them on every side.

2 Chronicles 32:1-22

Sennacherib, king of Assyria, came against Judah with pride and arrogance. His past military conquests emboldened him to speak defiantly against the God of Israel. He boasted that no god had been able to save any nation from his army. He arrogantly declared that Judah was placing their trust in God to no avail. He and his officers, “spoke about the God of Jerusalem as they spoke about the gods of the other peoples of the earth – the work of human hands.” But our God is no ordinary God! Our God is the Sovereign Lord of all creation. He is the God who held the very breadth of Sennacherib in His hands.

The prophet Isaiah and king Hezekiah cried out in prayer to Heaven and the LORD sent a single angel to annihilate the entire fighting force of the Assyrian King. The king himself was assassinated by his own children right in the temple of his god. God saved His people and gave them rest on all sides.

Our God is all powerful. Regardless of how much taunting the enemy does because we are under siege, God has the power to demolish him with just one angel. Do you find yourself under siege? Don’t give up because of the taunting of the enemy. Cry out to heaven and God will come to your aid. God is watching over you. His ears are open to your cry. Heaven will answer!

Prayer: Lord, I thank you that I am not alone as I face the adversary. Thank you that you have the power to cut down the adversary. I lift up my voice unto you. I am fully confident that you will answer and give me victory. Amen.

Courtesy of RENEWAL CHRISTIAN CENTER

DAILY RENEWAL – BE CAREFUL OF THE COMPANY YOU KEEP

DAILY RENEWAL – BE CAREFUL OF THE COMPANY YOU KEEP

September 8th, 2018 || Scripture of the Day

So Jehoshaphat reigned over Judah…He followed the ways of his father Asa and did not stray from them; he did what was right in the eyes of the LORD…

Later, Jehoshaphat King of Judah made an alliance with Ahaziah king of Israel, whose ways were wicked. He agreed with him to construct a fleet of trading ships. After these were built at Ezion Geber, Eliezer son of Dodavahu of Mareshah prophesied against Jehoshaphat, saying, “Because you have made an alliance with Ahaziah, the LORD will destroy what you have made.” The ships were wrecked and were not able to set sail.

2 Chronicles 20:31-37

Jehoshaphat was one of the most blessed and godly kings of Judah. The Bible says: “The LORD was with Jehoshaphat because he followed the ways of his father David before him. He did not consult  the Baals but sought the God of his father and followed His commands rather than the practices of Israel. The LORD established the kingdom under his control; and all Judah brought gifts to Jehoshaphat, so that he had great wealth and honor. His heart was devoted to the ways of the LORD;” (2 Chronicles 17:3-5).

The ways of Jehoshaphat were pleasing to God; and God rewarded him with wealth, honor and rest from enemy attacks. But somehow, Jehoshaphat had a penchant to associate himself with the ungodly kings of Israel which always incurred the displeasure of God.

First, he aligned himself by marriage to Ahab, king of Israel, and ended up going to war with him against Ramoth Gilead. This incurred the wrath and subsequent judgment of God. God sent His prophet to tell him: “Should you help the wicked and love those who hate the LORD? Because of this, the wrath of God is you.” Somehow, Jehoshaphat never seemed to have learnt his lesson. He ignored the divine discipline.

So second, Jehoshaphat King of Judah made an alliance with Ahaziah the king of Israel, whose ways were wicked.” This second alliance with a godless and wicked king, brought a second judgment from God. Jehoshaphat allowed the economic benefits of his association with an ungodly king to outweigh the purity of his relationship with God. This attracted divine judgment – the ships were wrecked by God and never set sail to make any money for either of the kings.

I believe there is an important lesson in this:

First, no matter how godly we are, there could always be that one thing that would seem to have a hold on us to cause us to displease God. When God points it out, we must be careful to deal with it so as not to incur divine displeasure and discipline. Jehoshaphat never seemed to have learnt his lesson; hence the second divine discipline he encountered.

Second, money and material things have the power to draw us into ungodly alliances. The desire to make money is what drew Jehoshaphat into an alliance with Ahaziah, the ungodly king of Israel. The wickedness of Ahaziah was ignored by Jehoshaphat, as long as there was money to be made. In the end, Jehoshaphat lost his entire investment because God would not bless an ungodly alliance in deliberate defiance of His warnings.

The choice of company we keep can either strengthen our relationship with God or cause us to do things that might displease God. So, come to terms with things that cause you to sin against God. Accept and repent from your areas of weakness; and watch the company you keep because they may cause you to displease God.

Prayer: Father, I thank you for your word today. Please help me to recognize my areas of weakness and to watch the company I keep. Please help me to listen to your voice and not to persistent in pursuing my own ways in contrast to your will. Amen.

Courtesy of RENEWAL CHRISTIAN CENTER

DAILY RENEWAL – PRAISE GOD IN ANTICIPATION OF VICTORY

DAILY RENEWAL – PRAISE GOD IN ANTICIPATION OF VICTORY

September 7th, 2018 || Scripture of the Day

Early in the morning, they left for the Desert of Tekoa. As they set out, Jehoshaphat stood and said, “Listen to me, Judah and men of Jerusalem! Have faith in the LORD your God and you will be upheld; have faith in His prophets and you will be successful. After consulting the people, 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,”

As they began to sing and praise, the LORD set ambushes against the men of Ammon and Moab and Mount Seir who were invading Judah, and they were defeated.

The Ammonites and Moabites 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.

When the men of Judah came to the place that overlooks the desert and looked towards the vast army, they saw only dead bodies lying on the ground; no one had escaped. So Jehoshaphat and his men went to carry off their plunder…there was so much plunder that it took three days to collect it. On the fourth day they assembled in the Valley of Berakah, where they praised the LORD…

Then, led by Jehoshaphat, all the men of Judah and Jerusalem returned joyfully to Jerusalem…They entered Jerusalem and went to the temple of the LORD with harps and lyres and trumpets.

The fear of the LORD came on all the surrounding kingdoms when they heard how the LORD had fought against the enemies of Israel. And the kingdom of Jehoshaphat was at peace, for his God had given him rest on every side.   

2 Chronicles 20:20-30.

Faced with imminent invasion by a vast army, King Jehoshaphat entreated the entire nation to petition God in fasting and prayer. God answered by assuring them that the battle was His, not theirs. Judah was simply to march out the next day and expect God to give them victory. With full confidence in God’s ability to deliver His people, Jehoshaphat appointed a Praise Team to lead the army into battle. Their battle cry was: “Give thanks to the LORD, for His love endures forever.” They praised God in anticipation of victory.

Often times, we remain fearful even after we have heard a clear word of assurance from God concerning our situations. The circumstances might seem so overwhelming that praising God in the midst of the situation might be the very last thing on our minds. But there is something spiritually powerful about having an attitude of praise and worship even when we are drowning in problems and fearful situations.

Praising God in the midst of our challenges tells Him that we have confidence in His power and ability to deliver us! Praising Him and giving Him thanks means that we are confident that God has already won the victory for us. We praise in anticipation of victory. That is what Jehoshaphat did; and God annihilated the enemy. God caused the vast invading army to turn on themselves. They slaughtered each other without Judah lifting up a finger in battle. All they had to do was to spend three days to carry off the plunder of battle! Jehoshaphat and his men continued to praise the LORD after the victory and the fear of God fell on all their adversaries.

May God fight your battles for you like He fought for Jehoshaphat. May He cause your adversaries to turn on themselves. May God give you plunder from the camp of the enemy.

Put your trust in Jesus for He never fails! Have faith in God’s deliverance like Jehoshaphat did; and praise God in anticipation of victory

Prayer: Father, I am confident that no matter how overwhelming and fearful my situations may be, you are more than able to see me through. My lips will be filled with continual praise; for you have already won the battle for me. Thank you, Father. Amen.

Courtesy of RENEWAL CHRISTIAN CENTER

DAILY RENEWAL – DIVINE THOUGHT VERSES HUMAN THOUGHT

DAILY RENEWAL – DIVINE THOUGHT VERSES HUMAN THOUGHT

September 6th, 2018 || Scripture of the Day

“For My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways My ways,” declares the LORD.

As the Heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways and My thoughts than your thoughts

Isaiah 55:8-9

How wonderful it would be if we allowed God to be God. As humans, we do not want to siege an inch of our “sovereignty” because we have full confidence that our thoughts and ways are always the best even when dealing with God our Maker! Without necessarily verbalizing it (forgetting that God knows our thoughts anyway) we tell God in no uncertain terms that we know better than Him!

How hilarious that must be to God.

But how about if we truly allowed God’ thoughts to prevail in our lives?

Listen: God knows exactly what is best for us in every situation. The Bible says we should “trust in the LORD with all our hearts and lean not to our own understanding. In all our ways, we should acknowledge Him and He will direct our paths.”

Before you discount what God has to say about your situation, would you pause long enough to consider His “higher thoughts?” They might well bring you the victory you are craving for!

Prayer: Father, I confess that I do not always pause to consciously listen to you. Holy Spirit, please help me to wait on God long enough to know His thoughts.

Courtesy of RENEWAL CHRISTIAN CENTER

DAILY RENEWAL – GOD  ANSWERS WHEN WE CALL

DAILY RENEWAL – GOD ANSWERS WHEN WE CALL

September 5th, 2018 || Scripture of the Day

All the men of Judah, with their wives and children and little ones, stood there before the LORD. Then the Spirit of the LORD came on Jahaziel…a Levite and descendant of Asaph, as he stood in the assembly.

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. 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. You will not have to fight this battle. Take up your positions; stand firm and see the deliverance the LORD will give you, Judah and Jerusalem. Do not be afraid or discouraged. Go out to face them tomorrow, and the LORD will be with you.’ ’’

Jehoshaphat bowed down with his face to the ground, and all the people of Judah and Jerusalem fell down in worship before the LORD. Then some Levites from the Korahites stood up and praised the LORD, the God of Israel with a very loud voice.  

2 Chronicles 20:13-19

The scene seems almost too difficult to imagine! The men of Judah flanked by their wives, children and little ones, standing and pleading before God in fasting and prayer; with their king leading them in the petition. I can’t even imagine the scene in Heaven as God looked down on earth, beholding His children calling upon Him in united desperation! The heart of our Heavenly Father must have been deeply moved! What a scene on Heaven and on earth!

King Jehoshaphat and Judah facing a vast and formidable army which was fast closing in to destroy them. Without divine intervention, they were doomed! They needed a word of assurance from God. God delivered that word! God answered their cry! God spoke through His prophet.

I am struck by the very detailed answer God gave. Not only did God assure them of help but He also gave them specific instructions about the enemy’s movement and how Judah was to respond. Judah was simply to take up their positions, stand firm and watch the deliverance God was going to bring about. The response of Jehoshaphat and the people of Judah was simply to bow down in awe and worship. God had spoken and they responded with pure worship.

Our God has not changed. He still answers prayers. God is still able to answer us with very detailed instructions about what we need to do concerning every situation we face. I remember several years ago when the Holy Spirit instructed me to move from a particular seat on a bus in New York City and take the seat directly in front of me. The Lord did that simply because He wanted me to meet a total stranger who ended up affecting my “destiny.” God hasn’t changed!

We serve a very awesome, caring and ever present God who is interested in helping us with the minutest details of our lives. His Name is Emmanuel – God with us! He answers when we call. So, call upon Him, as the Scripture says, and He will show you great and mighty things which you do not know about. The battle is not yours. The battle is the Lord’s! Heaven will answer.

Prayer: Lord, I thank you because you are truly a prayer-answering God. Thank you for inclining your ear to my cry. Amen.

Brought to you by RENEWAL CHRISTIAN CENTER

DAILY RENEWAL – LORD, MY EYES ARE ON YOU

DAILY RENEWAL – LORD, MY EYES ARE ON YOU

September 4th, 2018 || Scripture of the Day

After this, the Moabites and Ammonites with some of the Meunites came to wage war against Jehoshaphat…

Alarmed, Jehoshaphat resolved to inquire of the LORD, and he proclaimed a fast for all Judah. The people of Judah came together to seek help from the LORD; indeed, they came from every town in Judah to seek Him.

Then Jehoshaphat stood up in the assembly of Judah and Jerusalem at the temple of the LORD…and said: “LORD, the God of our ancestors, 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. Our God, did you not drive out the inhabitants of this land…and give it forever to the descendants of Abraham your friend?…

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. See how they are repaying us by coming to drive us out of the possession you gave us as an inheritance.  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.    

2 Chronicles 20:1-12

A single war can leave a nation totally devastated. Jehoshaphat was rightfully alarmed when he was told that a vast army was closing in on Judah to attack it. Judah was facing the prospect of war from a vastly superior foe. The response of king Jehoshaphat has many useful lessons that we can apply to our own lives when we are faced with an overwhelming situation against which we feel totally dwarfed. How do we respond when threatened with a “warfare” situation?

First: Jehoshaphat was alarmed at the prospect of the possible destruction they faced. He was alarmed but he did not throw a pity party. He took some action to rectify the situation. We cannot deny the fact that, naturally, some situations in life can alarm us. A sudden job loss, an unexpected financial reversal; a threatening illness, a bad doctor’s report; a sudden “attack” on our jobs…all these can drive us into a panic mode. But we must not stay in that panic mode forever. We must take some action. We must actively seek divine counsel.

Second: Jehoshaphat inquired of the LORD. The king was rightly alarmed at his helplessness but he sought counsel from the all-powerful God who had the ability to do something about his situation. Knowing the power of our God, we should run to Him when we are faced with alarming situations because He is the only one who can pull us through whatever terrifying thing looms over us.

Third: The entire nation of Judah came together to seek the LORD. The power of unity can never be overstated. When a nation, a family, a marriage, a home, a business, a church or community is faced with a threatening situation, a united approach is a sine qua non otherwise certain destruction is almost assured. Scripture makes it clear that a house divided against itself cannot stand.

Third: Jehoshaphat called out to God in prayer – You are God in heaven; You are all powerful and You rule over all nations; the blessing that the enemy is seeking to take away from us was an inheritance you gave to our forefathers and us; we covenanted to call upon you in situations of threats and calamity; the people to whom you asked us to show kindness years ago are now repaying us with evil by seeking to exterminate us from our blessings! LORD, arise and defend us! We are powerless against this vast army; “We do not know what to do, but our eyes are on you.”  Jehoshaphat called upon God in prayer. We should bring detail of the threatening situation before our righteous God. We should cast all our cares upon Him in prayer.

May God come to your aid when threatened with overwhelming situations. May God be your defense as you lift up your eyes unto Him for deliverance. May God answer you in your time of trouble. May God subdue every threatening foe and grant you deliverance.

Prayer: Father, you are my source of hope, strength and defense. My eyes are on you and you alone. Amen.

Brought to you by RENEWAL CHRISTIAN CENTER