READ: 2 Chronicles 20-22
THINK: People have passionate opinions regarding war-when or why it's appropriate, and when or why it's not. But regardless of where you stand on that issue, you can't avoid the battles raging all around you in the spiritual realm, many of which directly affect you. As a follower of Christ, you are engaged in spiritual warfare, but you never go into battle alone. In fact, when you feel the most desperate and defenseless, if you depend totally on God, you may not have to fight at all, "for the battle is not yours, but God's" (20:15). Sometimes, all He requires of you in the midst of struggle is to praise Him. There is supernatural power in praise because it invites God's presence to take control of your situation and it relinquishes your battle to Him. And when God fights for you (20:17), He will give you even more reason to praise Him when the battle is over and you're basking in the glory of His victory.
RESPOND: How did King Jehoshaphat and the people of Judah set a good example about what to do when facing obstacles and opposition (20:4ff)? Looking at the king's prayer (20:5-12), on what did he base his confidence in God? (See 20:6 note.) What assurance did God give the people because of their dependence on Him? (See 20:15 note.) How does this encourage you? What was unique about the way Judah approached that battle (20:21-22)? (See 20:15 note.) What does this reveal about the purpose and power of praising God? How did the people respond to God's victory (20:26-28)? What happened as a result of Jehoshaphat's alliance with Israel's King Ahaziah, and how is this a warning to us (20:35-37)? Though King Jehoram was wicked, why didn't God destroy the kingdom (21:7)? What happened at the "high places" (21:11)? (See 20:33 note.) How did the people respond after Joram's death, and why (21:18-20)? What does 22:3 indicate about how parental influence can be used or abused?
PRAY: Pray for help in a tough situation you're facing. Acknowledge your helplessness apart from Him. Praise God for His incomparable power, constant presence, precious promises, enduring faithfulness and ultimate victory.
ACT: If you sense God giving you an answer or strategy regarding the obstacle or opposition you prayed about, trust Him and take action, regardless of how you feel or what others think. Watch God win the battle for you, and don't forget to praise Him before, during and after the victory. Worship God with music or in song sometime today.
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