Last week was a hard week.
For reasons all of us are already aware, it was a hard week for our country. Personally, it was a hard week for me too. Have you ever felt like you were circling the same mountain, only to end up in the same exact place that you started? We all have those things in our lives. That lingering argument. An unresolved hurt. Some unspoken tension.
For me, those moments are so frustrating. By nature, I am a do-er. I want to DO something about the things that aren’t right. In ministry, in parenting, in life, this has served me well….. most of the time. But sometimes, even I can’t plow through a mountain.
As I was facing one of those mountains last week, I decided to take a new tactic. Instead of the usual tools of pleading prayers and nights spent worrying, I decided to fast and pray. In general, I do normally fast at the beginning of every January. It helps me listen in to what God is trying to help me focus in on for the year. But this time, it was a little different. I felt God gently prompting me to lay this mountain down in surrender as I worked through this fast. Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday were actually pretty easy. I studied, I prayed, I read the Word, and I listened. But Thursday? Not so much. By Thursday, I was frustrated with the fact that I had not yet had the break through I was hoping and praying for. In fact, I was even more frustrated than I had been on Monday. Praying through this, the Lord reminded me of something very powerful.
Some battles are fought in the posture of prayer, and some battles are fought in the posture of praise.
I was reminded of the story from 2 Chronicles 20, when King Jehosaphat was getting ready to fight the Moabites and the Ammonites. These were enemies of God’s people. So King Jehosaphat called God’s people together to fast and pray, to ask for God’s help. This was very much the same place I found myself, facing an enemy that was bigger than myself. Like many of us, it wasn’t that the King didn’t fear the battle he was facing. It was just that he feared the Lord more. When we speak of Biblical fear, we mean that in terms of awe, honor, and respect, knowing that God is bigger than anything we could face. The last part of verse 12 is a prayer that was echoed in my own heart this week.
We do not know what to do, but our eyes are on you.
Oh Lord. As 2021 has already proven rocky…….we don’t know what to do, but our eyes are on you.
As we carry with us hurts that we don’t know how to forgive…… we don’t know what to do, but our eyes are on you.
When we face these mountains that refuse to move…..we don’t know what to do, but our eyes are on you.
In response to the King’s prayer, the Spirit of the Lord responded in a way that only God can.
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.
Do you hear that sweet friend? The battle is not yours, but God’s.
The response of the King was praise. Had the battle been won yet? No, it had not even begun. But the confidence comes when you can stand in a place of surrender to the only one who can win the battles we cannot yet see. What that meant for me, was that it was time to lay down the weapon of prayer so I could pick up the weapon of praise. Praising God for who He is, recognizing how weak I am.
In our weakness, we are not the ones that are called to fight. Instead we are called to surrender to the only one who can.
In King Jehosophat’s story, we read that his battle did not, in fact, get fought by him. Instead, the Lord’s hand moved in a powerful way as the Lord proved Himself faithful once again.
As I mediated on this word that was so closely aligned to everything I was feeling, I heard God whisper some powerful words into my own heart.
The God of Moses……
The God of Daniel….
The God of King Jehosophat….
Is the God of Rachael.
And guess what? That means He is the God of you, too, friend.
May you rest this week in the knowledge that you are incredibly loved by the one who fights our battles.