Christian Living

Spiritual Life

Two Choices

“We have no power to face this vast army that is attacking us. We do not know what to do, but our eyes are on you.” (2 Chronicles 20:12 NIV)

We love choices. From the 1970s “Have It Your Way” Burger King jingle to the more than one hundred drink options in a Coca-Cola Freestyle drink machine, we like to express our preferences and make our selections.

Having designed this characteristic of human nature, God also gives us choices. Unlike one hundred drink flavors in a drink machine, however, He makes it simple. In life, we have only two choices, and these options go way back to a story in 2 Chronicles 20.

At the time, godly king Jehoshaphat sat on the throne of Judah. As is often the case with godly rulers, before long, enemies arrived to try to mess up his good thing. Judah was a shadow of her former self in those days, with an army no one in his right mind would boast about. When the big guys came knocking, King Jehoshaphat knew they were in trouble.

“A vast army is coming against you,” the warning stated. Jehoshaphat was “alarmed” (2 Chronicles 20:2-3). He gathered the leaders from the surrounding cities, and together they sought the Lord.

“We have no power to face this vast army that is attacking us,” he prayed. “We don’t know what to do, but our eyes are on you” (verse 12).

Almost immediately, God responded to Jehoshaphat’s prayer through one of the prophets. “Do not be afraid or discouraged because of this vast army. For the battle is not yours, but God’s. . . . You will not have to fight this battle. Take up your positions; stand firm and see the deliverance the Lord will give you. . . . The Lord will be with you” (verses 15, 17).

With these words, God gave Jehoshaphat two choices: believe the impossibility of the circumstances or believe God’s Word. We face the same decision every day.

Picture the rest of the story. “Jehoshaphat bowed down with his face to the ground, and all the people of Judah and Jerusalem fell down in worship before the Lord” (verse 18). The next morning, per God’s instructions, they marched out to face the enemy with music on their lips and praise in their mouths. “Give thanks to the Lord,” they sang, “for his love endures forever” (verse 21).

Without lifting a spear or a sword, the Israelites won a great victory. The Lord fought for them. By praying, seeking God’s face, and believing His promises, they released the power available in heaven. God brought it to earth for a great victory.

The result? “The fear of God came on all the surrounding kingdoms when they heard how the Lord had fought against the enemies of Israel” (verse 29).

Uncommon Thought

When faced with challenging (and sometimes overwhelming) circumstances, we can either believe what we see with our eyes or trust the promises God has given us.

Unusual Faith

What enemy are you facing right now? What circumstance steals the sleep from your night and the peace from your days? You have two choices: believe the seeming impossibility of the circumstances or believe God’s promises. If you choose to believe God’s promises, pray to the Lord right now. Like King Jehoshaphat, lay your circumstances before Him, confess your fear and powerlessness, and wait for His direction and deliverance.

Read 2 Chronicles 20:1-22.

Taken from Refresh Your Faith: Uncommon Devotions from Every Book of the Bible by Lori Hatcher© 2020. Used by permission of Our Daily Bread Publishing®, Box 3566, Grand Rapids, MI 49501. All rights reserved. Further distribution is prohibited without written permission from Our Daily Bread Publishing® at permissionsdept@odb.org.

Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated are taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®, Copyright© 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.™ Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide. Zondervan.com

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