What Jehoshaphat Knew

Every person of every generation has to face trouble.  There’s no getting around it.  There’s no special exemption to avoids life’s struggles; however, there’s great news in that we don’t have to muddle through the mud of our dilemmas on our own.  There is a mighty weapon available who will strengthen us, lead us, and bring us through to victory in every battle we face.  The weapon?  The wonderful Holy Spirit who resides within every follower of Jesus Christ.

One of my favorite Old Testament stories is of Jeshoshaphat recorded in II Chronicles 20. He was alerted that a vast army was coming against him and his own smaller army of soldiers.  In our own battles of life, armies of fear and confusion often come against us.  It’s easy to let panic set in.  Jehoshaphat and his army did not waste any time fretting.  The record reveals that they “sought help from the Lord.”  I love this because so often our first thoughts are “what can we do?”  Jehoshaphat’s first thought was “what will God do?”  As the story continues we are told in verse 14, “Then the Spirit of the Lord came on Jahaziel son of Zechariah…”  Jahaziel shares with the whole army what the Lord had said to him.  The instruction is found in verse 15, “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.'”  Taking hold of that encouraging reminder, the army poised themselves for battle and marched forward.  However, they did not put in the front their best soldiers armed with spears and bows and arrows.  They put forward the musicians to play and sing praises to God.

Doesn’t that sound an unusual thing to have done?  We tell ourselves that such a thing was for Old Testament times.  God worked more mysteriously then, we  mistakingly convince ourselves.  I’m thrilled to tell you, not so!  We know this pattern of facing life’s battles is the same today,  It’s recorded for us in the New Testament book of Ephesians 5:18-19, “Don’t be drunk with wine, because that will ruin your life.  Instead, be filled with the Holy Spirit, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs among yourselves, and making music to the Lord in your hearts.”  

What does this mean exactly?  Is it a verse about the evils of alcohol?  No, it’s a passage about the power of the Holy Spirit.  It’s a reminder of  just Who is residing within us.  We have a power keg to lead us and empower us with all we need to get through any of life’s difficulties no matter how severe the difficulties become.  When a person is drunk on alcohol, that person is influenced by the content of what they put inside them.  It’s the same with the Holy Spirit.  When we keep in mind Who is living within us, and when we ignite into action His power, we are on the sure road to victorious living.  How to ignite that power?   Go back and look at the instruction in Ephesians,  “..sing songs and hymns and spiritual songs…making music in your hearts to the Lord.”  That’s what Jehoshaphat did: he worshiped first, knowing victory would follow.  He looked immediately to God to show Him the way.

Battles will come.  There’s no escape for any of us to face challenges that at times seem insurmountable.  Never believe the lie of Satan’s darkness that there is no way out.  Never forget the weapon of the wonderful Holy Spirit residing in all who trust Jesus as their own Savior.  Take hold of your weapon.  Engage the Holy Spirit.  Praise and worship God and walk on in victorious living.