October 16, 2014

One Step of Faith Makes a World of Difference, Part 4

You will not need to fight. Take your positions; then stand still and watch the Lord’s victory.”  

2 Chronicles 20: 17 (NLT)

 If you’re tired of living in the Valley of Overwhelmed and ready to move into the Valley of Blessing, stop fighting and position yourself for a miracle.  That’s what God told King Jehoshaphat in 2 Chronicles when he was outnumbered and overwhelmed by three armies that allied themselves against him.  The crisis was beyond his ability.  When we face crises like that, we often feel so helpless that we think there is nothing that we can do, so we do nothing. We become convinced that the problems are too big for us to make a difference.  But God never asks us to do something big and great.  He just asks us to take a small step of faith.  That’s when the miracle happens!  One step of faith makes a world of difference, and it led Jehoshaphat out of the Valley of Overwhelmed and into the Valley of Blessing! God told him to do three things:

  1. Stop fretting and remember God is for you.
  2. Stop fearing and give the battle over to God.
  3. Stop fighting and position yourself for a miracle.

How do you do that?  If you look at his story closely, you will find two practical ways to position your life for a miracle.  First, respond with an attitude of prayer rather than worry.  In verse 3 the Bible says, “Jehoshaphat was alarmed by the news and sought the Lord for guidance.  He also gave orders that everyone throughout Judah should observe a fast.”  This is consistent with everyone in scripture who faced overwhelming odds and experienced miraculous breakthroughs!  In the New Testament, the Apostle Paul says, Don’t fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray.  Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns.  Before you know it, a sense of God’s wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down. It’s wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the center of your life.” Philippians 4:6-7(MSG) Turn your problems into opportunities to pray.  Second, choose to rejoice with an attitude of thanksgiving rather than complaining.  Thanksgiving opens our lives to receive blessings.  Complaining blocks blessings.  In 2 Chronicles 20:21, 22 the Bible tells us how Jehoshaphat did this. After consulting the people, the king appointed singers to walk ahead of the army, singing to the Lord and praising Him for His holy splendor. This is what they sang: ‘Give thanks to the Lord; His faithful love endures forever!’At the very moment they began to sing and give praise, the Lord caused the armies of Ammon, Moab, and Mount Seir to start fighting among themselves.”  Notice the phrase “…at the very moment…”  They chose to praise the Lord and sing before they won the victory!  They didn’t wait to see what the outcome would be before they gave thanks!  As a result, God began to act on their behalf.  Verses 25 and 26 wrap it up like this. King Jehoshaphat and his men went out to gather the plunder. They found vast amounts of equipment, clothing, and other valuables—more than they could carry. There was so much plunder that it took them three days just to collect it all!  On the fourth day they gathered in the Valley of Blessing, which got its name that day because the people praised and thanked the Lord there. It is still called the Valley of Blessing today.”  If you’re in the Valley of Overwhelmed, take heart my friend.  One step of faith can move you into the Valley of Blessing.  One step of faith can make a world of difference!