II Chronicles 20:1 - “It happened after this that the people of Moab with the people of Ammon, and others with them besides the Ammonites, came to battle against Jehoshaphat.”
I could give names to our enemies that have come out to battle us:
• Health problems
• Family problems
• Financial Problem
• Attacks on our character
• Attacks on our ministry
And the worst part is that, just like with Jehoshaphat, it seems like they all come at once. Sometimes life feels like you are in the middle of a war zone and the enemy is surrounding you. You look to the left and there is the enemy, you turn to the right and he’s there again, you look behind you and it looks like he’s hot on your tail, and you look ahead and all you seem to be able to see is more trouble. Your situation begins to feel hopeless.
I know this morning my friends, by the Spirit of the Lord, that some of you are in that situation. You love Jesus, you’re doing your best to serve Him, and you’re doing your best to live a holy life:
• You’re reading your bible
• You’re praying
• You’re in church
• You’re paying your tithes
• You’re sowing.
• You’re in the fight of your life and there’s no sign of victory ahead
You fight one enemy and think that you’re making progress, then all of a sudden you look and the enemy sends in reinforcements and comes on even stronger.
II Chronicles 20:2 – “Then some came and told Jehoshaphat, saying, “A great multitude is coming against you from beyond the sea, from Syria; and they are in Hazazon Tamar”
Then here comes the advisors who feel that it’s their role and their calling to tell you how bad your life is, and how nasty the devil is and meanwhile they just magnify what the enemy is doing to you.
II Chronicles 20:3 – “And Jehoshaphat feared, and set himself to seek the Lord, and proclaimed a fast throughout all Judah”
I want to tell you something you may have never heard, faith and fear both come by hearing. It says in verse 3 that Jehoshaphat “feared.” The greatest weapon that Satan has against the child of God is fear, because fear is the opposite of faith and it opens the door to sickness, depression, oppression, worry anxiety, stress, and confusion. Fear will rob you of your joy and peace. Fear brings you into bondage mentally, emotionally and spiritually. “For the thing which I greatly feared is come upon me, and that which I was afraid of is come unto me.” (Job 3:25)
Fear is a product of Satan, it is not of God, “For God hath not given us the spirit of Fear, but of power and of love and of a sound Mind.” (II Timothy 1:7)
It doesn’t matter how spiritual you are or how anointed you are, at some point in your walk, you are going to have to do battle with the spirit of fear. There are people who are paralyzed by fear, they are held in captivity by fear and even Christians can find themselves a prisoner of war to fear. Fear has many faces and it comes in many areas of our lives.
Many today are living in fear of a bad economy, fear of terrorists, fear of sickness, fear of losing their homes, fear of losing their social security, fear of failure, and after recent weather events many fear natural disasters.
The only way to victory is to overcome the spirit of fear. I want to point out a spiritual principle to you, the only way to overcome the spirit of fear is to receive the Spirit of God. The First Thing Jehoshaphat did when he was attacked by the spirit of Fear was he turned to the Lord.
God has given us everything we need to overcome our enemies and advance the Kingdom of God. “The weapons of our warfare are not carnal but they are mighty through God to the pulling down of strongholds, casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ.” (II Corinthians 10:3-5)
But it doesn’t matter how mighty or powerful your weapons are, if you do not pick them up, then they are useless as far as you are concerned. Many of the battles that we lose are lost, not because the enemy is greater, not because he is smarter or has better weapons, but they are lost because we do not take advantage of the weapons we have been given.
I want you to notice something, the first weapon that Jehoshaphat launched against his enemies was the weapon of fasting and prayer. If you are serious about making a breakthrough, then get serious about fasting and prayer.
Jehoshaphat also did something, that it seems like a lot of people are too proud to do, he cried out to the Lord. There is something powerful in a cry: I’m not referring to prayer here, when you need God immediately, and desperately you don’t have time for those long fancy King James prayers. A cry is an acknowledgement that we need help and we need it now. A cry is a recognition that human efforts have failed and we need a power greater than ourselves to intervene. When I wanted to get sober, it was this kind of cry that brought God’s help. It is this type of cry that creates an avenue for the Power of God.
“Because they rebelled against the words of God, and despised the counsel of the Most High, therefore He brought down their heart with labor; they fell down, and there was none to help. Then they cried out to the Lord in their trouble, And He saved them out of their distresses. He brought them out of darkness and the shadow of death, and broke their chains in pieces.” (Psalm 107:11-13)
Because they cried out for help. One of the greatest hindrances to the power of God is pride. Pride will kill you. Never be too proud to cry out to God in your time of distress. What seems like weakness to so many, is actually one of the most powerful thing you can do.
II Chronicles 20:14-15 – “Then the Spirit of the Lord came upon Jahaziel the son of Zechariah, the son of Benaiah, the son of Jeiel, the son of Mattaniah, a Levite of the sons of Asaph, in the midst of the assembly. And he said, “Listen, all you of Judah and you inhabitants of Jerusalem, and you, King Jehoshaphat! Thus says the Lord to you: ‘Do not be afraid nor dismayed because of this great multitude, for the battle is not yours, but God’s.”
Look closely at verse 15, you know the part where it says, “This says the Lord.” I want to let you know right now, “Thus saith the Lord” changes everything! I don’t care what the banker, the doctor, the lawyer, or the world around you says, what God says is the only thing that really counts! All that matters is that God’s Word says that when the enemy comes in like a flood, God will raise up a standard against him. All that counts is, can you get a word from the Lord?
One word From God changes everything! It makes you:
One word from the Lord turns famine into plenty, sickness onto health, weakness into strength, drought into flood, and defeat into victory. One word from the Lord opens closed doors, shuts the mouths of lions, and sets the captives free!
In Matthew 8:8 a centurion came to Jesus on behalf of his servant who was sick, Jesus Said: I will come and heal Him, but the Centurion told Jesus he didn’t need to go, all He needed to do was speak the word and the servant would be healed.
Every natural evidence and impulse was to run away from this great army, but the Word of God was, meet them head on, go out against them. So Jehoshaphat appointed singers to praise the Lord and the beauty of His holiness. And when they started to worship the Lord, He set ambushes against the children of Ammon, Moab and mount Seir which were come out against Judah and they were struck down.
God confused them, and they began to kill each other Worshiping God in the face of adversity confuses the Satan. If you want to drive the devil crazy, when he throws something heavy at you, instead of feeling sorry for yourself and having a pity party, just start praising God like you lost your mind.
Some of you have never been able to fully grasp or understood the power of praise. Praise is a powerful weapon because it invites the presence of the Holy Spirit into your moment of terror. The Word says that God inhabits the praises of his people, and when we praise God he moves into our praise, and when God moves into our praise our problems don’t stand a chance.
Praise invites God to take over and God knows how to take care of your enemies.
Let me sum up what the Lord wants you to hear:
• While you’re praising God, your enemies are going into mass confusion
• While you’re praising God, your enemies are turning on each other
• While you’re praising God, He is fighting for you
• While you’re praising God, you are positioning yourself for blessing