When you don’t know what to do

(Today’s post is taken and adapted from the December 7th Your Daily Bible Verse episode titled Seeking God’s Guidance in Times of Crisis. You can listen to that episode HERE.)

But first, fun news! New Hope Publishers has made Intertwined, one of my backlisted titled, available for free via Kindle from July 25th-29th. Save THIS LINK and mark your calendars!

This is one of the most powerful prayers in Scripture: “God, we do not know what to do, but our eyes are on You” (2 Chronicles 20:12c, NIV).

Such an honest, humble declaration positions us to receive God’s power, which He loves to display through our weakness. It is in our desperate places, when we feel we have nowhere else to turn, that we most experience Him.

The king who spoke the words recorded in 2 Chronicles 20:12 was in a terrifying place. Shortly after initiating a sweeping religious reform throughout Judah, he learned numerous allied nations had declared war against him and his people.

By the time King Jehoshapat learned about this army, they were only 35 miles from Jerusalem. The King didn’t have a whole lot of options. He and his people could’ve tried to hide in caves and the clefts of mountains, like they had back in Judges chapter 6, when “the Midianites, Amalekites and other eastern peoples invaded the country” (v. 3, NIV). Or he could’ve fled to a neighboring country, forfeiting his throne and abandoning his people.

In a panic, he could’ve sent commanders out to gather all the fighting men they could find, but they’d still be outnumbered, out-skilled, out-weaponed, and outmuscles. 

He could’ve allowed his fear to drive him to increased reliance and chasing after false securities. This inevitably would’ve distanced him from God and distorted his perception, causing the crisis to feel exponentially larger. Making his all-powerful God to simultaneously feel smaller.

That wasn’t how King Jehoshapat responded.

In the middle of his fear, he hit pause. Before he took a single step forward, he turned his face and his heart upward, proclaimed a fast for all of Judah, and cried out to God.

When facing a life or death situation, for him and his nation, the king of Judah immediately turned to God in prayer. And called all his people to do the same. Such a powerful example of God-led, leadership! In a life-or-death situation, he showed everyone what it looked like to live by faith; complete dependence on God. 

And notice the result. Verse four states, “The people of Judah came together to seek help from the Lord; indeed, they came from every town in Judah to seek him.”

Because King Jehoshaphat sought God in his fear, his people did as well. Then, once they’d all gathered, Scripture tells us the King stood in front of the courtyard and spoke an incredibly powerful prayer.  

First, he acknowledged and proclaimed God’s sovereignty and limitless power, a power greater than their worst and most viscous and numerous enemy, saying, “Lord, the God of our ancestors, are you not the God who is in heaven? You rule over all the kingdoms of the nations. Power and might are in your hand, and no one can withstand you.”

Then, in verses 7-8, he reminded God, and through this, the people, of who they were to Him. The men, women, children, and soldiers of Judah were God’s chosen people, whom He had placed in and given the land they now occupied. A land that, ultimately, God owned. 

He reminded himself and the people of God’s constant presence. Regardless of how they felt or things appeared, their God was with them and heard them, He stated, in verse 9, “If calamity comes upon us, whether the sword of judgment, or plague or famine, we will stand in your presence before this temple that bears your name and will cry out to you in our distress, and you will hear us and save us” (NIV).

Then, after all this, after remembering and proclaiming God’s power, sovereignty, attentiveness, and presence, knowing that God would hear and respond, he ended with, “We don’t know what to do, but our eyes are on you.” 

In other words, guide us, Lord. Tell us what to do here, and whatever that is, we’ll do it. Because we trust You.

The next morning, he and his people put feet to their faith. At God’s command, they appointed men to sing praises to God, and sent them out at the head of the army.

They led with praise.

They entered the battle with praise, singing, “Give thanks to the Lord, for His love endures forever.” With every step, “Give thanks to the Lord, for His love” –His heced in the original Greek, a fierce, steadfast, enduring love– “endures forever” (V. 21, NIV).

God’s love was their armor and their defense. The Israelites advanced in confidence knowing Almighty, all-knowing, sovereign, Creator God loved them and would fight for them. 

And he did. Scripture says, “As they began to sing and praise, the Lord set ambushes against the men of Ammon and Moab and Mount Seir who were invading Judah, and they were defeated. The Ammonites and Moabites rose up against the men from Mount Seir to destroy and annihilate them. After they finished slaughtering the men from Seir, they helped to destroy one another” (V. 22-23, NIV).

Their enemies fought against one another! Not one of them escaped. 

When we find ourselves in frightening situations, often our first response is to react–to shut down, lash out, or to flee. But what if we turned to God first? What if we hit pause, took a breath, and prayed?

What if we fought our battles through surrendered dependence and our hands lifted high in praise? 

And speaking of love, first flowing into us, then flowing from us, make sure to listen to the latest Your Daily Bible Verse podcast episode:

The Scepter of Judah (Genesis 49:10) Your Daily Bible Verse

Today’s Bible Verse: The scepter will not depart from Judah, nor the ruler’s staff from his descendants, until the coming of the one to whom it belongs, the one whom all nations will honor. – Genesis 49:10   Want to listen without the ads? Become a BibleStudyTools.com PLUS Member today: https://www.biblestudytools.com/subscribe/   MEET OUR HOSTS:   JENNIFER SLATTERY is a writer and speaker who hosts the Faith Over Fear podcast. She’s addressed women’s groups, Bible studies, and writers across the nation. She’s the author of Building a Family and numerous other titles and maintains a devotional blog at https://jenniferslatterylivesoutloud.com   Follow Jennifer: https://www.lifeaudio.com/faith-over-fear/  https://www.facebook.com/JenSlatte https://www.instagram.com/slatteryjennifer/    CAROL MCCRACKEN is a Christian communicator who teaches women Biblical truths through real-life application and humor to connect them to their God-given purpose. Carol has been a Bible teacher for twenty years and served on church staff and in women's ministry for three decades.   Follow Carol: https://www.carolmccracken.com/   REVEREND DR. KYLE NORMAN is the Rector of St. Paul’s Cathedral, located in Kamloops BC, Canada.  He holds a doctorate in Spiritual formation and is a sought-after writer, speaker, and retreat leader. His writing can be found at Christianity.com, crosswalk.com, ibelieve.com, Renovare Canada, and many others.  He also maintains his own blog revkylenorman.ca.  He has 20 years of pastoral experience, and his ministry focuses on helping people overcome times of spiritual discouragement.   Follow Rev. Kyle: https://revkylenorman.ca/   JOY A. WILLIAMS is a writer and speaker who is amazed her first name became her life’s mission. As life happens in ways that baffle us or bring us joy, she loves exploring how those moments can bring us closer to God.  She is a member of the “First 5” writing team at Proverbs 31 ministries. As a licensed minister, she serves as a teacher for the Women’s Bible Study and the Married Couples Ministry at her church.  Joy is a wife and mother and she shares encouragement on the “Joy to the Soul” blog.  Subscribe to receive the newest posts and updates at joyawilliams.com.   Follow her on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest   Read Joy’s 7-day Bible reading plans: “Live Your Joy Story” and “When Easy Doesn’t Live Here: Living by Faith When Life Is Hard” on the YouVersion Bible app.   JESSICA VAN ROEKEL loves the upside-down life of following Jesus as she journeys to wholeness through brokenness. As an author, speaker, and worship leader, she uses her gifts and experiences to share God’s transformative power to rescue, restore, and renew. She is the author of Reframing Rejection: How Looking Through a Different Lens Changes Everything.   Jessica and her husband have two adult daughters spreading their wings, and two high schoolers, a son and daughter, fluttering their wings as they edge closer to the nest. Connect with her at welcomegrace.com and reframingrejection.com.   GRACE FOX is the award-winning author of 13 books, a popular Bible teacher at international women’s events, and a member of the “First 5” Bible study writing team (Proverbs 31 Ministries). She’s also been a career missionary for more than 30 years.   She and her husband have served in Nepal, at a year-round Christian camp on an island off Canada’s west coast, and currently co-direct International Messengers Canada, a missionary sending agency with 300 staff in 30 countries. They live fulltime aboard a sailboat in Vancouver, British Columbia. Married in 1982, they celebrate three grown kids and 13 grandchildren.   Learn about Grace’s books and subscribe to her free resources at https://www.gracefox.com   Follow her: https://www.fb.com/gracefox.author Learn more about ministry opportunities with International Messengers: https://www.im-canada.ca   Discover more Christian podcasts at lifeaudio.com and inquire about advertising opportunities at lifeaudio.com/contact-us.
  1. The Scepter of Judah (Genesis 49:10)
  2. Who Is Melchizedek, Anyway? (Genesis 14:18)
  3. What Is Jesus' Heart Like For Us? (Isaiah 42:3)
  4. Our Divine Call This Christmas (Genesis 12:3)
  5. How To Bear Lasting Fruit (John 15:5)

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  1. I ❤️ this reminder, picture! “What if we fought our battles in surrendered dependence and our hands lifted high in praise?” Thank you sister!

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