faithful,  October,  Worship Devotions

Praise goes before and praise goes after

Jehoshaphat was the king over Judah during a time of civil unrest. God’s people had divided themselves into two nations, Judah and Israel, and the ruling kings were often at war with each other. The nation was also plagued by ungodliness, the Ba’al cult and much worse. However, Jehoshaphat was different. He was a man of loyal obedience to God – and a man of wholehearted worship. Among a nation of “God’s people”, who had grown cold in their love, one man changed everything. 2 Chronicles 17:3-4 says that, “the Lord was with Jehoshaphat because he… sought out the God of his fathers and walked in His commandments.”

Worship is the proof of your faith in God – how will He do it? I don’t know! But if He promised He would, He WILL – you just worship.

When Jehoshaphat was given the news that “a large multitude is coming against you from across the sea”, (2 Chronicles 20:2-3) he was absolutely terrified, but here’s the thing about a person who has already built their life upon the Lord – they don’t run from fear, or armies or anything else. They run to God – and that’s what Jehoshaphat did. The Bible records that Jehoshaphat “set himself to seek the Lord” in fasting, prayer and worship – and he didn’t do it alone! He led the way to the Lord! 2 Chronicles 20:13 says that during this time of great turmoil, “…all of Judah was standing before the Lord, even their infants, wives and children.” As they drew near to the Lord, the Spirit of God sent a word about the fight that was coming at them. He is faithful! Amen! Now read about Jehoshaphat’s behavior during this time:

“Jehoshaphat bowed his face to the ground, and all Judah and those dwelling in Jerusalem fell before the Lord to worship HimAnd the Levites from the descendants of the Kohathites and Korahites rose up to praise the Lord God of Israel with a very loud voice. [Then] they rose up early in the morning and went out…And when they went out, Jehoshaphat stood and said, “Listen to me, Judah and those dwelling in Jerusalem. Believe in the Lord your God, and you will be supported. Believe His prophets, and you will succeed,” and then appointed singers for the Lord and those praising Him in holy attire as they went before those equipped for battle saying, “Praise the Lordfor His mercy endures forever.” When they began singing and praising, the Lord set ambushes against Ammon, Moab, and Mount Seir, who had come against Judah; so they were defeated.”

The Lord fulfilled His promise to Jehoshaphat, to defeat his enemies. In fact, Jehoshaphat and his army didn’t even lift a finger and then got to take all the plunder and riches back home – “more than they could carry”! (2 Chronicles 20:25). But Jehoshaphat didn’t stop his worship once everything was going smoothly – no! The worship happened before the battle was won and after! “…On the fourth day they gathered at the Valley of Berakah, because there they blessed the Lord… [Then] they entered Jerusalem with harps, lyres, and trumpets to the house of the Lord.” (v. 26, 28) Worship is the proof of your faith in God – how will He do it? I don’t know! But if He promised He would, He WILL – you just worship. The battle is the Lord’s!

Thought for today

God said they’d win and, amid their fear and without knowing how He’d do it, they worshipped Him as a sign of their faith and belief that He would keep His promise. No matter how fearful you are, no matter how high the stakes are that you see before you, no matter how fierce the enemy, no matter how outnumbered you feel, no matter who you have to protect – you worship. Jehoshaphat’s worship set him apart. God knew Jehoshaphat was the right person to fight for because He knew that Jehoshaphat would give Him the glory. When you live a lifestyle of worship, God knows that you’re worshipping without an agenda, without requests – that you simply love Him and worship to bless, minister to and adore Him. When it’s time to fight, you can start worshipping, of course, but if you already are worshipping, you’re in a powerful position for the Lord to perform a miracle through your example! <3

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