Our Eyes Are On You - 2 Chronicles 2:12

Our Eyes Are On You

“For we are powerless against this great horde that is coming against us. We do not know what to do, but our eyes are on you.” – 2 Chronicles 20:12b

Yesterday we learned how to reject the voices that fight against you. Today we’re talking about how to win the battle. It’s a counter intuitive solution, but the only one that guarantees success.

This passage comes from 2 Chronicles and is talking about a battle that is facing King Jehoshaphat of Judah. Jehoshaphat was a Godly king and tried to honor the Lord in his reign. In this case, a great army was coming up against Judah from Edom. Jehoshaphat called the people together to pray and ask God what to do. The Lord answered by coming in the Spirit on Jahaziel and telling them to not worry, but to let the Lord fight their battle. God routes the army by causing their enemies to lie in wait with and ambush and destroy them, every last one (v. 24).

Jehoshaphat faced a literal battle that threatened all of his people. Our battles are usually not a physical thing like his was. Our battles take place in the spirit, in the mind and in our words. However, we can certainly learn from Jehoshaphat how to handle the situation.

  1. Acknowledge that you are incapable of anything without Him.
    Jehoshaphat didn’t pretend that he could do anything that he couldn’t do. He knew where he stood and he knew he didn’t have what it took to defeat this battle. If we are unwilling to admit our helplessness before the Lord, we are risking bringing pride between us. God helps the humble and the humble know themselves and their own limitations.
  2. Wait on the Lord
    This may be one on of the hardest things we ever have to do. Our patience is necessary, among many reasons, to help open our eyes to what the Lord is doing. Impatience and running around or trying to control things only takes away from His plan and His work.
  3. Keep your focus on the Lord
    Jehoshaphat kept his eyes on the Lord. He didn’t try to count the able-bodied men or make battle plans “just in case”. He knew where to focus and he didn’t waver until he had his answer.

We know that the Lord is with us and for us, but we also have to be willing to listen and wait in order to experience His salvation. Don’t let distractions and fears cloud your vision (read more about that here). Let Him fight for you!


Seeing the Greatness Of God

Seeing the Greatness of God

Put not your trust in princes, in a son of man, in whom there is no salvation. When his breath departs, he returns to the earth; on that very day his plans perish. Psalm 146:3-4

Our world can seem so real and important sometimes, but scripture reminds us that our world is temporary. Everything in it as well, the people and the troubles, even the good things, too. We can be lulled into the sense of security by trusting people who tell us good promises. We can follow those who we think are powerful or influential.

When we fix our eyes on the Lord, however, we see things from a different perspective, an eternal one. No matter how many days someone spends on earth here, it is nothing in perspective to the eternal God. His days are unnumbered. Our most powerful men and women are nothing compared to the power of God.

Let the lowly brother boast in his exaltation, and the rich in his humiliation, because like a flower of the grass he will pass away. For the sun rises with its scorching and its beauty perishes. So also will the rich man fade away in the midst of his pursuits. James 1:9-11

It can feel easier to trust in the strong people in the world than an unseeable God, but only when we don’t know the One True God. As we seek Him and He teaches us about Himself, we are not only preparing for eternity, but we are learning to live each and every day more and more believing Him.

God is working to bless the world and bring freedom to His children. When we see others who are doing good works, bringing about good things for other people, it’s the Lord we honor and celebrate. He is a good God who knows how to give good gifts.

While this thought can sometimes seem to be such a downer, it is actually full of hope. It’s not about moping because time here is so short. It’s about recognizing that there’s more beyond this; that we’re a part of something bigger and something awesome. God is there and will be there and is greater than all that we see. As good as this life can be, it gets better. And when this life isn’t good, remember that it’s only temporary.

The LORD gives freedom to the prisoners. The LORD opens [the eyes of] the blind; The LORD raises those who are bowed down; The LORD loves the righteous. The LORD watches over the strangers; He relieves the fatherless and widow; But the way of the wicked He turns upside down. The LORD shall reign forever–Your God, O Zion, to all generations. Praise the LORD! – Psalm 146:7b-10

God is the constant through all of it and we can trust Him. All the oppression will be lifted in His name, and in His time. The wicked who seek selfish gain at the expense of the suffering will be turned on their head! Nothing will dethrone the Lord from His high and mighty place, no person and certainly no sin. Praise the Lord for showing us His mighty works!

 


Trusting Him Deeper

A man plans his steps, but the Lord directs His way – Proverbs 16:9

The story of Joseph, father of Jesus contains many changes from what he may have thought is life would be like. (Matthew 1:18-2:23)

  • Joseph plans on marry a virgin, then divorcing an adulteress, ends up marrying her by direct command of the Holy Spirit.
  • Joseph and his family are sought for by wise men looking for the Messiah, which clues in a paranoid ruler to Jesus’s existence.
  • Joseph (most likely) plans on going home, but is warned to go to Egypt instead.
  • The paranoid ruler kills all male children in the city of Bethlehem 2 years old and under when he realizes the wise men aren’t returning.
  • Joseph (most likely) plans on going home, but realizes the danger will never be gone there, so he settles in Galilee, a city in Nazareth.

From an outside perspective, possibly even to Joseph as it was living it, it can look like it was completely circumstance driven that he had to travel so far to keep his family safe. He knew he was following the guidance of the Lord, but it still might have felt that circumstances and the enemy were limiting him and causing him to do what he might not have chosen otherwise.

When we feel that life is shoving us around, how do we then keep our trust focused soley on the Lord? How do we keep our doubts away from our minds when we feel that we can’t anticipate what tomorrow brings?

The first couple chapters of Matthew give us insight into the Lord’s plans.

  • Joseph plans on marry a virgin, then divorcing an adulteress, ends up marrying her by direct command of the Holy Spirit. Verse 22 says this was to fulfill the prophecy “Behold, a virgin shall conceive and bear a son… “
  • Joseph and his family are sought for by wise men looking for the Messiah, which clues in a paranoid ruler to Jesus’s existence. The wise men are looking for Him because of the prophecy, “And you, O Bethlehem, in the land of Judah,… from you shall come a ruler who will shepherd my people Israel.”
  • Joseph (most likely) plans on going home, but is warned to go to Egypt instead. This fulfilled the prophecy, “Out of Egypt I called my son.”
  • The paranoid ruler kills all male children in the city of Bethlehem 2 years old and under when he realizes the wise men aren’t returning. The Jeremiah prophesied, “… Rachel weeping for her children; she refused to be comforted, because they are no more.”
  • Joseph (most likely) plans on going home, but realizes the danger will never be gone there, so he settles in Galilee, a city in Nazareth. Jesus was foretold to be called a Nazarene.

None of the chaos or trouble or moving that Joseph had to do with His family was unknown to God, even hundreds of years before it happened.

God’s Power

God doesn’t know the future because he happened to luck out when looking into a crystal ball. God is beyond time and through time and isn’t ever thrown for a loop by what He sees. God’s power is beyond what we can know or experience. However, in His graciousness, He allows us to experience as much as we are willing to and seek for.

Our ability to trust more and more deeply on God hinges entirely on our true and unbiased awareness of who He is. If we truly see Him for His depth and power, His majesty and might, our minds can be more fully open to learn to lean on Him.

If we don’t know Him, we hold back. We doubt because we haven’t experienced the wonder and awe that comes from being the presence of the power the created the massive universe.

God is powerful and amazing and more than we can know. This article on Incourage by Ann Voskamp gives amazing insight into the power and majesty of our awe inspiring God.