by Charlotte Barton
The battle of 2 Chronicles 20 is an amazing demonstration of God's power and ability to deliver His people out of adversity. Whether you, a loved one, or a friend are facing a physical, spiritual, or an emotional conflicts, God is a victorious God. We have all faced battles of some kind in our lives, or maybe you are currently in such a place in your life today. Maybe you are in the military, and you actually are engaged in physical wars at times. Regardless of the situation, God is our Protector and Deliverer.
2 Chronicles 20 not only shows how God brings victory into our situations, but it also teaches us some very important elements and strategies in spiritual warfare that can help bring deliverance and victory in our lives.
This historical battle begins with Jehoshaphat being told that a great multitude was coming against him. The spirit of fear instantly surrounded him (vs.3), but he quickly turned his thoughts to God. He set himself to seek the Lord. The Amplified Bible says,
3) “Then Jehoshaphat feared, and set himself [determined, as his vital need] to seek the Lord...”
He set his focus on God, not his fear. When taking a picture of something, you look through the lens, and focus on one thing. It is called critical focus. There are other objects in the picture, but they are not focused on. Fear was present, but Jehoshaphat set his focus to seek the Lord. God's Word says in 2 Timothy 1:7,
“For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.” (NKJV)
Fear may be present in your situation and may try to be the focus in your big picture, but it is up to you as to what you will focus on. Are you going to focus on fear from the doctor's report or on the Healer? Are you going to focus on not having the money to pay your house payment or buy groceries or on the Provider? Are you going to focus on the enemy in battle or on the Protector? Are you going to focus on fear or God?
Pray and Fast
Notice what two actions went together in verse three, “Then Jehoshaphat feared, and set himself [determinedly, as his vital need] to seek the Lord; he proclaimed a fast in all Judah. “:1)Seek the Lord (pray)2)Proclaimed a fast
Two very important spiritual warfare weapons or strategies are to pray and fast. The Word of God shows the importance of fasting down through history in the Bible. When God's people came up against difficulty, opposition, or decisions they fasted. They sacrificed, pushed their plate aside, in order to see God deliver. A few such examples can be found in Ezra 8:21; Esther 4:16; Judges 20:26; 1 Samuel 7:6; Daniel 1.
Fasting brings God into critical focus more clearly. During times of fasting you bring your flesh and fleshly desires under subjection of God and His Holy Spirit. It is also an act of faith toward God through your time of sacrificing showing that you believe He is who He says He is and that you believe His promises and stand firmly upon His Word.
Power in Agreement
Next, we see that Judah gathered themselves together to ask for God's help (vs. 4). There is power in unity, or agreement together on one thing. Matthew 18:19 says,
“Again I say to you that if two of you agree on earth concerning anything they ask, it will be done for them by My Father in heaven.”
You can accomplish a lot when praying alone about something. But even more can be accomplished when going to battle together. One soldier can defeat many enemies, but a group of soldiers all focusing on one purpose together will defeat the enemy much more effectively. Deuteronomy 32:30 (NKJV) says, “...one have chased a thousand, and two put ten thousand to flight...”
Implementing Important Elements of Prayer
Then, Jehoshaphat stood in the congregation of Judah and Jerusalem, in the house of God and proclaimed some mighty statements (vs. 6-12). Dake's Annotated Reference Bible (p. 775) lists Jehoshaphat's prayer in a way that lets you see some important prayer characteristics embedded within it. What is in each bracket, I added as I saw how the prayer consisted of four important prayer elements:
[Praise and Honor of Who He Is]
1.You are the God of our fathers (v. 6)
2.You are the God of heaven
3.You rule over all the kingdoms of the heathen
4.You have all power and might
5.None is able to withstand You
6.You are our God (v. 7)
[Reminder to God and to themselves of God's Faithfulness]
7.You drove the Canaanites, out before Israel
8.You gave their land to the seed of Your eternal friend, Abraham
9.They have dwelled there (v. 8)
10.They have built You a sanctuary for Your name
11.They have told us that when we are in trouble, and stand before this house, in Your presence, crying to You in our affliction, You will hear and help (v. 9)
[Requests, Petitions to God]
12.And now, the Ammonites, Moabites, and Edomites are come to cast us out of our possession (v. 10-11)
13.Will You not judge them? (v. 12)
14.We have no might against such a company
15.We do not know what to do
[Submission to God Showing Faith]
16.Our eyes are upon You
Prayer is not all about “help me, help me, help me, give me, give me, give me”. Jehoshaphat spent more time giving God honor and praise and proclaiming His faithfulness and submission to God. God knows what we need before we even ask. Yes, we are to make our petitions known to God. But the other part of prayer is what shows our faith in God and trust that we know that He is in control. You will see further down in this teaching article how important praise is in spiritual battles.
Directly after God heard their heart-felt prayer and saw their praise and honor, their remembrance of and reminder of His faithfulness, their requests and petitions, and submission and faith to Him, His spirit came into their midst. When you get down to business with prayer, things happen in the spiritual realm and will manifest itself in the physical. Their victory did not happen instantly. Victory came the next day. But the Spirit of God goes to work on the situation immediately. We do not always see with our eyes how God is already preparing for the victory.
Just Let Go and Let Him Be God
God tells them (vs. 15, 17),
15)“Be not afraid or dismayed at this great multitude; for the battle is not yours, but God's.
17)You shall not need to fight in this battle...”
Can you imagine what some were thinking at that point? Some probably thought to themselves, or even out loud, “How in the world do you win a battle without fighting?” If they would have fought, it would not have been as much of a “God thing”. God wanted to receive all the glory.
That situation in your life or in your family's or friend's life is not your battle. God says quit fighting and let Me be God. A song that I wrote a few years back says “Just Let Go and Let Me Be God.”
Stand Still and Watch God Work
God then tells them (vs. 17) “...take your positions, stand still, and see the deliverance of the Lord [Who is] with you, O Judah and Jerusalem. Fear not nor be dismayed. Tomorrow go out against them, for the Lord is with you.”
In other words, God is saying, “Take your position in your faith in Me. Don't let your faith sway. Take your position in who I am and knowing I will deliver. Stand still. Quit moving and shifting your thoughts to other sources. Hush! Be still, not grumbling, nor complaining. Watch Me work. Watch what I do to bring you deliverance and victory. Don't worry. I am right there with you every step of the way. I will not leave you. I will see you through to victory.”
Early the next morning look at where they had to go to get their victory: “into the wilderness” (vs. 20). It seems that we often have to go into a wilderness time to get to our victory. It is in the wilderness that our faith and trust in God is tested. But in that same verse God says (vs. 20), “Believe in the Lord your God and you shall be established,” and victory will be yours.
A Specialized Front-line Military Unit
I love this next part, since one of my ministries is singing with our church praise and worship team. Jehoshaphat did not send out soldiers to the front lines. He did not send out his soldiers with the best weapons. He sent out a praise and worship team first in battle! Verse 21 says,
“...he appointed singers to sing to the Lord and praise Him in their holy [priestly] garments as they went out before the army, saying Give thanks to the Lord, for His mercy and loving-kindness endure forever!” (Amplified Bible).
Wow! If a modern day military commander sent out praise and worship singers on the front lines, society would think they had lost their minds! I am sure some probably spoke their “concerns” to Jehoshaphat. But despite what others thought, they knew what God said, and they were going to obey regardless of how crazy others thought they were for stepping out in faith like that. But faith works! Something amazing happened. “When they began to sing and to praise, the Lord set ambushments against the men of Ammon, Moab, and Mount Seir who had come against Judah, and they were [self-] slaughtered” (vs. 22).
Praise and worship in the face of adversity, in the forefront of your battle, confuses the enemy. Satan and his demons cannot understand how a person can bless and honor God when their situation looks hopeless. But praise and worship in the midst of trials shows faith and trust in the all powerful, true and living God. But the victory did not manifest until they began to sing and to praise. If they had waited for a “reason” to sing and praise, they would not have experienced deliverance and victory. So, worship, even in your midnight hour! Victory is coming!
So, in reviewing some important spiritual warfare strategies presented in the battle from 2 Chronicles 20,
We are not to focus on fear, but focus on God
Pray and seek the Lord
Agree with someone in prayer
Implement important elements of prayer (give God praise and honor of who He is; remind God and ourselves of His faithfulness; make our requests and petitions known to God; submit to God showing our faith in Him)
Let God fight your battle
Stand still and watch Him bring the victory in His timing
Keep your faith and trust in God during wilderness times
Confuse the enemy with praising and worshiping God
Friend, just as 2 Chronicles 20 shows, no matter what
the situation is, God is an Omnipotent, all-powerful God who will win
the battle as long as you put your trust in Him, stand your ground
against the enemy, and let Him be God in His own perfect timing.
To read the entire battle story of 2 Chronicles 20 online click a link below using the Bible version of your choice: