I’ve been camped in the land of Judah for about a week now with King Jehoshaphat. I am beginning to realize that I am a slow learner when it comes to what God wants me to learn, especially about faith. I wish I was one of those people who can read a scripture, know immediately what the Lord is saying, and apply it to my life then. But I am not. I have to sit on it a while and let it sink in to my brain until it finally reaches the darkest corner in my heart, pushing out all doubt, unbelief, and fears that I have buried there. And that’s why I’ve been camped in Judah with Jehoshaphat…
Now, Jehoshaphat had been told that a multitude of armies were coming against him, and he was very afraid. But what Jehoshaphat did, instead of cowering in fear, is he “set himself determinedly, as his vital need, to seek the Lord.” (Amplified Bible) Simply put, he asked the Lord for help. He had a great need; he went to his Great God. He gathered all of Judah around him and they began to seek the Lord together, yearning for Him with all their desire.
When you have a great need, do you seek your Great God? We Taylor’s are a small group, four in all. But, when we have a “great need,” we gather together, like campers around a camp fire, sending calls and texts across three states getting the need out. Nesbit to Oxford to Atlanta and back, we all pray together across the miles, for our great need. Staying in contact constantly seeking, waiting, yearning. We rejoice when God answers, we wait when He lingers. We live by faith…
There are times, like Jehoshaphat, “We are powerless against this great need, we don’t know what to do, but we will keep our eyes on You Lord.” I believe God allows tribulations and crises in our lives to not only teach us to rely on Him, but to teach others how to rely on Him (like our children). Our response to these trials and crises is what others see.
I myself have a tendency to be fearful, like Jehoshaphat. What God wants for us is to find freedom from our fears. You see, real freedom is not the liberty to do what we want or the absence of trials. Jon Bloom says in his book Not by Sight, “Real freedom is the deep-seated confidence that God really will provide everything we need.” EVERYTHING! If you really believe that, you are truly free and have nothing to fear whatever your situation.
Unfortunately, the only way for us to experience this kind of freedom is by continually being the recipient of God’s delivering power and faithfulness. And that’s why we are to “count it all joy” … when we meet those various kinds of trials, which continue to come. They are making us free … fearless and free.
I believe what God is saying to us through this story is … trials will set you free from the bondage of a fearful faith. In 2 Chronicles 20:15 the Lord told Jehoshaphat, “Be not afraid or dismayed of this great multitude: for the battle is not yours, but God's.” By giving our fears to the Lord and letting Him fight our battles for us, we learn to cultivate a fearless faith.