Joyce Meyer — The Battle Belongs to the Lord
Tonight I'm gonna teach you a message called "The Battle Belongs to the Lord", taken out of 2 Chronicles 20.
So let's go to 2 Chronicles 20. I'm sure all of us in here tonight would love to leave here believing "Thank God I don't have to fight that battle anymore. God's got that one. I can rest and enjoy my life while He does the fighting." Can anybody say amen?
The thing you want to do next when you have a problem, and you'll see that Jehoshaphat did this, is before you even ask God to meet your need, you want to spend some time in praise.
Verse 5: "And Jehoshaphat stood in the assembly of Judah and Jerusalem in the House of the Lord before the new court and he said, o Lord, God of our fathers, are You not God in heaven? And do You not rule over the kingdoms of the nations? In Your hands are power and might, so that none is able to withstand You."
See, he's telling God how great He is. I mean, now this guy's got several nations coming against him, but he has not yet told God his problem, although God already knew his problem. It's interesting to see that he went to God to seek God and before he did anything else, he went into praise.
I think that praise should always precede petition. Come on, how many think that praise should always precede petition? I don't think that we should ever just present God with our wish list without taking time to tell Him how great He is, how wonderful He is, how much He's done for us, how much we appreciate what He's done for us. We don't want to be like a bunch of spoiled brats with an entitlement attitude.
Now he's gonna just really kind of do a little psychology thing here. "Did not You, o our God, drive out the inhabitants of this land before Your people Israel and give it forever to the descendants of Abraham Your friend? They dwelt in it and have built You a sanctuary in it for Your name, saying, if evil comes upon us, the sword of judgment, or pestilence, or famine, we will stand before this house, before you--for your name [and the symbol of your presence] is in this house--and we will cry to You in our affliction, and You will hear and You will save us.And now, Lord," after having said all that, "The men of Ammon, Moab, and Mount Seir, whom you would not let Israel invade when they came from the land of Egypt, and whom they turned from and did not destroy--behold, they reward us by coming to drive us out of your possession."
I mean, you gotta kind of go over this slowly to really get it. I've studied this and studied it, but to me it's like he's doing this psychology number.
He's like, "Okay, God, we had a chance to destroy them at one time and You hold us not to. So we let them live. Now look what they're doing to us. They're repaying us by coming against us and, God, we want to remind You that this is Your land that You gave us that they're trying to take away. This is Your possession that You gave to us that You promised to your friend Abraham."
It would be like me saying to God: "Well God, this is Your ministry that You gave me. You're the One that has given me the grace to do all this work. And so now, God, if there's a problem, I expect You to take care of what is Your own."
"These are your kids, God, that You gave me and You promised me, if I would give them back to You, that You would take care of them."
"And now one of them looks like they're gonna destroy their life, God. And so this is not gonna look good for You because I've gone around yelling about how good You are." He gets into this. I mean, you wait and see. He's says basically, "Do You want to be embarrassed by not taking care of us?"
And you know Moses did the same thing when God was gonna destroy the Israelites. He said, "Well, you know, God, we've been telling everybody how great You are. This is not gonna look very good."
Now listen to me. Do you know what gives somebody the courage to have that kind of familiar conversation with God? This close intimate fellowship and relationship that I'm talking to you about. They were talking to God, just like they would talk to a close friend. And God wants us to have that kind of relationship with Him. Everything about our relationship with God doesn't have to be stiff and formal. Amen?