- Rev. Tracey Grosse
Desperate for God
The word of God declares, God is all powerful, all knowing and he does not fail. There is absolutely no one like our God. We have experienced the goodness of God in our lives over and over again, but immediately when our faith is tested, we normally become so fixed on the problem, thus opening the door for doubt and fear. There are times when we behave as though God has never come through for us in the past. In our times of desperation, we persistently cry out to God. Knowing what to pray for does not come easy. We are trying our best to wait on the Lord, but God seems so far away. Is He listening? We are desperate to see God do something, anything. We worry and we fret, and we fret and we worry. More and more we come to appreciate the Psalmist who throughout his life learned to hide God’s word deep within his heart. God’s word reassures us and removes all doubt. In every trial God is with us.
When I need to be reassured of God’s faithfulness, one of the passages of scripture I meditate on is Psalm 46. I like Eugene Peterson’s paraphrase of the text in The Message Bible. The first three verses of Psalm 46 reads: “God is a safe place to hide, ready to help when we need him. We stand fearless at the cliff-edge of doom, courageous in seastorm and earthquake, Before the rush and roar of oceans, the tremors that shift mountains. Jacob-wrestling God fights for us, God-of-Angel-Armies protects us.”
Our relationship with God is strengthened by the trials we encounter and go through. God uses each trial neither to frustrate us, nor to drive us away from Him. Each trial, each battle, only draws us closer to our loving Father. God is with us. Trials reinforces our constant need for God. By faith, we know there is absolutely nothing impossible with God. Are we desperate enough to want to see God do a new thing in us and through us? In these challenging days, are we able to acknowledge our desperate need for God to bring hope, renewal and restoration into our personal lives, our relationships, and our churches?
As the enemy armies were closing in on Judah and Jerusalem, in desperation Jehoshaphat, King of Judah, led his people back to God. Praise God, He does not hold our sins against us. It is when we draw near to God, in the power and presence of the Holy Spirit, we remember his faithfulness and His greatness in the past. God’s people were overwhelmed and afraid. They did not know what to do. The enemy armies were much stronger. They could not defend themselves without help. We are powerless on our own. In desperation, Jehoshaphat, in 2 Chronicles 20: 1-30, fully surrendered to God. God showed Himself mighty. Jehoshaphat proclaimed a national fast and he prayed.
Prayer is significant in the life of the believer. We are kept connected to God. In the flesh, we cannot comprehend the redeeming power of God. A God who never leaves us alone in our struggles. In the spirit, we are able to pray in accordance to God’s will. We want only what God wants. Through prayer and fasting we willingly bring ourselves in submission to the will of God. We not only learn to listen for God, but we also learn to listen to God. We learn to fix our eyes on Him.
We learn at least three key lessons from Jehoshaphat’s prayer in 2 Chronicles 20: 5-13:
1). When we pray in the spirit we first acknowledge who God is. Jehoshaphat acknowledged God. He is Jehovah! He is a covenant-keeping God. He is sovereign. He cannot be defeated. Jehoshaphat acknowledged what God did in the past and he knows only God is able to fix this impossible problem. Whatever God permits us to go through, we can be sure that we will never go through it alone. When we acknowledge God we focus on who God is and what He is able to do.
2). In repentance, prayer is where we relinquish the control to God and willingly submit ourselves to the Lordship of Jesus Christ. We mess up and we rebel. Jehoshaphat relinquished his control to God, and submitted to divine authority. We sometimes forget, it is God who appoints us and empowers us to serve. God chooses to work in us and through us. We are nothing on our own. He does not need us, but He desires to work in us and through us - all for his glory and for our blessing. What a privilege it is to serve the Lord!
3). Prayer is believing God to move in the situation. We do not need to tell God what to do. God knows the plans he has concerning us. Jehoshaphat surrendered all to God. In times of uncertainty are we able to pray, “Not my will, but your will be done?” It is only in the Spirit we can pray as Jesus prayed. In the Spirit we are able to first and foremost turn ourselves over to the will of God. Our sufficiency, our confidence is in God alone.
God does answer prayer.
In this particular story, God spoke through Jahaziel, son of Zechariah (verses 15-17). God tells His people not to be afraid, because the battle is not theirs. The battle is God’s. When God permits us to fight in His battle, we do not need to do anything other than stand firm in our faith and see God work things out. God will show himself mighty in every trial we face. Wherever you are in your spiritual journey, remember God is able. He did not bring you this far to leave you. I pray, in our desperate need for God, we will hear God speak words of comfort and reassurance.
In obedience, the people of Judah and Jerusalem prepared themselves for battle by praising and worshiping God. We praise God for what he has done, is doing and will do. We worship God for who He is. He is the Lion of Judah. He is the Great I AM. God is our Refuge and Strength, an ever-present help in trouble (Psalm 46: 1 – NIV). He is worthy to be praised. In the midst of your battles learn to keep praising God. The battle is not yours, it is the Lord’s. God will fight for you. He knows exactly what to do. Sisters, are we desperate enough to pray for a mighty move of God in our lives. Are we desperate enough to pray for revival in our land? Beloved, keep standing firm in your faith and keep your eyes on God!