Eyes Fixed on God

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Last Sunday was a new experience for us and for many churches. It was a pretty neat time being able to hear so many lead worship and hear many colleagues of mine share God’s word.
There was a verse of scripture shared last Sunday by one of my friends/colleagues that I have been repeating over to myself all week.
2 Chronicles 20:12 NLT
O our God, won’t you stop them? We are powerless against this mighty army that is about to attack us. We do not know what to do, but we are looking to you for help.”
It seems that this week with the passing of everyday there has been more intense news, lay offs, uncertainty, more cases of covid-19 spreading throughout our province and through our nation tighter protocols in place and not to mention the feeling of isolation and social distancing have caused even more feelings of anxiousness and uncertainty.
This morning I want us to take a look at an instance in the Old Testament where King Jehosaphat is in a crisis situation.
King Jehosaphat is a good king. He is a Godly king. He sought the Lord with all of his heart. He made some poor decisions and now he was facing a major assault from his enemies, there was a major attack coming from his nations enemies and there was no way to change matters.
Take a look at to see more details on this situation.
Here is the King a might man facing a crisis point where we has no answers.
Jehoshaphat shows us how to have confidence in crisis.
Our text teaches us not to have confidence in ourselves but place our confidence in God.
None of us are perfect people. There are times that we mess up and make mistakes. Here is a King who made a mistake in the fact that he made wrong alliances with a godless King - King Ahab. Jehosaphat tried to turn things around and bring spiritual reform.
Was he too late? Could he bring reform on his own?
According to , King Jehosaphat was awakened one morning with disturbing news from his intelligent team. The king found out that his enemies surrounded him, the enemy was 15 miles south of Jerusalem on the western shore of the dead sea - this meant that the life of the king and the whole kingdom was on the brink of attack and extinction - talk about panic!
What did he do?
Did he set up his own plan?
Did he decide on surrender?
How did he react?
Jehoshaphat may have made mistakes in the past but he had learned from them and he is a Godly King - he called a national prayer meeting, encouraged his people to trust God in an overwhelming crisis.
Let’s pause here for a minute.
You think we have anything in common here? Anything similiar in any way?
Like I said earlier all week I have been coming back to this verse because we are in crisis and each day there is more news causing feelings of anxiousness and uncertainty to arise.
I believe that we are being taught to slow down. To realize that we are not the ones who are in control, as self reliant and self sufficient as we are. We need to realize He is in control here. We need to yield to Him.
King Jehoshaphat learned that lesson and realized that yes although he is the King of this nation he is not the one in control. God is. God is the one who would help him lead, He is the one who would save the nation from destruction and extinction and the King and nation needed to humble themselves before Him and yield to God’s control.
Friends this morning let’s take a look at some points that will help drive this message home:

Generation of Doers

We are people who are all about working hard, playing hard, making the most of every moment. Many of us have a problem with being idle, slowing down, even pacing ourselves. Staying home feels like we are doing nothing, like we are giving up almost. But our leaders have told us that it is the best thing for us to do. And it is.
We are not being idle. I believe that we are following the best course of action. In being home, in slowing down, I believe we are being called to be humble before Him - recognize that He is God.
2 Chronicles 7:14 NLT
Then if my people who are called by my name will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sins and restore their land.
2 Chron.
I believe there is great truth hear. We see the truth of that in what happened in the time of crisis for King Jehosphat. When the king recognized that it was not about his plan but yielding to God’s and humbled himself and prayed God saved Him and the nation without them having to use a sword.
We have a great need before us. A recognition of a great need should drive us to prayer.
That is an obvious response to a believe but because it is obvious does not mean it is automatic.
Jehosophat called the nation to prayer, but the human response is panic, to make his own plan of attack. That is probably what most of us would do automatically. Because unfortunately most of the time we just want to deal with things our way and think we are self sufficient enough to resolve the issue on our own. We don’t want to admit that we need anyone, even more than that a lot of us don’t want to admit that we need God. But we do!
The King could have reacted with panic, he could have became angry with God. He had changed his ways and started to turn things around bringing the nation back to God. Why would God allow this to happen when he was turning things around for the better, to bring the nation back to God.
Many people may say why is God allowing this to happen, He is the great physician, the healer, why let all these people deal with this disease? Why all this devastation?
What kind of deal is this God? We can easily say this is not fair God! Instead of humble submission to God in prayer we lash out at Him in anger. But the King did not lash out in anger He prayed.
The King could have trusted his army to defend the nation.
tells us of how organized the army was and how mighty the forces were. He was equipped for war. But instead of mobilizing the army he publicly admits the lack of strength and calls on God as his only help in crisis.
He put prayer first. He knew he could do some things after he prayed but nothing worthwhile before he prayed. Prayer was his strongest weapon.
My friends, prayer is our strongest weapon against all that is happening in this world. We should not panic, don’t get angry with God, don’t trust in your own abilities. Recognize the need and humble yourself and pray.
Prayer changes things.
The king admitted his fear. He admitted that he needed help. He did not have the answers He needed God. He called a national prayer meeting.
He prayed in front of everyone, stating before everyone, here he is a powerful leader afraid and in need of help. He did it publically, he was not worried about public image or political fall out. He knew he would be in deep trouble id God did not answer.
We don’t know what to do - We admit our humility, our limitations, our need for God to do a mighty work. Admitting we don’t have it all together and we admit that! We are not in control He is!

Generation of Believers

When we pray we need to keep two things in mind:
Don’t seek the answer to the problem - Seek God Himself!
In verse 3, Jehosophat turned his attentoin to seeking the Lord.
Seek means literally - to trample under foot - to beat a path to God because you go there frequently.
In Jehosophat’ prayer the first four verses focus on God Himself. The last three verses he mentions the problem. But even when he mentions the problem God is still prominent in his focus.
I ask the question if I were in his shoes would I be that calm? Would I be all about focusing on talking to God worshipping God, or would I be blurting out in panic God save me, save us, and do it now!
It is easy to go to God demanding the things we want and in the time frame we want it. We are emotional and we want relief. But praying this way we miss something crucial - in crisis we are not supposed to run and get God off of the shelf and treat Him like a magic Genie who will grant us three wishes then get what we want and put Him away until the next crisis.
We need to realize that is not how it works. If we have God and cling to Him, then even if we are not delivered from our crisis, we can go through it, just as Job went through it, becuase the living God is our friend. He is our constant.
If we turn to the world for help the world gets some of the glory. If we turn to God as our only refuge and strength, He gets the glory. God alone deserves the glory.
We should spend time with God, not just presenting our requests to God but also knowing God better, who Himself is our reduge and strength in times of trouble.
Psalm 46:1 NLT
God is our refuge and strength, always ready to help in times of trouble.
2. We should seek God as He is revealed in His Word
His prayer is steeped in scripture.
2 Chronicles 20:6 NLT
He prayed, “O Lord, God of our ancestors, you alone are the God who is in heaven. You are ruler of all the kingdoms of the earth. You are powerful and mighty; no one can stand against you!
2 Chron.
Why is he telling God this? To help the people remember and he, himself to remember the greatness of God so they could trust Him.
He also reminds God of His agreement to hears the prayers of His people when they cry to Him in their distress. ( Dedication of Solomon’s temple quoted).
Then Jehosophat mentions the problem and then finally God’s ability to deal with the problem.
The prayer is great because it is saturated in scripture - focuses on God and the revelation of Himself through His word - the greatness of God - this stimulates our faith.
God delights to answer believing prayers where we place our finger on the promises and truth in His word and ask Him to make it so in our case.
I believe the evidence of this is signified in one word in - that is but - it signifies that there is no loss of hope, that there is a plan - God’s plan and it bridges the gap between helplessness bridged with hope then to faith - focus!

Our Eyes are fixed on you

We have focus, we know He has a plan, no fear, no panic, wait on Him.
We are waiting for His lead.
Reliance on God means waiting for His lead.
This means humility.
As the nation was gathered at the Temple in prayer, the Spirit of God came upon a prophet in the assembly (20:14) who encouraged them not to fear and assured them that God would undertake for them in this battle without their fighting at all (20:15-17; not God’s usual means!). When they heard this word through the prophet, everyone fell down and worshiped and then they stood up and sang loud praises (20:18-19).
By the way, we further see Jehoshaphat’s humility here.
Jehosophat is humble here if he was proud he would hvae said “Wait a minute! I am the King! I called this prayer meeting! But he was willing to humbly submit to God’s word through this other man.
Then, based on the prophet’s word from God, the people got up the next morning and marched out to the battlefield, led by a choir singing praises, of all things (20:21)! God caused the enemy armies to turn against each other, so that all Israel had to do was collect the spoil and celebrate the victory!
How does all this apply to us?
I believe that we have a lot in common these days with Jehosophat. We have heard it said over and over again that we are in unpresidented times and although we have never navigated through these times before we know one who has!
That is not a cliche it is a reality!
We have recognised that we have a need and that need is great, that need is desperate but we are looking to God - to the one who has the answers.
We need direction in our lives. We often go looking for advice. I have often looked to parents, confidants for help to steer me in the right direction.
I remember a time when I was trying to teach my daughter how to drive skidoo. She kept steering off the trail. I would keep reminding her to follow the track, to keep focused on that. She continued on and said she understood. Then before we knew it we were veering off the trail into the wrong direction. Then I once again stopped her and told her what she needed to do. She said I would mom but I can’t see a thing. I laughed and said well honey you can’t drive if you can’t see. If you can’t see you will crash.
We need to have our eyes focus/fixed on God.
More than ever before I want to remind you that He is enough. Do not panic, do not fear fix your eyes on Him.
Lord we don’t know what to do but my eyes they are fixed on you.
There is no better plan, no better focus than that.
Proverbs 3:5–6 NLT
Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take.
Trust = faith/belief
Human understanding is limited. God sees the full picture. We can be well educated and still miss the truth. Don’t be too proud to humble yourself, to admit that we need Him.
Begin with faith, make choices by faith and walk by faith!
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