What happens after you get through what you’re going through? What do you do on the other side of this battle? How will you live when this threat is gone, you have overcome, and victory has been awarded?
For many of us, we jump right into the next thing without skipping a beat. We no more solve one problem before we’re focused on the next problem. Sometimes I think what God really wants of us is to look around and say “Wow, this is good. God has been faithful. I’m going to stay right here in the goodness of this space he has brought me to before I go running off into the next battle.”
The problem is, chaos is addictive. When you’ve lived in chaos, peace becomes foreign. Girl, you be stirring up crap just to have crap to worry about! Be still for a second and recognize God has brought you through. He has provided. That old threat has been removed, so you can quit reliving it.
AND, this is big, stop creating chaos for a future you haven’t even seen yet. You’re assuming hardship. You’re assuming disaster. You’re assuming people will be ridiculous, it will be unfair, and things won’t go well for you. You’re assuming what you just overcame is going to fall apart again. You’re still carrying the trophy from the last victory God gave you, and you’re already preparing for possible defeat next.
Don’t you know, when the enemy sees God is for you, he steps back and takes note. Why would he waste his time on a girl who has peace that can’t be rocked? Why would he focus his evil attempts on a girl who is clearly protected by the providence of the Almighty? Stop looking over your shoulder and assuming the worst. God has fought for you and your enemy knows you’ve been set apart.
Many of today’s problems are self-created because we have failed to recognize peace can be our new normal.
Yesterday we learned about King J facing armies from multiple enemies at once. But he didn’t have to fight this battle. He and his people began praising God and worshiping him, and this created confusion among the enemies and they fought and destroyed one another until they were all destroyed. King J was given victory through his worship.
Now, what happened after this battle? This will be our focus for today, as many of us have been brought through the battle and we need to know what to do from here.
2 Chronicles 20: 27-29 “Then all the men returned to Jerusalem, with Jehoshaphat leading them, overjoyed that the Lord had given them victory over their enemies. They marched into Jerusalem to the music of harps, lyres, and trumpets, and they proceeded to the Temple of the Lord. When all the surrounding kingdoms heard that the Lord himself had fought against the enemies of Israel, the fear of God came over them. So Jehoshaphat’s kingdom was at peace, for his God had given him rest on every side.”
Ohhhh, rest on every side. Come on now, don’t you want some of that? Sounds unrealistic, doesn’t it? You’re already assuming that couldn’t possibly be for you. Recognize, that’s you stirring up worry for the future that is totally unnecessary.
How did they step into rest on every side after the battle? First, they kept praising and after the victory was given they marched directly to the temple to honor God. Then, they lived in peace! Honey, keep praising God for what he has brought you through, and live in peace! The enemy fears you because God himself has fought for you, find confidence in that! Take a big, deep breath and know God has covered you completely!
How odd would it be for you to wake up with peace knowing whatever comes your way, God has you covered? How totally unfamiliar would it feel to not be upset by every little thing, and instead dwell in serenity knowing victory has always been yours. You’ve been waiting for the other shoe to drop for so long that your nerves are shot! You’re a total spaz without the enemy even making a move.
Now, this is important. We are given a warning in this story. A warning of not becoming lax in our victory. To stay faithful to the one who brought us through and not allow anything else to take God’s place.
Verses 32-37, “Jehoshaphat was a good king, following the ways of his father. He did what was pleasing in the Lord’s sight. During his reign, however, he failed to remove all the pagan shrines, and the people never fully committed themselves to follow the God of their ancestors.
Some time later King Jehoshaphat of Judah made an alliance with King Ahaziah of Israel, who was very wicked. Together they built a fleet of trading ships. But, because he had allied himself with the wrong person, the Lord destroyed his work. The ships met with disaster and never put out to sea.”
After making it through what God has brought you through, have you allowed any remains of things in your life that are not pleasing and honoring of God? Have a few of your old habits followed you into your new territory? Are there things still in your home that are not pleasing to him? You didn’t know any better back then, but now you do. Now you have seen the power of God to fight for you, and now that you know better, you are expected to do better.
What is there in your life that God is pinging your Spirit to get rid of? It may have been harmless before, but now God is warning it is interfering with your commitment to follow him fully. Will you let it go? Will you drop it from your life now?
Maybe it’s the old music you listen to. Maybe it’s the show you watch. Maybe it’s someone in particular you talk to. Maybe it’s a habit that suited you back then, but it no longer aligns with who God is growing you to be. Maybe it’s a practice that seems absolutely harmless, but God is asking you to release it.
Will you trust the one who is powerful enough to bring you victory, to also be big enough to bless you in your release of anything leftover from before the battle?
When we hold onto things that should no longer have a space in our lives, we begin to align with people and things God cannot bless. Things that are against his good plans for our lives. And guess what … if God can’t bless it, it will bring destruction.
Really consider, can God bless this relationship you’ve continued?
Can God bless this practice you’ve held on to?
Can God bless this little daily habit you’ve got?
If God can’t bless it, it will eventually bring destruction.
Won’t you just offer it up to him today? God, if you can’t bless this, I really don’t want it. If this is out of alignment, I don’t want to be in that line. Ping my spirit and I will be obedient. You are the one who brought me through everything I went through before, and I want to dwell in your place of peace.
A truly genuine prayer right now would be, “God, I don’t want to screw this up. Don’t let me screw this up. Show me if there’s anything I’m stepping into that is out of alignment. Show me if there’s anything I’m holding on to that is keeping me from being fully committed to you. I really don’t want to screw this up.”