Focal Point

Focal Point
Focal Point is more than a blog. It's purpose is to help us stay focused on Christ through Gods Word as we navigate through life and today's culture.

Monday, January 11, 2016

When the stuggles come, seek the Lord first

We all have struggles and battles in life.  Some are small and some are big, but no matter what the size or shape there is a course that we need to take.  In 2 Chronicles 20 there is a story about King Jehoshaphat and a battle he is about the face.  In fact the battle that Jehoshaphat faces will determine the possibility of his future existence. 
We read in 2 Chronicles 20:1-4 these words: It happened after this that the people of Moab with the people of Ammon, and others with them besides the Ammonites, came to battle against Jehoshaphat. 2 Then some came and told Jehoshaphat, saying, “A great multitude is coming against you from beyond the sea, from Syria; and they are in Hazazon Tamar” (which is En Gedi). 3 And Jehoshaphat feared, and set himself to seek the Lord, and proclaimed a fast throughout all Judah. 4 So Judah gathered together to ask help from the Lord; and from all the cities of Judah they came to seek the Lord
The text emphasizes the sheer size of opposition Jehoshaphat faces.  The Moabites, Ammonites and Edomites have banned together against Judah.  Any one of these would have been a sizeable opponent.  But together they represent an impossible obstacle to remove.  So this is the nature of Judahs dilemma.  Judah faces this possibility: 'you may not be here tomorrow.' 'the enemy means busness'.   You know some problems we have are in a class of their own.  There are problems and then there are problems.  There are problems that leave you reeling and in disbelief and you don’t know what to do.  It might be a marriage that’s falling apart, perhaps a great financial difficulty, a personal relationship problem, illness, job or continual attacks from Satan on your spiritual life. 
Now think of this.  Jehoshaphat is a King, a military leader, a soldier from the ground up.  His first natural instinct, his trained instinct would be the organizational and administrative response.  The enemy is coming, so sound the alarm, round up the troops, hide the women and children, put the sandbags at the gate, get the horses and chariots ready, prepare for battle.  But that is not what he does.  He pushes back the natural and human instincts and instead seeks the Lord in prayer.  And not just seeking the Lord in prayer himself, but he calls all the people to come together and seek and pray to the Lord for help.  That's so hard for us to do isn't it?  We want to make plan A, B and C and then ask God to bless it.  What we need to do is go to Him first, seek Him and ask Him for help and direction.
The first response of Jehoshaphat should be our response as well.  Nothing shows how a life is oriented, or what it’s basically all about like what we do first when confronted by a crises, battle or problem, no matter what the size. 
There is a great old Hymn that has these words
I must tell Jesus, all of my trials,
I cannot bear these burdens alone;
In my distress He kindly will help me
He ever loves and cares for His own.
I must tell Jesus
I must tell Jesus
I cannot bear these burdens alone
I must tell Jesus
I must tell Jesus
Jesus can help me, Jesus alone

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