As I was preparing for my end of year blog, I felt God clearly give me 2 Chronicles 20:17 as His promise and declaration over NBC for 2017. But to get the context, we need to read verses 15 to 18.
2 Chronicles 20: 15-18 says, "And he said, "Listen, all Judah and inhabitants of Jerusalem and King Jehoshaphat: Thus, says the LORD to you, 'Do not be afraid and do not be dismayed at this great horde, for the battle is not yours but God's. 16 Tomorrow go down against them. Behold, they will come up by the ascent of Ziz. You will find them at the end of the valley, east of the wilderness of Jeruel. 17 You will not need to fight in this battle. Stand firm, hold your position, and see the salvation of the LORD on your behalf, O Judah and Jerusalem.' Do not be afraid and do not be dismayed. Tomorrow go out against them, and the LORD will be with you. 18 Then Jehoshaphat bowed his head with his face to the ground, and all Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem fell down before the LORD, worshiping the LORD."
What a great scripture. This account is about a godly King, Jehoshaphat of Judah, who pulled the nation out of pagan worship and led them into worshiping the one true God. He and his people had just been victorious in battle against the Moabites, but now hears that an even more evil and powerful army is marching against them. The King takes the people into a time of powerful prayer and praise; and the Spirit of the Lord comes upon Jahaziel, son of Zechariah, and he prophesies an encouraging word from the Lord. It happens just as God declared it would, and the enemy is overcome!
This is an encouraging word from the Lord for us at NBC for 2017. Yes, it's a reminder that we have an enemy who is intent on bringing battles across our path, just like he did in 2016. But that’s not to be the focus! I believe through this scripture, God is giving us a promise that we will overcome and breakthrough into the more that He has for us as NBC. If we are pursuing God’s will, we will face the enemy but the promise is we will overcome and have total victory. In this portion of scripture God is clearly sharing some directives with us.
I believe the Father would say to us as NBC, "Hold the course beloved. Don't be afraid. I won't abandon you. I have a plan and a very great purpose. I will achieve it! Stand firm and hold your position for you will see my deliverance and salvation. I am at work; my purposes and great promises are being released over you and are being achieved. So stand!"
Below are some encouragements from God for us as a church. I ask that you would join with us in living them out into 2017 and beyond.
1. Do not fear! (vs. 15) Fear paralyses us and achieves nothing. Fear never changes circumstances for the better. Fear contaminates faith and it gets us doubting and questioning everything God has said. Fear is the opposite of faith. Resist it!
2. Do not be dismayed! (vs. 15) God isn’t saying that he will keep us from facing battles, but in the battles we are not to be discouraged, disheartened, distraught, demoralized, distressed or full of despair; because He is our God and He fights for us. He is awesome, strong and powerful!
3. The battle isn’t ours! (vs. 15) It is His! In verse 17 God continues to say, “You will not need to fight in this battle” and further on He says, “do not be afraid, do not be dismayed, for I am with you.” Throughout scripture we see this constant picture of God fighting on behalf of His people, and bringing them to victory. Our God fights for us, so take heart.
4. Position yourself! (vs. 17) That means, don’t run or hide away when the battle comes, but take up your position on the front line of the battle in prayer - right next to your brothers and sisters at NBC. Stand shoulder to shoulder with each other, lift your eyes to God, plant your feet firmly, and stand together in prayer facing the enemy. God will overcome our enemy; God will win the battle on our behalf.
5. Remain in your position! (vs. 17) God is reiterating that how you position yourself, and where you position yourself, is extremely important to the battle’s outcome. If you leave the fight, if you leave your position, you make the rest of the people vulnerable and you won’t see His victory; you will only taste defeat. So keep in position, keep praying; and watch what God does!
6. Watch God at work! (vs. 17) In this scripture we are told to “see His salvation.” God is at work, His purposes to perform. He isn’t a man that He should lie. He is working on your behalf. He isn’t a yesterday God! God works out His purpose and plan yesterday, today and forever! He isn’t obsolete or passed His “sell by date”! He is the one true powerful living and active God.
7. Face your enemy with absolute confidence! (vs. 17) Not self-confidence but a God confidence. We are never alone. Whatever we are facing our God is always with us; He is strong and more than able to deliver us from all things. He says, “In me all things are possible.” Remember your enemy was defeated and disarmed at the cross. Jesus won a total victory on our behalf. Stand and live in that reality.
God’s promise and declaration over us for 2017 is 2 Chronicles 20:17, “You will not need to fight in this battle. Stand firm, hold your position, and see the salvation of the LORD on your behalf, O Judah and Jerusalem.' Do not be afraid and do not be dismayed. Tomorrow go out against them, and the LORD will be with you.”