5/15/06

Encouragement for Today

(Principle #3)

 

“Our Eyes are on You”

Glynnis Whitwer, Senior Editor of “P31 Woman Magazine,” Proverbs 31 Speaker Team Member

 

Key Verse:

2 Chronicles 21:12, “O our God, will you not judge them? For we have no power to face this vast army that is attacking us.  We do not know what to do, but our eyes are on you.” (NIV)

 

Devotion:

When my children were small, I kept them safely tucked under my wings, like a mother hen.  When they strayed, I called them back with a gentle cluck.   Although my life with three small boys was physically demanding, I was at peace knowing they were secure in my care.

 

This past year my oldest entered high school and my middle son started junior high.  No longer are they snuggled in my arms where I can stand between them and danger.  Now, their long manlike strides take them out of my reach and far from my protection.

 

As I’ve shared some parenting challenges with other moms with sons in the same age range, it seems we all deal with the issue of fear.   We fear that the mistakes we’ve made in our parenting will affect our kids today.  We fear the culture that brazenly attempts to draw our sons from their faith.  We fear the humanness of our children will weaken their resolve to stand firm.  And we fear the fact that so much is out of our control.

 

In the book of 2 Chronicles, the Bible tells the story of Jehoshaphat, the king of Judah who felt things were out of his control.  Although he was a godly man and a seasoned warrior, there came a time when enemies threatened the safety of his people, and Jehoshaphat didn’t know what to do.   At least he didn’t know what to do about the threats. 

 

Jehoshaphat knew enough to seek the Lord’s help.  Scripture says he proclaimed a fast for all of Judah, and the people came together to ask God for help.  As the people gathered in the temple, Jehoshaphat stood and prayed for protection for his people.  He ended his prayer with these words: O our God, will you not judge them? For we have no power to face this vast army that is attacking us.  We do not know what to do, but our eyes are on you.” (2 Chronicles 20:12)  Then Scripture says “All the men of Judah, with their wives and children and little ones, stood there before the Lord.” (verse 13)

 

As the men, women and children placed their trust in God, the Lord answered with these words, “Do not be afraid or discouraged because of this vast army.  For the battle is not yours, but God’s.” (2 Chronicles 20:15b, NIV)  The next day, while men of Judah sang praises, the Lord set ambushes and their enemies destroyed each other.

 

Today we face a vast enemy that threatens our family’s safety.  At times, it’s overwhelming.  I can get sucked down into the fear that my children will be drawn away from their faith, away from our family’s values.  I’ve seen it happen. And yet, I believe God invites us to place our eyes on Him, and ask for His help.  If we follow the model of Jehoshaphat, we should include fasting, prayer and worship in our supplication. 

 

The God of Jehoshaphat is our God today.  There is no adversary that can withstand His power and might.  When circumstances threaten to overwhelm us, especially regarding our children, we can still turn our eyes on God and wait upon Him to route the enemy.

 

My Prayer for Today:

Heavenly Father, I praise You that You are bigger than anything I’m facing today.  There is nothing out of your control or knowledge.  You still rule over all the kingdoms of this world.  Power and might are in Your hand, and no one can withstand You.  Thank you for being my protection.  In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

 

Application Steps:

List three “enemies” you and your family face.  Ask God to protect you from these enemies.  Sing praises to God before you see how He answers your prayers.

 

Reflection Points:

Read 2 Chronicles 20. 

 

In Jehoshaphat’s prayer, why would he tell God things He already knows?  What happens when we recount the goodness and power of God?

 

List some of the attributes of God that can help you with the enemies you face.  (all-knowing, faithful, etc.)

 

In verse 15, what do you think God means when He says the battle is His?

 

In verse 18, Jehoshaphat bowed with his face to the ground, and then the people worshipped.  As the leader, what did Jehoshaphat do right?  As parents, what can we learn from him?

 

What role does praise and worship play in the battles we face?

 

Power Verses:

 

2 Chronicles 20:5, “O Lord, God of our fathers, are you not the God who is in heaven?  You rule over all the kingdoms of the nations.  Power and might are in your hand, and no one can withstand you.” (NIV)

Psalm 91:14, “'Because he loves Me,’ says the Lord, ‘I will rescue him; I will protect him, for he acknowledges My name.’” (NIV)

Joshua 1:9,  “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous.  Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”  (NIV)

Psalm 33:20-21, “We wait in hope for the Lord; He is our help and our shield.  In Him our hearts rejoice, for we trust in His holy name.” (NIV)

Micah 7:7, “But as for me, I will watch expectantly for the LORD; I will wait for the God of my salvation. My God will hear me.”  (NAS)

 

Additional Resources:

Who Holds the Key to Your Heart, By Lysa TerKeurst

http://www.gospelcom.net/p31/resources/key.html

 

What Happens When Women Walk in Faith, by Lysa TerKeurst

http://proverbs31.gospelcom.net/newresources_whatHappens.htm

 

P31 Woman Magazine

http://proverbs31.gospelcom.net/subscription.htm