June 12, 2014
TODAY’S STUDY TEXT:
“You shall not need to fight in this battle; take your positions, stand still, and see the deliverance of the Lord Who is with you, O Judah and Jerusalem. Fear not nor be dismayed. Tomorrow go out against them, for the Lord is with you.’”
II Chronicles 20: 17
“Advice To a Fixer – Stand Still and See”
“God is never defeated. Though He may be opposed, attacked, resisted, still the ultimate outcome can never be in doubt.”
Is there a problem in my life where I need to “stand still” and see the deliverance of the Lord?
Looking over my life in the past, how has God come to my rescue when I have needed His help the most?
“If Christ is with us, who is against us? You can fight with confidence where you are sure of victory. With Christ and for Christ victory is certain.”
Bernard of Clairvaux
“It is sometimes better to stand still and wait.”
Eric S. Abbott
I’m a “fixer.” I’ll admit it. If you want to know how I define a “fixer,” it is a person who likes to make things better, in other word to fix things! I think my “fix-it” nature partly comes from being a nurse in my younger years. I’ve rarely met a nurse who wasn’t a “fixer.” If a patient was uncomfortable – our job was to “fix-it.” And before long, I found that in my hurry to “fix” something or a situation, I would often rush in unrequested, but what’s even worse, at times, my “fix-it” behavior simply was not needed and in fact, may even have made things worse.
Several weeks ago, I got involved in an event and my husband was wise enough to see that little “Miss Fix-It” was barreling headlong into a situation where my advice on how to fix things was not needed nor would it have been appreciated. Thankfully, with a great deal of tact, Jim advised me, in a most kindly manner, to step back, stand still, and wait. And guess what happened, things worked out very nicely without my interference.
This is exactly the type of advice we are given in our text today in II Chronicles 20:17. Yesterday, God told King Jehoshaphat and the people of Judah, through a message from Jahaziel the Levite, that they were to go out and face the enemy with confidence. What’s more, God even went so far as to give them a detailed geography lesson on the exact whereabouts of the enemy.
But here’s where God’s message gets very interesting. He didn’t tell the people of Judah to take their weapons with them in preparation for hand-to-hand combat. Instead, Jahaziel told the people, “You shall not need to fight in this battle!” And I ask you, how often, when we get cornered by some “triple threat” in our own lives, is our first reflex to pick up a weapon – whether words or action – and think we have to take charge and come up with a solution on our own. This behavior reminds me of Simon Peter, Jesus’ disciple. The Bible tells us that when a “band of men and officers from the chief priests and Pharisees, came with lanterns and torches and weapons,” to arrest Jesus, “then Simon Peter having a sword drew it, and smote the high priest’s servant, and cut off his right ear…then said Jesus unto Peter, ‘Put up thy sword into the sheath’” (John 18: 3-11). A sword and immediate action was not called for. And like Peter, this is where I frequently get myself into trouble. I think I can fix things so without taking time to set myself, to be still, and to wait – I move ahead too furious and too fast. Quite likely, you may have found yourself in the same predicament.
And so our text today provides a critical lesson to all us “fixers” out there.
First of all, God told His children – you don’t have to fight today. But do remember this, God told His children to show up with confidence for His second command was for everyone to take their position for each person had a part in the battle and victory. Third, God said, “Stand still.”
Now this is not the first time God instructed His children to “stand still.” If we go back to Exodus 14: 13, we find that God’s children again had their backs to the wall (or in this case, their backs to the Red Sea). With the Egyptian army bearing down on them, and the Red Sea preventing any escape on the other side, Moses told the people, “Fear not; stand still (firm, confident, undismayed) and see the salvation of the Lord which He will work for you today. For the Egyptians you have seen today, you shall never see again” (Exodus 14: 13).
In both the case of the Israelites at the Red Sea and Judah facing the “triple threat” of the Moabites, Ammonites, and Meunites, there was a special reason God told His children to “stand still.” Sometimes in our hurry, we miss the critical point God is teaching us. God told His children to “stand still” so they would “see the deliverance” He had for them.
I don’t like admitting this, but when I take upon myself the job of trying to rush in and fix things or fight the battle myself, I get so busy focusing on what I am doing, I utterly fail to see what my dear heavenly Father is already doing for me. In a hurry when I’m rushing about, I can’t see His deliverance is already on the way. As Anthony Bloom so astutely penned, “As long as the soul is not still there can be no vision, but when stillness has brought us into the presence of God, then another sort of silence, much more absolute intervenes.” It is in the quiet stillness where we not only “see” but we “recognize” what God is doing for us.
The English preacher George Fox put this thought into a few words: “Be still and cool in thy mind and spirit.” It is Psalm 46 (Amplified Bible) which begins with these wonderful words, “God is our refuge and strength, mighty and impenetrable…a very present and well-proved help in trouble,” that we also find these instructive words which end the same Psalm. “Let be and be still, and know, recognize and understand that I am God…the Lord of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our Refuge, Tower, and Stronghold!” (Psalm 46: 1-11).
Now this is some wise advice for a busy fixer – “Be still and see the deliverance of thy God.”
“Alone with none but Thee, my God,
I journey on my way.
What need I fear, when Thou art near
O King of night and day?
More safe am I within Thy hand
Than if a host did round me stand.”
Be Still, My Soul
“Be still, my soul: the Lord is on thy side;
Bear patiently the cross of grief or pain;
Leave to thy God to order and provide;
In every change He faithful will remain.
Be still, my soul: thy best, thy
Heavenly friend through thorny
Ways leads to a joyful end.
Be still, my soul: thy God doth undertake
To guide the future as He has the past.
Thy hope, thy confidence let nothing shake;
All now mysterious shall be bright at last.
Be still, my soul: the waves and winds
Still know His voice who ruled them
While He dwelt below.”
Katharina von Schlegel
Translated by Jane Borthwick
Dorothy Valcárcel, Author
When A Woman Meets Jesus
P. S. Thank you so much for the gifts you send to Transformation Garden which continue to assist our ministry here in the United States and in 192 countries around the world. 100% of your donation goes directly to providing for our daily devotionals and gift bookmarks. Transformation Garden is a non-profit organization so your gift is tax-deductible and you will receive a receipt for any gift you send.
Also, if you should happen to miss a devotional for some reason, you can go to www.transformationgarden.com and you will find archived devotionals. We also place the daily devotionals on Facebook so you can find them on that site also.
My book, When A Woman Meets Jesus, is available wherever books are sold and on the internet at www.amazon.com and www.Christianbook.com or by calling toll-free, 1-800-Christian. Thank you so much for your support of Transformation Garden.
For more from Dorothy, please visit transformationgarden.com.