Results of Sincere, Humble Prayer

King Jehoshaphat faced the reality of an approaching army that was superior to his and overwhelmingly outnumbered his army. He was accustomed to prayer, leadership by God, and the awesome power of God. But he didn’t take this for granted, he gathered his people in the temple courtyard and he personally led the prayer to God on behalf of his people. After bragging on known accomplishments of God, in vs 7 and again in vs 12 the king acknowledged that “You are our God”, meaning that You are the proven One that we depend on; You are the One that is powerful enough to bring us victory! In response to this intense, yet humble time of prayer, God spoke through an unknown prophet in their midst, Jahaziel, who shared with the king and his people that they are not to be afraid or discouraged, the battle depends on God, not on them! Wow, what an awesome reality when we face our battles today. When we have placed the battle in God’s hands, we can rest peacefully knowing that the battle is then His, not ours! What an awesome God we serve fellow Christian! Take time to give Him praise, adoration and glory today! If you are facing a battle today, I encourage you to read this whole chapter (30 verses), and be encourage to surrender that battle over to God. Imagine the peace of knowing that He now has that issue that has been troubling you and that the battle is His, and no longer yours! Just do it friend! He is our God!

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Jahaziel said, “Your Majesty and all you people of Judah and Jerusalem, the LORD says that you must not be discouraged or be afraid to face this large army. The battle depends on God, not on you. Attack them tomorrow as they come up the pass at Ziz. You will meet them at the end of the valley that leads to the wild country near Jeruel. You will not have to fight this battle. Just take up your positions and wait; you will see the LORD give you victory. People of Judah and Jerusalem, do not hesitate or be afraid. Go out to battle, and the LORD will be with you!”

Directions for Performing Your Job

I will print out the content of 2 Chronicles 19:9 and pin it to my monitor at home and at work, as a reminder from God about how to best complete my job. Friends, with God directing us and leading the way for us, how can we go wrong? How can we not be in His perfect will? Will this always be easy? No, but in verse 11 the king instructed the Levites to do this, to be courageous and may the Lord be on the side of right for them. I am convinced that when we do right and always seek God’s direction for our decisions, we can know that God is by our side, giving us full support, encouragement and ultimate confidence. God being my helper, I will always do the best job that I can do in everything assigned or attempted, for His ultimate glory, honor and praise! Consider joining me in this vow, so the world can see what its like to have ‘real’ Christian leaders in authority over them, and consequently find every reason to praise God for it!
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He gave them the following instructions: “You must perform your duties in reverence for the LORD, faithfully obeying him in everything you do.

Wouldn’t It Be Great, if……

Don’t know about you, but I wish that the content of these verses would be cast in gold and issued to each of our country’s judges when they are appointed. Wouldn’t that give us peace of mind whenever we, or one we love, had the unfortunate reason to appear in our courts? In fact, it would be even more helpful if this same order was given to our law makers, so that judges looking to the law would be properly directed on the sentence they can issue on our citizens. I know that our legal system is not totally broken, but as a Christian, I would feel a whole lot better knowing that decisions made, concerning my fate, were made based on ‘the authority of the Lord’ and not on ‘human authority’ or personal likes or dislikes. I am constantly amazed that God’s Word contains answers to ALL of our needs, questions and concerns! What an awesome God that we serve! Oh that we may look to the Word daily for our spiritual food and direction, God being our helper!
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He appointed judges in each of the fortified cities of Judah and instructed them: “Be careful in pronouncing judgement; you are not acting on human authority, but on the authority of the LORD, and he is with you when you pass sentence. Honour the LORD and act carefully, because the LORD our God does not tolerate fraud or partiality or the taking of bribes.”

Who’s Your Boss?

Way too often we respond to people the way that we feel they want to hear, not the way that we feel prompted of God to speak. Micaiah was known for being the type person who would be obedient to God in spite of what the king or anyone else wanted to hear, because in vs 7 the king indicated that he would just as soon not even have Micaiah come to prophesy for him. Often this strong minded, honest, dedicated type individual would meet with opposition from their peers, as seen in vs 12. But imagine the peace that Micaiah must have felt when he laid his head down at night, knowing that he laid truth on the line and allowed the chips to fall where they had to. Imagine the alternative and how ineffective the prophet would have been if he merely spoke the popular word and then saw disaster follow. He could have gone into depression knowing that his faithfulness could have prevented a disaster. Friend, it is way more important to seek God’s face, listen to His voice and obey Him, in spite of possible breaks in friendships, popularity or even lack of promotion. We should strive to be popular in God’s sight, not in pleasing man. Our obedience to God supersedes everything else. So teachers, teach what the Word says, in spite of what might be going on in the lives of your class members. Pastors/Evangelists – preach what God lays on your heart, and especially what the Word declares. Let God speak to His people. He really don’t need you to sugar-coat things for Him. Sometimes saying it the way that it is written is far more effective, and will have more of an impact, than anything we can add to it. Let God be God and speak to and through us as He speaks soberly to His people!

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Meanwhile, the official who had gone to fetch Micaiah said to him, “All the other prophets have prophesied success for the king, and you had better do the same.” But Micaiah answered, “By the living LORD, I will say what my God tells me to!”

Who’s In Charge Here?

The apostles establish the leaders’ complete lack of authority, whose intentions go against God and deserve no allegiance. In the book of Acts, we see where the apostles have gradually built the reputation and nature of Christ’s name. They first argued the leaders were ignorant (3:17). They then emphasized Jesus’ true authority and authentication of His sovereignty through the resurrection (4:1–12). Now, they lay out the implications of their argument: the authority of the religious leaders is false. The leaders cannot judge (compare 4:19) since they are not in the position to do so; they are not even on God’s side. Once again, the apostles assert Christ’s complete authority over all institutions. Peter now pits the authority of God against the authority of the council. Friend, how would you respond to local authorities if questioned in a very authoritative, condensating and threatening way? Will your church/ministry survive based on your reaction to authorities? It takes ‘guts’, but most of all, it takes being totally sold out to God. Are you?

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Peter and the other apostles replied, “We must obey God, not men. The God of our ancestors raised Jesus from death, after you had killed him by nailing him to a cross.

An Active Ministry Will Get The Attention of The Enemy

In verse 17 we see where the activities of the apostles were recognized by the so called ‘spiritual’ leaders of that day. Jealousy resulted, so action was taken to break up the ministry. Today’s church leaders, and Christians as a whole, can take note of this passage and realize that because the ministry of the apostles was having an impact on the community, it got the attention of the community leaders who thought they had control of everything. Is your church comprised of only a meeting place for those who feel a need to fulfill a tradition of church attendance at least weekly? Or is it truly teaching, preaching and living out the Word of God in your community and having an impact on Christians and non-christians alike? If we are just ‘going with the flow’, and not impacting the masses at all, then we need to question if God is truly in charge. For in John 3:16 we are told that God came so that ALL may be impacted. Perhaps we need to pray, step out of the way, and let God have His way in our personal lives, and in the lives of our churches.
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Then the High Priest and all his companions, members of the local party of the Sadducees, became extremely jealous of the apostles; so they decided to take action. They arrested the apostles and put them in the public jail. But that night an angel of the Lord opened the prison gates, led the apostles out, and said to them, “Go and stand in the Temple, and tell the people all about this new life.”

Isn’t It Strange How……

When we pray in times of trouble we seem convinced that God knows all about our troubles and that He will take care of us and see us through our difficulty, and praise God He is such an awesome God as to care for us in that way. But isn’t it strange how we pick and choose what we share with this loving God? When it comes to tithing, don’t you see how our churches will never have to beg for money, if God’s children will only be obedient and tithe, as instructed biblically? Why do we put the Lord’s Spirit to the test like Ananias and Sapphira? Now I’m sure that you have already told God how this whole thing will work for you. Of course you have earned more money at one time in your life than you do right now, and it was possible to easily give Him a bigger portion at that time, but friend, the Bible never shows us a tiered approach to tithing. It merely tells us to tithe 10% of our income. In bargaining with God, we often promise to give more when we can afford it. It will never happen friend. If you can’t give $10 of the $100 you earned this week, you will never see it in your heart to give $200 from the $2,000 you earned in your last paycheck. It’s an ownership and heart matter. God owns it all, your stewardship is to give 10% to His work. Satan will twist your heart in every way to convince you of the many other personal things that you can spend that $200 on, if your heart is not fully obedient to God. Don’t test the Spirit, be obedient to God and His Word, period. You will never be disappointed with the blessings from God. When He owns all of you, He will never fail you. Testing Him, is allowing Satan to interfere and have a ‘piece of the pie’. God never blesses you half-heartedly, He blesses you abundantly more that you can ever imagine. Why then would you do anything differently in return to Him?

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So Peter said to her, “Why did you and your husband decide to put the Lord’s Spirit to the test? The men who buried your husband are now at the door, and they will carry you out too!”

The Consequences to a Nation When Their Leader Abandons God

Friends, we often hear about the danger to a nation when they stray away from God, and we often fear what will happen to our own country when we see our leaders’ total disregard for the Law of the Lord. I pray that God would prick your heart today to go and read 2 Chronicles 12 and 13 to understand how very real the consequences were to the people and leaders of Jerusalem during the reign and disobedience of King Rehoboam, then how it turned around for them when they acknowledged their sin. This was followed by an even clearer incident when, in chapter 13 King Jeroboam’s army of 800,000 was soundly defeated by the son of Rehoboam, King Abijah, because Abijah placed his faith and dependence solely on God. I would particularly refer you to 12:8 to note where God told the prophet Shemaiah that although Jerusalem acknowledged their sin, still He will show them the difference between serving Him and serving another. Also in 12:14 where it is declared that King Rehoboam did evil because he did not try to find the Lord’s will. In 13:12 where Abijah told his people to not fight against the Lord, because you can’t win! Then in 13:18 it declares that the small army of Judeans were victorious over the much larger Israel, because they relied on the Lord. Friends, this devotional is not to bad mouth any leader or any nation, it is all about Christians praying for our leadership, and that God would give them wisdom and opportunity to seek His face and depend on Him as they perform the humongous task of leading us, as a nation, for there are severe consequences to us if they don’t. Our God’s not dead, and He will not treat us any different today, for He is fair and just in all His dealings with His people. We must seek His face, and we must pray that our leaders will do the same. Won’t you commit to taking on the challenge today?
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As soon as Rehoboam had established his authority as king, he and all his people abandoned the Law of the LORD.

The Encouraging Power of Prayer

In vs 24, when Peter and John returned from jail to their fellow believers, they all joined together in prayer to God. They reminded themselves of ways that God had previously answered prayer for their ancestors, and then in verse 29, they asked God to allow them to continue to speak His message boldly. Let us be encouraged by this action, because old Satan would much prefer seeing us sit down and weep over our lost power and give him credit for victory in stalling the work of the Lord. However, because of their sincere prayer, we read in vs 31 that immediately after praying, the whole building shook and they were filled with the Holy Spirit, and immediately began speaking God’s message with boldness! Friend, that’s the same God that we pray to and serve today! Are you encouraged by His power and His answer to prayer? We need to earnestly believe that He can, and will answer our sincere prayers today also! Prayer is a powerful tool that Christians often underutilize. Let us PRAY!
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And now, Lord, take notice of the threats they have made, and allow us, your servants, to speak your message with all boldness. Stretch out your hand to heal, and grant that wonders and miracles may be performed through the name of your holy Servant Jesus.” When they finished praying, the place where they were meeting was shaken. They were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to proclaim God’s message with boldness.

Evidence of God at Work

There was open evidence of God being at work in and through Peter and John. It was hard for the leaders to deny that. Each Lord’s day, can we reflect on the events of the day and show our city leaders proof of God having been at work that day? Each day of our lives we should be able to reflect on how God had been at work among us that day. Then we must tell the world about His wondrous works!
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The members of the Council were amazed to see how bold Peter and John were and to learn that they were ordinary men of no education. They realized then that they had been companions of Jesus. But there was nothing that they could say, because they saw the man who had been healed standing there with Peter and John.