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!
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!
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?
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?