Title: Why worry
Text: 2 Chronicles 20:14-26
Introduction: With gas prices, food prices, joblessness and the cost of living going up, it is enough to challenge your faith and make you worry. Worry makes you lose focus on God and focus on your circumstances. That is what the enemy wants. He wants you to lose focus so fear can creep in and He can put you in bondage. This is his terrorist attack. The enemy uses this fear as a weapon of spiritual warfare. However, we have weapons that will defeat the enemy attacks. That is our praise and worship. Daily, we are at war with opposing forces that try to hinder us from being who God called us to be. According to Chuck Pierce in his book, the Worship Warrior, says through worship we are clothed in the authority that God gives us as a weapon which is our praise making us ready for battle. It is our praise and worship that moves God to intervene in our battles to give us victory! Therefore, you don’t have to worry when attacks come your way, you just have to learn to praise and worship and watch God work it out for you! Our text tells us first:
I. You must praise and worship in the midst of your problems.
Here we have in the text Jehoshaphat, King of Judah in a predicament. Unlike his predecessors according to chapter 17:3, Jehoshaphat walked in the ways of his father King David and the Lord was with him. So why was he getting attacked by his enemies? We all know that when you walk with God you will get attacked! However, if we look at little deeper into the background of this text we see a mistake Jehoshaphat made that caused him trouble. Even though he walked with God, he made a mistake. This comes to show us that no matter how anointed you are you can still blow it. Pause. In chapter 18:1 it says that Jehoshaphat “joined affinity” to King Ahab which was by marriage. The problem with this is the Ahab was a Baal worshiper. My beloved, you will always have a problem if you connect with anyone that does not worship your God. This is the case with Jeshoshapat. If this was not bad enough, he agreed to go fight with this Baal worshipping king. My brothers and sisters, never team up with anyone if you are not on one accord. Even though Jehoshaphat, requested that Ahab seek a word from His God which is the Lord God whether to fight in battle (in which Ahab didn’t and was killed in the battle) and Jehoshaphat in chapter 19 reformed Jerusalem by removing idol worship, he still had trouble because of his connection to Ahab. Some of you still have trouble today because you are connected to the wrong people. Now the enemy is coming strong against Jehoshaphat and he is now afraid. But he does something that believers should always do when we are being challenged by life’s troubles. Our natural response when we are in trouble is to be fearful and anxious about an unknown outcome. However, even though Jehoshaphat is feeling the brunt of his humanity at this moment, his spirituality kicks in. The text says in chap. 20:3 that He sets himself to seek the Lord. This word seek in the original language is darash which means to seek a deity in prayer and worship. This is what Jehoshaphat does and this is what we have to do. When trouble comes and we can’t handle it, instead of worrying we have to praise and worship the Lord knowing that He is sovereign over your situation and He has power to fix it. Jehoshaphat turns to the Lord in v.12 worship acknowledging that the Lord is almighty and all-knowing. That he himself does not know what to do but looks to the Lord for help to handle his enemy. That is the essence of praise and worship; to look towards heaven for help on earth. It is an intelligent decision not solely based on feelings but on faith. Look what happens when Jehoshaphat sought the Lord in praise and worship. A prophetic word came to give him courage in the midst of trouble.
II. Praise and Worship will give you a prophetic word in your time of need vv. 14-17
The reason why we have fear and anxiety is because we don’t know the unknown. All of us have a desire to be in the know. Therefore, you need to hear from the One who knows not only how to handle your problems but will give you the victory over your problems. I need to hear what God says about my situation. I need a prophetic word of the truth. Prophesy is the announcement of the will of God to his people calling for complete obedience. The purpose of prophecy is to give instruction, correction, encouragement, inspiration and confirmation of God’s will. Because Jehoshaphat turned to the Lord for direction and help, the Lord heard his cry and answered him through the prophet Jahaziel. The Spirit of the Lord came in midst of a congregation on one according in prayer through the prophet concerning the upcoming attack of the enemy. Corporate worship creates an atmosphere for a move of God. In the text v.15 the prophecy came forth telling Jehoshaphat and the people “Don’t be afraid or discouraged, for the battle is not yours but God’s”. Then it says, “tomorrow go down to where your enemy is and confront them but don’t fight. Just be still. I will be with you and you watch me do my thing”. There is a problem with this text because it goes against our natural response to these types of situations. The first problem with the prophetic instruction from God in the text is to “not to be afraid”. God is telling Jehoshapat not to be afraid of the enemy’s attack. Our first natural response when there is an attack against us is fear. As a kid, you got afraid, when a big bully was coming against you. You can get afraid when a disease is attacking your body. You can get afraid when your finances are attacked. You get afraid when issues and trouble come against your family. Not only do you get afraid when things come against you but another natural response is not to confront the issue but to run and not deal with it. Not only do we get afraid and run from the problem, still another natural response for some is that they are ready to fight when being attacked! But the Lord is saying don’t be afraid, don’t run from your trouble, and don’t fight. I got this! All we have to do is set ourselves, get in position, stay there and watch God work it out! Praise and worship starts by being in the right position for the Lord to fight our battles. So set yourself and get in position.
III. Be in a position of praise and worship vv 18-23
That position or stance we have to take is that of a worshipper. The text says that Jehoshaphat bowed his head with his face to the ground. The Hebrew translation is qadad which means to bow down in reverence. Also, all the people fell before the Lord worshipping which is translated shacah which means to prostrate. Bowing down and prostrating are physical positions of worship. This is the gesture and preparation for God to move on our behalf. It is sign of humble submission to the Lord.
Illustration: My sons played football last year. They were both lineman. As lineman, they have to have the right stance in order to be effective. They have to be low enough and balanced to push off strong so they can have power when the ball is snapped and break through opposing team. That is what happens when we worship! We get low enough in humble reverence to the Lord and that give you power when its time to fight and break through the enemy attack! Therefore, if you need a breakthrough in your life get the right position of praise and worship! Next, the text says in verse 19 that the Kohathites and Korhites got up from worship and praised with loud voice. They were Levites and were leaders (men). If anybody should have a loud praise it should be those of us who God has graced to be in leadership. We should shout loud because God blessed with an opportunity to represent Him. We should shout loud because we survived the attacks that comes with leadership. We should shout loud leading the praise in worship in service inviting people like David did “to come magnify the Lord with me and let us exalt his name together!” Next, Jehoshaphat goes into the wilderness and proclaims his faith in the Lord. In verse 20 he says, “Believe in the LORD your God, so shall ye be established; believe his prophets, so shall ye prosper!” We have to go into our wilderness (our problem) and be able to proclaim our faith and our victory because we trust the Lord in the midst of our circumstances. Despite what if looks like and feels like, believe God! Worship moves you from praying faith to saying faith! You have to proclaim what you believe! While you are in that sickness, proclaim your healing. While you are in that trouble proclaim how the Lord will bring you out. Jesus told Jairus while his daughter was had slip in to death, only believe! When you are in trouble and need a way out, unbelief is not an option. Real faith is when you believe God will bring you out when the odds are against you. But you have to remember when the odds are you, they are also against the God you serve! When odds are against God, God has a tendency to show up and show out! Ask Elijah what happen on Mount Carmel when the fire came down. Ask Gideon when he had only 300 men fighting against thousands. Ask Joseph when his brother tried to kill him off. God works best when the odds are against Him! Knowing that God will show up and show out is a reason to praise before He manifests His glory. We have praise God on credit! Praise must always precede everything we do. Praise Him before start you day. Praise God before you go into that job. Praise God before you take that test. Look what happens in our text when you start off praising. In v.21, Jehoshaphat put a praise team together and went out to war. That next morning, the enemy heard the joyful sound of praise in the midst of war and got confused and killed one another. The word for praise in this text is halal which means to shine. We have the type of praise that makes God shine! When God shines, He swallows up the dark things in your life. When you decide to bless God despite of your present condition the enemy can’t handle it and gets confused because God is getting glory in the midst of your trouble. Where ever God Glory is displayed, power is released and there is victory! That is why you have to make your praise glorious! Praise is your weapon and it pulls down strongholds. And praise pulls down the blessing of God into midst. When praises go up, God himself comes down because He inhabits the praise of his people! When God shows up something is bound to happen!
IV. Praise and Worship will give you unexpected possessions. vv. 24-26
When Jehoshapat gets to the enemies camp, they looked and saw multitudes of dead bodies all around. The Lord’s promise manifested and their enemies were defeated. But when they looked closer they saw something else. When they went in the enemy’s camp to collect the spoils they noticed an abundance of valuables that the enemies had on them. To collect all of it took three days. This shows us that not only does praise and worship give you victory over your enemies but it will give you unexpected blessings for trusting the Lord. You just wanted peace on your job but after you praised and worshiped, you got a promotion. You just wanted to pay your bills on time but when you praised and worshiped God not only lowered your debt but you got refund check! Praise and worship releases the favor of God for you to have unexpected possessions! There is power in praise and worship!
If you don’t believe me about the power of praise and worship in the midst of problems, you can go to the Bible and ask Paul and Silas about it. Paul and Silas got into trouble for rebuking a spirit in a slave girl so her owners couldn’t make anymore money off of her. They got thrown into prison for the faith in the Lord Jesus. But at Midnight being shackled in the midst of trouble, they began to pray and to sing praises to the Lord because He was still good and his mercies endured forever even in trouble! The suddenly the earth quaked and the jail shook and the doors flung wide open! And they got released! That is the power of praise and worship in the midst of your problems. It will shake the foundation of anything that is troubling you! This is why I love praise and I love worship!
Conclusion: when I find yourself with a problem, no longer do I worry. I am going turn to the Lord and take my position and offer up high praise and authentic worship. Enthrone God over your situation considering all his wonders and splendor and the great things He has done. Be consumed by the power of his presence and God will speak prophetic word to you that gives you a revelation about your situation and prepares you for war. But you don’t have fight any battles. All you have to do is stand still and see the salvation of the Lord! (Close) Because the battle is not yours it is the Lord’s! You might have made some mistakes. You might have made some bad choices. But because you walk with God, He is still on your side in the times of trouble. All you have to do is summons heaven with your praise and worship and God will come see about you. So don’t worry, worship! Don’t panic, praise! Turn your pressure into praise! Your victory is on the way!