Wednesday, March 8, 2017

On The Road Again

February interviews sailed by as we met with each and every district and shared training with them. 

While President interviews each missionary we read 2 Chronicles 20 out loud together.  It is the story of King Jehoshaphat and we actually go around and read a verse, we talked about the golden nuggets that stand out to us. 

King Jehoshaphat is the king of Judah.  They are faced with a very stressful situation when several nations around them come to battle against them to take their land.  As we read how the king responds we see a great pattern for us when we are under stress.

3 And Jehoshaphat feared, and set himself to seek the Lord, and proclaimed a fast throughout all Judah.

4 And Judah gathered themselves together, to ask help of the Lord

5 And Jehoshaphat stood in the congregation of Judah and Jerusalem, in the house of the Lord.  

(He went to the temple and prayed.  In that prayer he acknowledges the miracles and power of God to deliver them from their enemies). Notice in the next verse that he begins with if evil and then changes it to when.  He then talks about the temple and how we can come to the temple and feel the presence of the Lord and bring our troubles to Him.  We talk about how when we can't physically go to the temple in times of stress that we actually have access to the temple.  We wear the holy garment which is a shield and a protection to us. We have entered into covenants that we carry with us we don't leave them in the temple.  So if we will set ourselves to seek the Lord we can be in a holy place wherever we are.  God will hear and help us.

9 If, when evil cometh upon us, as the sword, judgment, or pestilence, or famine, we stand before this house, and in thy presence, (for thy name is in this house,) and cry unto thee in our affliction, then thou wilt hear and help.

12 O our God, wilt thou not judge them? for we have no might against this great company that cometh against us; neither know we what to do: but our eyes are upon thee.

As missionaries and in life we can often feel like we don't know what to do! But as we keep our eyes toward the Savior, he promises us strength beyond our own.  We can have a perspective of hope and confidence in Him.

The Prophet Jahaziel has the Spirit come upon him and he prophecies what the Lord wants them to do.  (note that King Jehoshaphat was praying and seeking an answer and the answer came through the prophet)

15 Thus saith the Lord unto you, Be not afraid nor dismayed by reason of this great multitude; for the battle is not yours, but God’s!

Jaziel tells them exactly where the enemy lies. (Prophets are given to know to warn their people.)

17 Ye shall not need to fight in this battle: set yourselves, stand ye still, and see the salvation of the Lord with you, O Judah and Jerusalem: fear not, nor be dismayed; to morrow go out against them: for the Lord will be with you.

Notice in these instructions they are told that they aren't going to have to fight, but they are still instructed to go to battle. But the Lord will be with them. They are totally required to exercise faith in the Lord!  

And then Jehoshaphat extends two commitment invitations with promised blessings to give them hope to strengthen their faith!  

20 And they rose early in the morning, and went forth into the wilderness of Tekoa: and as they went forth, Jehoshaphat stood and said, Hear me, O Judah, and ye inhabitants of Jerusalem; Believe in the Lord your God, so shall ye be established; believe his prophets, so shall ye prosper.

21 And when he had consulted with the people, he appointed singers unto the Lord, and that should praise the beauty of holiness, as they went out before the army, and to say, Praise the Lord; for his mercy endureth for ever.  (They physically showed their faith by sending the choir out first!)

22 And when they began to sing and to praise, the Lord set ambushments against the children of Ammon, Moab, and mount Seir, which were come against Judah; and they were smitten.

When Judah arrived they found their enemies were indeed all smitten.  They had turned on each other and there were none alive!  Perhaps they had gotten greedy, but whatever happened the Lord kept his promise.  The two promised blessings were both fulfilled.  None of them lost their lives (they were established) and the Lord rewarded them temporally through the spoils of the battle. (Ye shall prosper)

This story teaches us so well what to do when we have stressful situations come before us!

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