By Tope Banso
Sometimes in life, we find ourselves in situations when we don’t know what to do. We are powerless. It could be as a result of life’s challenges or demonic attacks, bringing us into a serious confusion. It could be dangerous at such a time to do just anything.
Some people will say that nature abhors vacuum. Therefore, they cannot watch and do nothing. This option may appear sensible. Unfortunately, however, some people who chose this option have ended up complicating their situations.
In 2 Chronicles 20, under King Jehoshaphat, three surrounding nations staged a war against Judah. Fighting a war with one nation is not a easy thing, not to talk of three nations coming together to fight one nation. The odds were against Judah. King Jehoshaphat and his people knew this very well.
2 Chronicles 20:1-2 says, “It happened after this that the people of Moab with the people of Ammon, and others with them besides the Ammonites, came to battle against Jehoshaphat. Then some came and told Jehoshaphat, saying, “A great multitude is coming against you from beyond the sea, from Syria; and they are in Hazazon Tamar” (which is En Gedi)” (New King James Version).
What do you think was the first reaction of Jehoshaphat? The Bible says he feared. He was terrified. Who wouldn’t be when a multitude is coming against him? But Jehoshaphat didn’t fear only. He did more. Unfortunately, the only thing some people do is fear. Or if they do more than expressing fear, the next step they take is motivated by fear and it’s a wrong one.
It may not be wrong to be afraid sometimes, but don’t end it at that. Don’t be controlled by fear. Don’t let fear dictate what you do. Fear is an emotion, but it could also become a spirit, when it becomes a tool in the hand of Satan.
As great as David was, he was sometimes afraid, and he wasn’t ashamed to mention it. He said in Psalm 56:3-4, “Whenever I am afraid, I will trust in You. In God (I will praise His word), in God I have put my trust; I will not fear. What can flesh do to me?” (New King James Version).
Yes, Jehoshaphat was afraid when he heard that a multitude from three nations was coming to wage war with Judah. However, he didn’t surrender to fear. His next action turned the tide in his favour. 2 Chronicles 20:3-4 says, “And Jehoshaphat feared, and set himself to seek the LORD, and proclaimed a fast throughout all Judah. So Judah gathered together to ask help from the LORD; and from all the cities of Judah they came to seek the LORD” (New King James Version).
Jehoshaphat stood in the assembly of Judah and Jerusalem, in the house of the LORD, before the new court, and prayed to God while all Judah stood before the LORD. “O our God, will You not judge them? For we have no power against this great multitude that is coming against us; nor do we know what to do, but our eyes are upon You” (2 Chronicles 20:12 New King James Version).
After other things Jehoshaphat said, the Spirit of the LORD came upon Jahaziel in the midst of the assembly. Jahaziel told the people not to be afraid of the great multitude, for the battle was not theirs, but God’s. He told them to go out against the enemy the following day, for the LORD was with them (verses 13-17).
Judah was led into the battle by those Jehoshaphat appointed to sing to the LORD ahead of the army. That would have been a suicide mission if God had not been in it. “Now when they began to sing and to praise, the LORD set ambushes against the people of Ammon, Moab, and Mount Seir, who had come against Judah; and they were defeated. For the people of Ammon and Moab stood up against the inhabitants of Mount Seir to utterly kill and destroy them. And when they had made an end of the inhabitants of Seir, they helped to destroy one another” (verses 22-23 New King James Version).
Jehoshaphat and Judah moved from a position of powerlessness and confusion to a strong position of defeating their enemy. What can we learn here about what to do when we don’t know what to do?
1. Admit you don’t have power and don’t know what to do. Jehoshaphat told the LORD, “For we have no power against this great multitude that is coming against us; nor do we know what to do, but our eyes are upon You” (2 Chronicles 20:12 New King James Version). You are putting your trust in Him. Say with Paul that you can do all things through Christ who strengthens you (Philippians 4:13).
2. Stay open to the ministry of the Holy Spirit. According to Jesus, the Holy Spirit is the Teacher and Reminder (John 14:26).. Ask Him what you don’t know. He knows everything. He will tell you.
In Exodus 14, Moses didn’t know what to do as the chariots of Egypt chasing after them drew near and the Red Sea was before the Israelites, impossible to cross. He cried to the LORD and He told him what to do. Ask the Holy Spirit what to do.
3. Seek the help of the LORD; set your eyes upon Him. 2 Chronicles 20:12 says, “For we have no power against this great multitude that is coming against us; nor do we know what to do, but our eyes are upon You” (New King James Version). This could involve fasting and prayer. Jehoshaphat proclaimed a fast throughout all Judah (verse 3).
Set your eyes upon the LORD. Psalm 34:5 says they looked to Him and were radiant, and their faces were not ashamed. Pray! James 5:13 says, “Is anyone among you suffering? Let him pray” (New King James Version). Keep on praying (1 Thessalonians 5:17).
4. Before you present your request, worship the LORD. Jehoshaphat did this in 2 Chronicles 20:6-9. Also, after Jahaziel’s prophecy of victory by the LORD, Jehoshaphat bowed his head with his face to the ground, and all Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem bowed before the LORD, worshipping Him (verse 18). Worship the LORD when you don’t know what to do.
5. Believe the LORD and His servants. Before the army of Judah left for the battle, Jehoshaphat said, “Hear me, O Judah and you inhabitants of Jerusalem: Believe in the LORD your God, and you shall be established; believe His prophets, and you shall prosper” (verse 20 New King James Version).
When you don’t know what to do, believe what the LORD has said; believe the words of His servants. The Word of the LORD shall not go unfulfilled. The Word of the LORD shall not return to Him empty; it shall succeed in doing what it is sent to do (Isaiah 55:10-11). Put the promises of God in your mouth. Believe it; confess it.
6. Sing and praise the LORD. Jehoshaphat appointed those who should sing to the LORD, and who should praise the beauty of holiness. As they went out before the armies, they were saying, “Praise the LORD, for His mercy endures forever” (2 Chronicles 20:21 New King James Version).
As they sang and praised the LORD, He set ambushes against the enemy; they were defeated (verse 22). You, too, should sing and praise the LORD. At midnight, Paul and Silas prayed and sang hymns to God in the prison. They were set free (Acts 16:25-28).
2 Chronicles 20:23 says, “For the people of Ammon and Moab stood up against the inhabitants of Mount Seir to utterly kill and destroy them. And when they had made an end of the inhabitants of Seir, they helped to destroy one another” (New King James Version).
The army of Judah, at the lookout point in the wilderness, saw the dead bodies of the multitude fallen on the earth without anyone escaping. For three days, the army of Judah gathered the plunder.
7. Return to give glory to the LORD. After you’ve enjoyed the miracles of God or His intervention, return to give glory to God. Don’t be like the ungrateful nine lepers Jesus healed (Luke 17:17-18).
After Judah’s victory, “Then they returned, every man of Judah and Jerusalem, with Jehoshaphat in front of them, to go back to Jerusalem with joy, for the LORD had made them rejoice over their enemies. So they came to Jerusalem, with stringed instruments and harps and trumpets, to the house of the LORD” (2 Chronicles 20:27-28 New King James Version).
In Samuel 1:24-28, Hannah returned to Shiloh to give glory to God for the gift of her first child, Samuel. Offer thanksgiving to God. Don’t be ungrateful.
When you don’t know what to do, God does. So draw near to Him, don’t keep away from Him. Look unto the LORD for your help, not unto any hill (Psalm 121:1-2). He will make a way for you (Isaiah 43:19).
If you’re not born again, repent of your sins today and accept Jesus as your Lord and Saviour. Whoever comes to Him, He will by no means cast out.
PRAYER POINT: Father, whenever I am afraid, I will put my trust in You. I bind and cast out of my life the spirit of fear. I shall not be stranded. I shall not be confused. Holy Spirit, I receive your help to know what to do when I don’t know what to do.
This is wisdom for living, and it’s worth sharing. Please share.
(For over 300 in-depth and powerful messages, visit: www.cedarministry.org).
▪︎ Banso, an Abuja-based Minister, heads Cedar Ministry International;
Tel No: +2348155744752, +2348033113523; WhatsApp No: +2349081295947
What to do when you don’t know what to do
By Tope Banso