Emily Belle Freeman
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THIS IS MY JOY

AND MY GREAT REJOICING

The Battle Is Not Yours

2 Chronicles 23:3 - 2 Chronicles 28:15

Before we move on, I can't help but mention one more lesson we learn from King Jehoshaphat.

During his reign a great multitude came against him from beyond the sea. In this moment of great need, he did what he had always done  ––he set himself to seek the Lord.  (2 Chronicles 20:3)

During this preparation time before the battle he proclaimed a fast throughout all the land, and then he stood in front of the house of the Lord and prayed, remembering a covenant the Lord had made with them.  “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…O our God,…we have no might against this great company that cometh against us; neither know we what to do: but our eyes are upon thee.” (2 Chron 20:9 & 12)

How many times in our own lives have each of us asked that question to the Lord?  “I don’t know what to do.”  In these moments, when what is against us seems mightier than we are, how often is our first inclination to focus our eyes upon the Lord?

To set ourselves to seek Him...

How often do we look to our own strength first?  Maybe we are good at problem solving.  Too many times our first course of action is a practical one rather than a spiritual one.  Perhaps in moments like these we can look to Jehoshaphat.

A man who set himself to seek God.

First.

Always.

And so King Jehoshaphat petitioned the Lord in all of Israel’s behalf.  “And all Judah stood before the Lord, with their little ones, their wives, and their children.  Then…came the Spirit of the Lord in the midst of the congregation; And he said, Hearken ye, all Judah, and ye inhabitants of Jerusalem, and thou king Jehoshaphat, 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.”  (2 Chron 20:13-15)

Think of the greatest trial you face right now; consider your multitude of burdens.  Have you set yourself to seek God?  In the hour of greatest indecision are you prepared to look to the Lord?

Our God is great.

He is mightier than any multitude of burdens we could ever face.  Only He can fight our battles, because only He knows what it will take to conquer them.

When we set ourselves to seek Him, we will be able to heed the final counsel the Lord gave to King Jehoshaphat, “to morrow go out against them: for the Lord will be with you.”  (2 Chron 20:17)

It is as we learned to recognize that the Lord is with us in every battle that we are able to discern the Spirit of the Lord as it descends upon us and focus on His calming words, “the battle is not yours, but God’s.”

Sometimes, as we face our greatest challenges, all that is required is to stand before His house, in His presence, and cry unto Him.  In that moment we must believe that He will hear and help.  We must trust that He will be with us.

This battle is not ours, but His.

President Benson counseled the Saints who would live in the last days saying, “the final outcome is certain ––the forces of righteousness will finally win.  What remains to be seen is where each of us personally, now and in the future, will stand in this fight ––and how tall we will stand.  Great battles can make great heroes, but heroes will make great battle.  Be warned that some of the greatest battles you will face will be fought within the silent chambers of your own soul.  Fortunately for us, we have the privilege of fighting under the Lord’s banner.  He wants to help us win every battle. (Ezra Taft Benson, March 1979.)

When our trials seem to overtake us, in the moments when we find ourselves overwhelmed by the multitude of our burdens, perhaps it would help if we were to remember Jehoshaphat’s example.

We must never forget ––the battle is not ours, but God’s.

And He is with us.

Emily Freeman