2 Chronicles 20

Jehoshaphat has won a huge battle, not by fighting at all, but by obeying and trusting God.  Now it is time to gather the plunder and they “found more loot than they could carry off” according to scripture.  What a victory.  “It took three days to cart it away”.  That is one big victory.  J leads the people back to Jerusalem in an “exuberant parade”.  They celebrate God’s power and as a result of that day, there were no more attacks on the kingdom during J’s 25 year reign.  Guys – I want you to catch what scripture tells us about this man: “He continued the kind of life characteristic of his father Asa–no detours, no dead-ends–pleasing GOD with his life”.  He wasn’t perfect – but his foundation in the faith carried him into a life pleasing of God.  He was single minded in his pursuit of the Father.  God was pleased with most of what he did.  You may remember that he had made one prior big boo boo when he associated with the wrong folks.  Unfortunately, he does it again at the end of his life.  Pay attention to what we are told: “Late in life Jehoshaphat formed a trading syndicate with Ahaziah king of Israel–which was very wrong of him to do….because you joined forces with Ahaziah, GOD has shipwrecked your work”.  So twice in his life J cuts deals with folks that are not pleasing to God.  The results of this last attempt to gain riches by working with the wrong partner was for naught as all the ships they built were smashed and “nothing ever came of the trade partnership”.  It reminds me of scripture that tells us “there is a way which seems right to a man, but the end thereof is death”.  We can’t do things just because they “seem right” to us.  God cares about the people and the details of how we live and do business.  Jehoshaphat was referred to as a godly man who pleased God.  But he derailed when he connected with the wrong people.  We just can’t allow the things of this world to get between us and God.  We can’t just run off and do things without checking with the Father first.  Too often I do exactly that and then wonder why it doesn’t work out.  We need to learn to pray first and obey, not make decisions and ask God to bless whatever it is we decide to do.  There is a tough balancing act between all these decisions we face as leaders.  When to act and when to wait?  The key is to pray, pray and pray some more and then obey what God has shown us.  I believe God will give us direction if we seek it.  J didn’t do that in either of his failed relationships.  But he did when faced with big battle problems and God was always there. 

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