I love the theme we find in 2 Chronicles 20: The battle belongs to God!
When Jehoshaphat is informed that a great army is coming against Israel, he positions himself in prayer and fasting. We read in verses 14-15:
“Then the Spirit of the LORD came upon Jahaziel the son of Zechariah, the son of Benaiah, the son of Jeiel, the son of Mattaniah, a Levite of the sons of Asaph, in the midst of the assembly. And he said, ‘Listen, all you of Judah and you inhabitants of Jerusalem, and you, King Jehoshaphat! Thus says the LORD to you: Do not be afraid nor dismayed because of this great multitude, for the battle is not yours, but God’s.’”
Then, in verse 17: “’You will not need to fight in this battle. Position yourselves, stand still and see the salvation of the Lord, who is with you, O Judah and Jerusalem!’ Do not fear or be dismayed; tomorrow go out against them, for the Lord is with you.”
Here is Jehoshaphat’s posture in response to what God said, which should be the posture of all of us: “And Jehoshaphat bowed his head with his face to the ground, and all Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem bowed before the Lord, worshipping the Lord.” (verse 18)
We see two things here: A posture of humility in the place of prayer, with faces to the ground; and true worship, which comes from living worshipers in that the posture of humility and in prayer. External worship should come from the inward part of our hearts as we offer ourselves as living worshipers.
“Then the Levites of the children of the Kohathites and of the children of the Korahites stood up to praise the Lord God of Israel with voices loud and high.” (verse 19)
Notice the progression: starting with a posture of humility, heads faced toward the ground; to living worshipers, offering up with authentic worship that comes from that place of humility and prayer; and now standing up from that posture, equipped to praise the Lord with voices loud and high.
There’s something about Thanksgiving and the praise that comes from a heart of gratitude. In Luke 17, Jesus heals of the 10 lepers but only one comes back to thank Him for the healing. They’re all healed, but only that one was made whole.
When God does something with us, when we beg Him and He answers, let us be cognizant of thanking Him, not just going to the next thing. “Okay, God, do this! God, do that! God, do this!” He’s not our sugar daddy in the sky. When He begins to move, and we’re in that place of in His presence, we can stand before Him rejoicing and praising Him, thanking Him with a heart of gratitude, so that we can be made whole like the one leper that came back.
BELIEVE & BE ESTABLISHED
As we continue in 2 Chronicles 20, we read in verses 20-22:
“So they rose early in the morning and went out into the Wilderness of Tekoa; and as they went out, Jehoshaphat stood and 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.’ And when he had consulted with the people, he appointed those who should sing to the Lord, and who should praise the beauty of holiness, as they went out before the army and were saying:
“’Praise the Lord,
For His mercy endures forever.’
“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.”
The key here is this: “Believe in the Lord your God and you shall be established.” Believe His prophets, and you shall prosper; believe in the Word, and you shall prosper.
From the tribe of Judah, Jehoshaphat appointed some to go before the Army, praising the Lord in the beauty of His holiness, which is the glory due His name. And when they began to sing and praise the Lord, He set ambushes against the enemy.
The Lord will set the ambush when we lift up prayer in a posture of humility; offer of ourselves as living sacrifices with authentic worship that comes out of that place of His presence; then lift up gratitude and praise that goes before the Army of God. That is when He causes things to shift.
Remember what Scripture told us back in verses 14-15? First, the Spirit of the Lord comes upon us, and second, the battle is not yours, but God’s. That is God’s divine intervention and breakthrough.
TEMPLES OF GREAT VALUE
This brings us back to verses 7-9, because it gives us perspective:
“Are You not our God, who drove out the inhabitants of this land before Your people Israel, and gave it to the descendants of Abraham Your friend forever? And they dwell in it, and have built You a sanctuary in it for Your name, saying, ‘If disaster comes upon us—sword, judgment, pestilence, or famine—we will stand before this temple and in Your presence (for Your name is in this temple), and cry out to You in our affliction, and You will hear and save.”
If we are the temples of the Holy Spirit, how much more valuable are we than the temples of Solomon or the temples that were established in the Old Testament? We are living temples of the Holy Spirit, purchased by the blood of Christ, and we come together in corporate worship, humility, and adoration.
When I cry out to God, in this temple that He purchased, He is the one who will hear and save. when we take our temples in corporate gatherings of humility and prayer, offering ourselves as living sacrifices, fully acceptable to God, with a posture of our faces to the ground and humility, God picks us up that we stand and praise, with thanksgiving and gratitude, with our hands lifted up and in a loud voice! Our praise goes ahead of us, before the armies of God, and He is able to do all that he has said, because we believed in the Lord our God. We believe in Him, and He establishes us. We believe in His prophets and His Word, and we are victorious.
The word prosperous means we have the freedom and the victories that God has called us to. He sets an ambush against the things that have come against us. He will dissolve, He will diminish, and He will give us the breakthroughs, because we’ve taken this posture.
In verse 23, we see God actually caused the enemies to destroy one another. The Lord caused confusion and ambushed the enemy. There are powers that are coming against God’s people and coming into the Church, but God is going to cause confusion in the spiritual and in the natural realms against those who are trying to hurt the body of Christ.
WHAT BRINGS THE BREAKTHROUGH?
If God is the Baal Perizim, the one who busts wide open rivers of living water, then I believe it’s important for us to get back to the basics of what brings breakthrough. He wants our hearts. He’ll take care of all the heavy lifting, if we get aligned with Him.
Prayer: Daniel prayed for 21 days, seeking God without seeing an answer, saying, “God, we need a breakthrough.” He had no idea what was going on in the unseen realm. But he obeyed God in prayer with fastedness, a place of dying to self and saying, “God, it’s all in your hands. I don’t see the breakthrough, I don’t know how the breakthrough is going to come. But we need you.” Then, after 21 days, God brought the Archangel Michael and gave the breakthrough.
When we engage in authentic prayer, we’re not telling God what to do. Instead, we find ourselves praying without ceasing. We just talk to God. There’s something about that kind of prayer that produces intimacy with God.
In 2 Samuel 5:19, King David inquired of the Lord:
“So David inquired of the LORD, saying, ‘Shall I go up against the Philistines? Will You deliver them into my hand?’ And the LORD said to David, ‘Go up, for I will doubtless deliver the Philistines into your hand.’”
Many times we look at how overwhelming our circumstances are, and we don’t want to take a step of faith—we don’t even want to try. But here, in the midst of something that seems to be humanly impossible, we see King David inquiring of the Lord through prayer. He obeyed and defeated the enemy.
Praise: Throughout Scripture, we see the tribe of Judah marching out ahead of the army in battle. praising God for what He was going to do because He had already done it in the Spirit In this place of Thanksgiving and gratitude, we acknowledge God has gone before us.
Be anxious for nothing but prayer and supplication and in thanksgiving, let your requests be known under God. (Philippians 4:6)
In Acts 16, Paul and Silas are in prison. But what did they do? They praised him, even in their squalid and impoverished conditions. And God showed up in a supernatural, suddenly moment.
But at midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the prisoners were listening to them. Suddenly there was a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison were shaken; and immediately all the doors were opened and everyone’s chains were loosed. (Acts 16:25-26)
There’s something about praise that brings breakthrough when we praise the Lord through the midst of our circumstances. The disciples praised God, the earth began to shake, and they were set free from that prison. We see throughout Scripture that wherever there is a human impossibility but praise and prayer go before the Lord in faith, God literally becomes the Baal Perizim, the God of the Breakthrough.
Worship: Authentic worship attracts God’s presence, and in His presence, darkness can’t dwell. The world is dark, and we need the light of the world, in His Church and through His Church, to shine. We need the manifest presence of God.
I often teach on four things that attract His presence:
When we attract His presence in these ways, it dispels the darkness. It changes our environment and our circumstances, and it creates the culture of His presence where we can worship Him in spirit and in truth. Restoring the altar of authentic worship takes us into the presence of God, the Shekinah glory of God, and it changes the whole atmosphere.
Praise is like warfare, because praise goes before the battle. But worship is a place of creating an atmosphere that welcomes His presence. And in that place, He changes everything.
I often say that simple obedience to God is the highest form of worship. The Isrealites quietly walked around the walls of Jericho, which were impossible to penetrate, once each day for six days. On the seventh day, without saying a word, they walked around seven times. And after they were finished on that seventh day, they gave a shout, and the walls came down. God honored their simple obedience with an impossible breakthrough!
Generosity: When we live in extravagant and radical giving of our time, talents, and resources—even when everything else seems to be imploding—and we continue to be intentional in praising God with thanksgiving and gratitude, He is faithful to bring breakthrough.
Some of the greatest miracles in my life came during time of greatest need. When Hurricane Katrina hit, we had 21,000 people who up at our office, each of them in dire need. We probably didn’t even have $100 in the bank! But God supplied in miraculous ways, and we never turned one person away. We ended up receiving and distributing millions of dollars of assistance throughout the entire Gulf region to help, all because we were generous with what He gave us.
When we are grateful and we take what little bit we have, offering it in Thanksgiving, it becomes like the boy’s lunch that fed the 5,000. God multiplies and always gives you back more than you started with.
Whatever we harvest today is not what we planted today. We’re harvesting what we’ve already planted. So we should start each day by sowing a seed of generosity, sowing our lives as seed for the soil. We can make every day a decision to serve God and thus sow into our future.
When we have extreme generosity, God turns things around. I like what Mike Lynch, our relief partner with Ally Force, says about disaster relief: “If God can’t get it through to you, He won’t get it to you.” It’s about stewardship. God wants us to be extravagantly generous.
Through praise, worship, intercession, prayer with fastedness, simple obedience (which is the highest form of worship), and extreme generosity—combined with the corporate anointing of God—we see Him break down the barriers and give us the breaker anointing. In that place, we see the Master of Breakthrough bring down the walls of Jericho, open up the streams of blessing, and open up the place of revelation with God.
God’s about to do something to bust wide open in our lives. He is our Master of Breakthroughs. And I believe, as we cross over the Jordan to possess the land of the promises of God, that we will see His divine intervention and supernatural expansion.