Devotionals by Dr. James MacDonald

Some men came and told Jehoshaphat, “A great multitude is coming against you from Edom, from beyond the sea; and, behold, they are in Hazazon-tamar (that is, Engedi). Then Jehoshaphat was afraid and set his face to seek the Lord(2 Chronicles 20:2–3a, esv).

King Jehoshaphat was in crisis. Not the kind of vague, ambiguous crisis that may or may not yet develop into a problem. This was the kind of crisis, like some we all face eventually, where you can tell in an instant, “Everything is about to change.” You can hardly see the future because of it. You can hardly see tomorrow for it. An enemy who significantly outnumbered the king’s forces was approaching from right over the hill, and “Jehoshaphat was afraid,” like any of us would be.

But when you are afraid, what you do next is everything. It’s one of the most important things about you. And when Jehoshaphat was afraid, the Bible says he “set his face to seek the Lord.”

What does that mean exactly? How does a person “set his face to seek the Lord”?

Four answers are found in 2 Chronicles 20:

1) Fast. Jehoshaphat “proclaimed a fast throughout all Judah” (verse 3). Fasting is the denial of the body’s demands for a season to heighten the demands of the spirit. We are people of many hungers, the longing for God being only one. Desires, however, are a finite commodity. They can’t all be satisfied at once. But by deliberately turning down the satisfaction on some of them, you can turn up your passion for God. When you need to get to God in a hurry, when you need an answer that is obviously from Him, start with fasting.

2) Pray. Jehoshaphat’s prayer, which runs for seven verses (6–12), gives many characteristics of what prayer in crisis needs to be. The words of his prayer right-sized the power of God, anchoring his faith in the invincible might of the Lord. He remembered God’s provision in the past. He recited God’s promises made in His Word. He reviewed his own powerlessness in trying to rescue himself. And he riveted his eyes and the eyes of the people on God. “We do not know what to do, but our eyes are on you” (verse 12). That’s breakthrough prayer in a crisis.

3) Stand. They didn’t run. They didn’t hide. They didn’t quit. They didn’t cower. They stood. “Jehoshaphat stood in the assembly” (verse 5). “All Judah stood before the Lord, with their little ones, their wives, and their children” (verse 13). When you’re in a spot where all you can do is fast and pray your way out of it, be ready to take your stand when the praying is finished. “No! This marriage is not over!” “No! I’m not losing my kids to the world!” As long as you have breath, you’re not backing down. You’re standing. No retreat.

4) Believe. They “stood up to praise the Lord” for the rest of the day (verse 19). And the next morning, “Jehoshaphat stood and said, ‘Hear me, Judah and inhabitants of Jerusalem! Believe in the Lord your God, and you will be established’” (verse 20). As one of their prophets had said while they fasted, prayed, and worshiped, “Do not be afraid and do not be dismayed at this great horde, for the battle is not yours but God’s” (verse 15). Believe, and watch Him deliver you.

Four things to do in a crisis, before you do anything else: fast, pray, stand, and believe. That’s how you set your face to seek the Lord.

Journal

  • Consider writing these four words in the front of your Bible. Have them ready in a crisis.
  • Who do you know who needs this kind of counsel right now? Will you go stand with them?

Pray
Lord God, not even the biggest, most overwhelming problems of my life are ever a match for Your power. When I am in the midst of crisis, whenever I feel afraid, You are always there. Help me run nowhere else. And when others around me find themselves in similar situations, use me as one of Your children to lead them down this same path of fasting, praying, standing, and believing. I trust that You are working, and I pray this in the powerful name of Jesus, amen.

For more from Dr. James MacDonald please visit Walk in the Word on OnePlace.com.


Jesus washing the disciples’ feet is the most supreme act of humility in all of God’s Word. And as always, His actions are a powerful example for each of us to follow today. Because when you make the choice to humble yourself, your life will forever change.

continue reading...
July 2018
June 2018
May 2018
April 2018
March 2018
February 2018
January 2018
December 2017
November 2017
October 2017
September 2017
August 2017
July 2017
June 2017
May 2017
April 2017
March 2017
February 2017
January 2017
December 2016
November 2016
October 2016
September 2016
August 2016
July 2016
June 2016
May 2016
April 2016
March 2016
February 2016
January 2016
December 2015
November 2015
October 2015
September 2015
August 2015
July 2015
June 2015
May 2015
April 2015
April 2011
March 2015
February 2015
May 2014
April 2014
March 2014
February 2014
January 2014
December 2013
November 2013
October 2013
September 2013
August 2013
July 2013
June 2013
May 2013
April 2013
March 2013
February 2013
January 2013
December 2012
November 2012
September 2012
August 2012
July 2012
June 2012
May 2012
April 2012
March 2012
February 2012
January 2012
December 2011
November 2011
October 2011
September 2011
August 2011
July 2011
June 2011
May 2011

About Walk in the Word Radio

Walk in the Word...Igniting passion in the people of God through the proclamation of truth.

Follow James MacDonald:
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/DrJamesMacDo... 
Twitter: https://twitter.com/jamesmacdonald 
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/pastorjames... 

Other Ministry Channels:
Vertical Church Band: https://www.youtube.com/user/Vertical... 
Vertical Church Films: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC4yx... 

Resources: 
Our Journey Blog (weekly): http://www.jamesmacdonald.com/teachin... 
Vertical Church Blog (for pastors): http://blog.jamesmacdonald.com 
James MacDonald Books: http://store.jamesmacdonald.com/s-4-b... 
Bible Studies: http://store.jamesmacdonald.com/s-27-... 

Watch More From James:
Sermon Clips: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list... 

Listen to our FREE podcast:
Apple Podcast: http://www.jamesmacdonald.com/podcast/ 

Mail us stuff to our P.O. Box: http://www.jamesmacdonald.com/contact/ 

Pastor James MacDonald preaches without apology straight from the pages of Scripture, provoking Christians to think and act on their faith. His Bible-teaching ministry, Walk in the Word, launched on as a radio broadcast in 1997, with the mission of "igniting passion in the people of God through the proclamation of truth."



About Dr. James MacDonald

James MacDonald (D. Min., Phoenix Seminary) is the founder and Senior Pastor of Harvest Bible Chapel. He has led the church from the time it began with just 18 people in 1988 to the present, where 13,000 people attend seven campuses in the Chicago area weekly. His practical teaching of God’s Word is broadcast daily around the world on radio and TV through the program Walk in the Word, and more than 160 vertical churches have been planted on four continents under Dr. MacDonald’s leadership. Pastor James has authored several books and Bible studies, including: Act Like Men; Vertical Church; Lord, Change Me; Lord, Change My Attitude; When Life is Hard; Always True; and most recently, The Will of God IS the Word of God. He and his wife Kathy live in the Chicagoland area near their seven beloved grandchildren, and three adult children who serve alongside them in ministry.

Contact Walk in the Word Radio with Dr. James MacDonald

Mailing Address 
Walk in the Word
P.O. Box 5368
Elgin, IL 60121
Cancel