A number of years ago, I had the chance to work with the swim team at a Division I college in Kansas as a chaplain. I saw many athletes seem to be living for the cheer of the crowd after a great performance. In some cases, the desire for applause could actually evolve into self-worship. As human beings, some of our core flaws have always been self-focus and self-worship. Joining God in His victories demands something different.
“Jehoshaphat bowed down with his face to the ground, and all the people of Judah and Jerusalem fell down in worship before the Lord,” (2 Chronicles 20:18 NIV, emphasis added).
I find it amazing to see what happens in 2 Chronicles 20 as King Jehoshaphat faced a vast army. Every once in a while you might find people that give thanks to God after He comes through with a victory, but in this case they worshiped God before He did anything!
The fourth posture: Bowed Face
It is in worshiping God, even before our situations and challenges get sorted out, that we see the depth of our faith! “King J” heard God’s battle plan (go out and watch Me do it) and his first action was this, “Jehoshaphat bowed with his face to the ground . . .” (2 Chronicles 20:18 NIV). If leaders are willing to live by faith, then the people that follow will often follow suit. The people of Judah and Jerusalem, Jehoshaphat’s people, “fell down in worship before the LORD” (2 Chronicles 20:18 NIV).
It didn’t stop there! As the army marched towards the battle, “appointed men” sang to God, thanking Him for His loving faithfulness (see 2 Chronicles 20:21). “As they began to sing and praise, the LORD set ambushes against” their enemies and defeated them (2 Chronicles 20:22 NIV). Crazy right? I often don’t even think about worshiping and praising God in the midst of life’s challenges, let alone doing it before the situation is worked out. How about you?
What situation do you face these days that has you needing God’s help? Are there words of thanks and praise you can pray, speak, or sing to Him even before He works things out? Give it a try.