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We do not know what to God, but

We do not know what to do, but . . . My Morning Briefing was finished and I sat down to podcast yesterday, but I just couldn’t. Yet another evil shooting in our country, and like you, the realization of a society that has run amok coursed through me again. At least 50 church goers dead in Nigeria where gunmen opened fire in their Catholic worship service. God, O God! My soul cries. So I analyzed the words I had spent hours on--were they apt or should I seek God for another direction? That is when the precious words flowed through my mind once again, and so I share them with you today. I do not remember when this Old Testament story became ‘life’ to me, but it was many years ago now. I have told it to homeless people who did not know where their next meal was coming from, I have acted it out with army men before student athletes, ready to graduate with fears about the future. I have given little army men to young moms who worried about their little ones and the future of the world. The setting is one of impossible odds. The people were surrounded by warring nations, bent on their destruction, with the capability to pull it off. But God. Here are the words I give to you upfront, words the Lord brought to mind last night: We do not know what to do, but our eyes are on you. The words: 2 Chronicles 20 What is your battle? Is it out there or in your home or maybe in your body? Come with me to 2 Chronicles, chapter 20. link: This is an incredible story. Here's the scene--Jehoshaphat (king) is made aware that he is about to be attacked by a 'vast' army. To say that his back is against the wall is an understatement, but you must see his response as it applies to us, some 3000 years later. Jehoshaphat prays to God for help and declares a fast, (as a respected leader, the people heed his words). From the temple courtyard, he stands and addresses his Commander in Chief, God. I pray you will open your Bibles to read this--notice how he starts his prayer with adoration and then recalls how God has taken care of the people up until this point. [Underline every word that pricks your heart]. He concludes his prayer with, "we have no power to face this vast army that is attacking us. We do not know what to do, but our eyes are upon you." This is the place of surrender. This is the time you decide you want God to lead your life... pray to him and transfer what you are carrying on to him. The battle is real. God and God alone. So, Jehoshaphat? The Lord hears his prayer and sends a message to the people: Do not be afraid or discouraged because of this vast army.” For the battle is not yours, but God's. (verse 15) What are you up against, my friend, trying to fight, control or solve on your own? God is saying, 'do not be afraid or discouraged. . . the battle is not yours, but mine.' Turn to God in prayer. O God, come and help us! Maybe that is all you would pray. It is not the number of words you pray but the intent of your heart. This is my prayer this morning: O God, we do not know what to do, but our eyes are on you. Lives have been taken, families destroyed . . . and we wonder about the violence behind all of this, the evil that seems to be suddenly loosed. How can we be shocked when we have dropped our standards of morality so low, have made the consumption of violence in movies, videogames, even some sports--our entertainment? How can we fail to realize that when your name, O God and respect of You has been stripped from our children’s education, taken off the walls of our higher learning and forbidden to be discussed in the marketplace, government or once-godly universities, that honor of life would go with it? O God, I do not know what to do, except to turn my eyes to You. Forgive me, Lord, for looking out there to find the problem, wanting a law or a president or anyone else to fix things. May I not be given to trite postings or orange-wearing platitudes, but instead recognize that it is evil and godlessness that are the problem, hearts that are far from you and need a Savior and a moral reckoning! Instead, like that Old Testament king, may I be driven to You, to my knees, to seek You. O God, I come and ask You to comfort those who mourn. You promise that you are close to the broken hearted1 and I believe you. Turn our hearts toward You. May those whose hearts have grown cold or apathetic turn back toward You. May we be moved into action by your promise: If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land. 2 Chronicles 7.14 Come, Lord Jesus, we need you now. I pray this in the mighty name of Jesus, Amen. At this moment, someone reading or listening to this asks why do they always say ‘in the name of Jesus’? Jesus told his disciples--any who follow him--Until now you have not asked for anything in my name. Ask and you will receive, and your joy will be complete.2 There’s Something about that Name: Anne Wilson, Turn to God, Christine

1 - Psalm 34.18 2 - John 16.24

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