“We do not know what to do” (II Chronicles 20:12)
Jehoshaphat was king of Judah who succeeded to the throne in BC 914, at the age of 35. During his reign, he found himself in a great predicament. He learned that an enormous army of Moabites, Ammonites, and Meunites were gathered at En Gedi near the Dead Sea to come against him and his army. Jehoshaphat did not know what to do. The odds were most definitely not in his favor. The situation looked like an impending doom for the king and his people.
So, just what did Jehoshaphat do in such a dire situation? He gathered the whole assembly of Judah and Jerusalem at the Temple of the Lord and led them in prayer. Listen to what he prayed. “We have no power to face this vast army that is attacking us. We do not know what to do, but our eyes are on you.” He did not say our eyes are on this army. He said, “Our eyes are on YOU!” This is a very powerful statement. And it is one we all too often miss when we are faced with problems and predicaments that leave us not knowing what to do.
Problems and predicaments have a way of blinding us from seeing WHO we really need to see. Now, please listen carefully to what I am about to say. God never intended for our problems and predicaments to be the focus of our prayers. Allow me to say it again. God never intended for our problems and predicaments to be the focus of our prayers. We tend to spend a lot of time reiterating the problems or predicaments to God, as if he didn’t know about them. Problems and predicaments bring us to prayer, but they are not to be the focus of prayer. Did you get that? The problems and predicaments of life bring us to prayer – however, they are not to be the focus of prayer. Problems and predicaments give us a motivation to pray. They are never to be the ends in themselves. You could say that problems and predicaments are a launching pad to prayer. We are to lift them up to the Lord, but we are never to be consumed with them in prayer. Our focus must be consumed upon God and his power. God has given us a brain and wants us to use it, but he never has told us in scripture to figure things out when we face our problems and predicaments, as if we need not involve him. Trying to figure things out will distract us from placing faith in God. That is exactly why Jehoshaphat prayed, “We do not know what to do, but our eyes are on you.”
We find ourselves in Jehoshaphat’s shoes on many occasions in this life, but God never intended for us to keep our eyes focused on our problems and predicaments. He asks us to be like Jehoshaphat and keep our eyes focused on Him. We need to become less problem-oriented and become more God-oriented.