“You will not need to fight in this battle...stand still and see the salvation of the Lord.”
2 Chronicles 20:17
Mark Geppert in his book, The Attack Lambs, Prayer That Changes the World, turned the familiar phrase, “Don’t just stand there, do something”, to say, “Don’t just do something, stand there”! He made this observation based on God’s instructions to king Jehoshaphat in 2 Chronicles chapter 20. The king had received a report that said, “A great multitude is coming against you” which struck fear in him. He responded by seeking the Lord and proclaiming a fast. He and the people were serious about obtaining God’s help! The Lord’s response was quite interesting. The Spirit of the Lord came upon Jahaziel who said, “The battle is not yours, but God’s...you will not need to fight in this battle...stand still and see the salvation of the Lord” (vs. 15-17). The Lord then set ambushes against Israel’s enemies and they destroyed one another and when Israel came the next day and looked the Bible says all their enemies were dead. Not one had escaped. Without lifting a sword or a bow they won the victory for the Lord had fought for them.
God’s instructions are not always the same but the constant is that prayer must precede all we do otherwise we miss God’s power and provision. Activity without prayer leads to spiritual weariness. This malady is plaguing the church today. We are busy doing all kinds of things...good things but we are seeing little results. We are missing the presence and power of God and the main reason is our lack of prayer.
We are guilty of assuming to know what we are to do and we do it asking God to bless our efforts. But because we did not gain God’s direction in the first place He does not bless what we do. This is why much of our spiritual activities lack power and why we grow weary spiritually. The cure for this malady is to pray first, then act. “Don’t just do something, stand there!”
The modern day church knows little about persevering prayer. Our arrogance has led us to believe that as long as we are doing good things that God will bless our efforts forgetting that prayerlessness itself is a sin. The question that has been burning in my heart for the last several years is, “Where is the power of God”? Most of what is happening today in the church can be easily explained as the results of the efforts of men. My heart longs to see things that can only be explained as the activity of God. Isn’t that what we see in the early church? Isn’t that supposed to be the norm?
Prayer must again become the first priority of the church. Like Jehoshaphat we must recognize that our enemies have come against us and exposed our spiritual vulnerability and our lack of spiritual power. Like him, we need to set ourselves to seek the Lord and pray like He is our only hope—for indeed, He is our only hope. But how many of us really believe this? I am glad to see evidences that the church is beginning to wake up and see that our situation is dire and that we desperately need the Lord...that only He can save us now! I am glad to see those who are answering God’s call to prayer. May their tribe increase.
Heed this wisdom. Don’t just do something, stand there!