Favor Factor Praise

The Favor Factor: Praising Your Way to Victory

David CerulloBy David Cerullo6 Minutes

Excerpt from The Favor Factor by David Cerullo

Have you ever felt surrounded by problems? I sure have. But the good news is that we aren’t alone. Countless men and women of God through the centuries have found themselves in that very situation, only to experience a mighty victory from the Lord.

Scripture tells an amazing story about King Jehoshaphat in 2 Chronicles 20. When Jehoshaphat received word that several enemy armies were banding together to attack him, his initial reaction was much the same as ours might be: “And Jehoshaphat feared…” (v. 3).

Thankfully, however, Jehoshaphat didn’t stay in a place of fear. The passage continues by saying he “set himself to seek the LORD, and proclaimed a fast throughout all Judah. So Judah gathered together to ask help from the LORD…”

Friend, this is God’s word to you today. You may feel surrounded…overwhelmed…hopeless. Yet you need to take this opportunity to seek the Lord through prayer and fasting. You need to acknowledge your need for His help—and He is eager to provide it.

Sometimes our prayers are more focused on our problems than on the awesome power of our God. Jehoshaphat began his great prayer by focusing squarely on the Lord’s glorious power and majesty: “O LORD God of our fathers, are You not God in heaven, and do You not rule over all the kingdoms of the nations, and in Your hand is there not power and might, so that no one is able to withstand You?”

Today we serve the same great God as Jehoshaphat did. Our God rules over all the kingdoms of the nations. If He is for us, it doesn’t matter who might be against us (Romans 8:31). Our focus needs to move from our problems to the Provider.

Jehoshaphat’s prayer acknowledged his desperate need for God’s intervention: “We have no power against this great multitude that is coming against us; nor do we know what to do, but our eyes are upon You” (v. 12).

Perhaps you are facing a situation like this, where you realize that, in yourself, you have no power to bring a solution. You might also be able to identify with Jehoshaphat’s admission that he didn’t even have a clue about what should be done. However, despite his own powerlessness, Jehoshaphat knew where to look for help: “…our eyes are upon You.”

If you are in a battle today, it is crucial to understand whose battle it really is. Though it might seem like your battle, if you are God’s covenant partner I have good news for you: It’s not really your battle! Look at God’s wonderful message to Jehoshaphat: “Thus says the LORD to you: ‘Do not be afraid nor dismayed because of this great multitude, for the battle is not yours, but God’s’’’ (v. 15).

When you are walking in His favor, you can be confident that God Himself assumes responsibility for your battles. This means you don’t have to allow anxiety to rob you of your peace, even when you’re surrounded by overwhelming problems. Instead, as Peter writes, you can “cast all your anxiety on Him because He cares for you” (1 Peter 5:7). Notice that Peter says the Lord wants ALL your cares cast upon Him, not just some. They are His battles, after all.

Jehoshaphat and his people were given the most precious promise anyone could ever receive in a spiritual battle: God promised to be with them through it all: “Do not fear or be dismayed; tomorrow go out against them, for the LORD is with you” (v. 17). Don’t let fear paralyze you or keep you from hearing and obeying the Lord’s battle strategies!

In this case, Jehoshaphat had to learn a different kind of warfare than he had been used to. Instead of focusing on the enemies, He focused on the Lord and gave Him praise: “He appointed those who should sing to the LORD, and who should praise the beauty of holiness, as they went out before the army and were saying: ‘Praise the LORD, for His mercy endures forever’’’ (v. 21).

Jehoshaphat learned that praise was the key he needed to unlock His breakthrough: “When they began to sing and to praise, the LORD set ambushes against the people of Ammon, Moab, and Mount Seir, who had come against Judah; and they were defeated” (v. 22).

Do you want the Lord to “set ambushes” for the enemies that have come against you today? Then praise Him with all your heart even before you see the answer to your prayers!

Jehoshaphat not only used praise and worship to rout the enemies, but he and his people were gathering the spoils of victory for three days after the battle was over (v. 25). What an incredible display of God’s favor!

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