2 Chronicles 20:1-13
I love this portrait of humble and faithful leadership. In the face of overwhelming opposition Jehoshaphat humbled himself and the whole nation fasted. They had no answer without God’s leading and Jehoshaphat wasn’t too proud to admit it. He called on God and together they were all saved by God’s mighty hand. In Australia in 2014 we do not have multitudes of warriors bearing down on us here (but spare a prayer for Christians and other people groups in Iraq and Syria). In Western countries there are more subtle threats to the faithful church such as the rising tide of Christian nominalism, religious pluralism and some efforts by Muslim people to convert others to Islam. Without a renewed vision of Christ nurtured by His word our faith is bound to become brittle and skin deep. It is incumbent on our senior leaders, the parish council and every church member to keep calling upon the Lord in our insufficiency before we can discover His vision for the local church toward 2020 and beyond.
"Seeing the people, He felt compassion for them, because they were distressed and dispirited like sheep without a shepherd." v36. NASB
When we look around us and see distressed and harassed brothers and sisters in Christ do we see them as an inconvenience or do we see them as Jesus did? This passage comes right before Jesus sends out the twelve on mission. Healing and miraculous signs come before it and after it. He told them to go without waiting for stockpiles of money, bags, clothing or shoes. In other words he told them to trust his provision. Open the eyes of our heart Lord, to look with compassion on the harvest and trust you with provisions for the journey! May those who receive us receive you too Jesus. – cf Ephesians 1:18; Psalm 119:18