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Vol.5, No. 13 – April 19, 2020

Leadership in a Time of Crisis

We are powerless . . . We do not know what to do, but our eyes are on You. –2 Chronicles 20:12

Ever feel like throwing in the towel? You think it is over; you have lost. Things will never, ever, be the same again. It is a common feeling in our day.

This is an apt description of the emotions of the people of Israel; impoverished cries were heard throughout Jerusalem.

Three armies. Think about that. The triad armies of Moab, Ammon, and the horde army of desert brutes are advancing on the western shores of the Dead Sea. It is but a sample of the armies that will come against Israel in the last days as we looked in the book of Revelation in the past months. (If you missed those blogs, or just some of them, they are still available in the archives. Just click on them on the blog site. If you want the complete Revelation project, just email me and I will forward you the file.)

There were bullying threats (nothing is new under the sun), echoing up into the capital city, Jerusalem. The nation is petrified. People from all across the nation came to plead unitedly with King Jehoshaphat.

This great leader is badly shaken. The heavily armed militants, bringing a large war cloud, is rolling in like a storm, deadly. That triad is ready to burst like thunder on this tiny capital. Yet, even in his fear, Jehoshaphat has determination. He knows he needs help. He goes to the only place that makes sense for a leader. He seeks help from the Lord.

He begins to pray like mad (we too often divert to prayer when we exhaust all of our own remedies). Jehoshaphat set his face to seek the Lord, and proclaimed a fast throughout all Judah (20:3). Jehoshaphat pleads for God’s mercy. He looks at the nation’s history with God. He rehearses the past with Jehovah – and along with his plea, Jehoshaphat makes sure that God understands that the Holy Temple and the Holy City are about to be destroyed (as if God needs reminders).

He ends his passionate prayer:

O our God, will You not execute judgment on them? For we are powerless against this great horde that is coming against us. We do not know what to do, but our eyes are on You. –20:12

Leaders often experience quandaries. A godly leader says, We cannot . . . You can. Will you lead us? We are between a rock and a hard place . . . save us, Lord! Once all our props are put away, the process is at once a spiritual one; clinging to that which endures.

There come moments in every life, when the false security is broken; then often a paroxysm of terror or misery grips. That for which we, or a leader, has no answer, and then there is recognition that despair is as unreasonable as was the security. Are we not experiencing some of that today; are not there multitudes of people suffering the illness and anxiety

However, God! Then God faithfully sends His messenger, in this case, Jahaziel. He brings a message of hope and confidence. Do not be afraid. Do not be paralyzed by this mighty army. The battle is not yours, but God’s (20:13-18).

Early the next morning, the army of Judah goes into the wilderness of Tekoa. There is a “church” choir, the song is a favorite anthem, His Loving Kindness is Forever. In this very moment, the enemy is finished. In the moment, in the twinkling of an eye! Finished. Wiped out. It is a complete walkover win.

Life Application

The challenge ended in the Valley of Beracah (20:24-30). The name translates as the place of blessing. When we, or our leaders, look to Almighty God for deliverance, the dread of the impossible, the fear of defeat, and anxiety of failure is gone. Confidence replaces. Assurance replaces. Tomorrows replace. This happens when we go to the right Person.

Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword. . . . we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord. –Romans 8:35-39

Leadership in a time of crisis is always available—if we would but ask our Almighty God!

Stephen held Christ to his earthly end. Christ is Stephen’s sure and lasting hope, forever (Acts 7:59-60). Christians suffered during the early days of the church, even at the hand of Saul (Paul). Yet, God’s love moved even greater during the suffering (Acts 8:4). God forever rules, even in the midst of people’s suffering! (Spoken recently in a message by our church pastor.)

During the time of suffering, the Gospel continued spreading greater than all the suffering spread. This is clearly a God thing!

The wealthy of the earth, the people of stature, people imbued with anxiety and fear attempt to mitigate things present with their own plan, but it is far from what God requires. The plans of the people of the earth fail in the long run. Simon, the magician/sorcerer, attempted to buy power, standing, and his name (Great Power of God), hearing that there was another stronger, the One named Jesus. He got out his smart phone to use Apple Pay, but sadly found his freedom was not able to be purchased (Acts 8:9-25).

How many people do you know that need to hear the truth of Jesus?

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Written by Dr. Larry Lightner

April 19, 2020

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