Justin Tucker, LHBC Worship Pastor

2 Chronicles 20:15
And he said, “Listen, all Judah and inhabitants of Jerusalem and King Jehoshaphat: Thus says the LORD to you, ‘Do not be afraid and do not be dismayed at this great horde, for the battle is not yours but God’s.

So when I fight, I’ll fight on my knees
With my hands lifted high
Oh God, the battle belongs to You
And every fear I lay at Your feet
I’ll sing through the night
Oh God, the battle belongs to You

Over the last 27 years, February has become a special time of reflection and thanksgiving for our family. It’s a month full of birthdays, anniversaries, and Valentine’s Day. This year has been a little different though. Maybe it’s the weather or the interruption of the normal in our home but this year I feel extra thankful. You see, 27 years ago on  what began as a snow weekend at my cousin’s house turned into our family’s worst fears. Mom was diagnosed with cancer. I still remember sitting in her hospital bed and sobbing while she told me. I remember how she held me while we both cried. I remember the fear that gripped my 12 year old heart. More than anything though, I remember how calm she was. I remember the prayers we prayed as a family, thanking God for healing in advance, thanking God for our family, asking for peace, praying for the doctors and nurses that would care for Mom. As a family, we didn’t sing but we worshipped. Mom led us to that place. The only reason that she was able to have that kind of peace in the face of what was happening was due to her faith. She completely believed that God would heal her and that everything would be okay. Well…He did. Mom’s surgery went off without a hitch, all cancerous tissue was removed. She was healed. God had stepped in and won a battle that only He could win.

When we turn our posture to prayer and praise, the only person that can receive the glory is God. Without God’s power, Jehoshaphat’s army could’ve been defeated. Jehoshaphat chose to lead his people into worshipping God, he appointed men to sing praise to God and the Lord set ambushes for the enemies of Jerusalem and He won the battle. After picking up the spoils of war for 3 days, Jehoshaphat and his army praised God again. When we choose to focus our efforts on praise and prayer instead of our problems, God shows up and puts His power on display. He receives the glory, not us. When we lean into this truth it allows us to see beyond the things in battles in front of us and into the victory that He has promised.

I believe that just as God delivered Jehoshaphat and his army from harm, He delivered my mom from cancer. He wins battles, not us. He receives the glory, not us. I believe that my mom is here today because the posture of her heart was bowed to God Almighty in prayer and praise.  

Father, help me to always remember to pray and  praise you no matter what battle I’m facing. I know that in my own power I am weak and that I need you. Lord, I trust the outcome to you, whatever that may be, because I know that you are good and that your plans for my life are good. Help me to lean in to your love and grace. In Jesus’ name, amen.

1 Corinthians 15:58
Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain.