I don’t know about you, but all the craziness that’s come in 2020 has tempted me to worry a lot. I keep wondering what I can do to change things, but feel completely powerless to do so. It seems like nothing I could do would make a bit of difference. I’d be completely overwhelmed, except for the fact that I’ve been in impossible situations like this before, and those times taught me to cling to the God of the impossible. He has shown up for me in miraculous ways on multiple occasions.
I love this story from 2 Chronicles 20. Basically, God’s people were surrounded by a vast army that was too powerful for them. The king stood up and prayed this “we don’t know what to do” prayer. He confessed his powerlessness, and then proclaimed that their only hope was in God. As the people stood before the Lord and waited, the Spirit of God moved on a prophet who proclaimed, “Do not fear or be dismayed because of this great multitude, for the battle is not yours but God’s” (20:15). On hearing this word the people bowed down in worship— they began to praise Him “with a very loud voice” (20:19). This praise continued as they went into battle the next morning. Scripture says, “When they began singing and praising, the Lord set ambushes against [their enemies]..so they were routed” (20:22). Not one enemy escaped while the people of Israel did nothing but praise.
I’ve been feeling particularly powerless lately. Can you relate? I’ve wanted to fix it, to find some magic bullet, to post some wise words on social media that will make people to come to their senses, but I know it would be futile. However, there’s one thing I know to be true. It isn’t futile to set my eyes on God, to proclaim my utter dependence on Him and to make Him bigger than the multitude of problems I face— and that we face as a nation. I believe the outcome would have been far different for the people of Israel if they’d taken matters in their own hands. In fact, scripture is filled with examples of that happening. And I believe our outcome now depends on making a choice to invite Him to come and take over and to drop our prideful desire to control things.
Psalm 22:3 tells us that God inhabits the praises of his people. He shows up when we put our hope in him and elevate him above the obstacles we face, and our own flimsy, pride-laden solutions. Right now you may be at a crossroads. I know our country is at one, and we must make a decision. God’s people can act like the world by seeking to control the situation, or we can confess just how weak and powerless we are. Rather than trying to control things, we can invite the One who perfects his strength in our weakness to take over (2 Cor. 12:9). He is our only hope. Will you join me in praying that He will come and help us now?
Mighty God, things are spinning out of control! It’s really scary right now and we don’t know what to do! All our efforts have amounted to nothing, and without you we are sunk! But we choose not to allow circumstances to define or control us. Rather, we choose to shift our attention to you to give you all the glory and praise. You are worthy and you weave all things together for your good purposes (and for ours) as we seek you first (Matthew 6:33, Romans 8:28-29). We need you desperately!
Father, I confess that I’ve been seeking answers more than you. I’ve been making the problems bigger than you, and I’ve been acting like I actually have the power to do something about them. Without you, I can do nothing. I have no power Lord— only You do and I ask You to take over. I relinquish any desire to fix or control it. Only you God can save me. Only you can save this nation. We praise you because of who you are. We worship you, because you are worthy. You are far more worthy to take up space in our minds than all the strife and trouble we are seeing. We praise you because nothing is impossible for you! We praise you because you cared enough about this broken world to come down and be broken on our behalf. Thank you! Come and inhabit our praises Lord and route our enemies and we look to you. Amen
Note: Since someone asked this does not mean we sit back and do nothing, or that we don’t vote. It simply means our first course of action is to look to him and allow him to direct us (notice the Israelites still marched out to battle). It means we make him bigger than all the problems and trust him whatever happens. We don’t have to live in fear. Genuine faith is accompanied by action.
3 thoughts on “We Don’t Know What to Do…”
Sometimes it just helps me to read a prayer, for someone else to put the words in my mouth, words that will turn my heart to the Lord. This prayer did that for me, bc like so many, I can identify with your confession. So thank you. I do have a question. You said in the prayer, “I relinguish my desire to fix or control things.” Should we see all actions as an attempt to control? For example, is voting an act of control? Is trying to persuade people to see the lies they are being fed? Is writing letters of protest to the newspaper or our Congressmen? Is using social media to inform of valid threats to our sense of peace and of governmental manipulation an effort at control? Once we have lifted up and dwelt in His praises, once we have fixed our eyes on Jesus and called on the Almighty God, do we just go work in our gardens? It seems that’s what the “good Germans” did as Hitler destroyed the lives of millions. How is this different than what you have based your ministry on concerning women who’ve tried to pray their way out of an abusive marriage? You always tell them to have a plan and take action and not lay down their power. Please know I am not asking these questions with any angst or anger. It’s honestly something I wrestle with, bc people often encourage those of us who want to get involved to not focus on the negative, to think positively, to post happy pictures and positive sayings, etc.
Good questions! Thanks for asking, and absolutely not. I just added a note at the bottom to answer your question. I believe faith leads us to action— the first course of action is to look to him and wait for his direction. When we do that we don’t have to be anxious and filled with fear.
Thank you for posting. Yes, I can relate to what you’ve written. I often feel powerless but am so glad I can call out to the Lord (the Lord of all the earth!!) knowing that He knows which way I should go, and he orders our steps when he asks us. I’m so glad I belong to ALMIGHTY God 🙂
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