Jehoshaphat was afraid and turned his attention to seek the Lord (2 Chronicles 20:3, NASB).
Fear tries to invade our thoughts and feelings many times during the course of life. Fear makes us feel intimidated and dreadful; it is a terrifying source of anxiety. Fear is debilitating; it can be overwhelming.
Fear is a tool the enemy uses in his attempt to keep us from moving on to the good things that God has in store for us. Fear of failure can keep us from trying. Fear of rejection can keep us from reaching out. Fear impedes; it does not facilitate. However, perfect love, the love of God, can keep fear out of our lives (1 John 4:18).
God’s plan for Jehoshaphat was victory over the enemy; but before that triumph was enjoyed, he experienced fear. He was fearful of defeat and loss. If he would have let fear paralyze him, then he would have never enjoyed God’s victory. Jehoshaphat had to do something about the fear that he was experiencing—and he knew just what to do. He turned his attention to seek the Lord; he focused on the perfect love of His God rather than the approaching adversary.
We can turn our attention, also. In order to turn our attention, we must choose to focus on God’s promises rather than the fear that is attacking our thoughts. It is important to understand that you alone determine what thoughts remain in your mind and what thoughts have to go. No one can force you to think anything. You may not be able to control what thoughts come your way, but you can control which ones you give your attention to.
We are told to take our thoughts captive (2 Corinthians 10:5). In order to take our thoughts captive, we must be aware of what we are thinking. We must not idly allow vain thoughts to occupy our minds. Be aware of your thoughts; take the time to evaluate them. Do your thoughts line up with the Word of God, or do they disagree with the Word of God? Jehoshaphat recognized that his fearful thoughts did not line up with God’s promises; consequently, he turned his attention. He chose to focus on God instead of the enemy.
Jehoshaphat began to feel fear, but he rejected that feeling by turning his attention to seek the Lord. Where is your attention turned? You have a choice to make when fear is attacking; you have to choose to focus on the Word of God instead of on your circumstances.
When you continually focus on your feelings or your circumstances, rather than on the Word, you will find yourself in a state of constant irritation. Repetition always has an effect—positive or negative. Continually reminding yourself of God’s promises will have a positive, spiritual effect—but we must remember that the opposite is also true. As we navigate through the course of life, we must repeatedly choose to turn our attention to seek the Lord instead of giving our attention to the enemy.