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Sustained Spirituality in Uncertain Times



Ben Stuart dives deep into 2 Chronicles:1-30, focusing on the importance of community, desperation, and awe in order for us to have the motivation to press on in our faith.

Key Takeaway

We are not going to be able to maintain our spiritual practices if we aren't motivated. One of the greatest motivators of all time is desperation. Are you desperate to see God move? Once you see Him for who He truly is, you'll lean into the disciplines that keep you close to Him.

As a new year begins, people often make resolutions that have to do with getting in shape. In order for that to happen, one of three elements needs to be present.

Three necessary motivational goals for fitness. (Ben's Theory of Fitness)

  1. An inspiring location. It's usually involving nature.
  2. Accountable community. There's power in people telling you to get out of bed.
  3. A compelling goal. Something that you are desperate for.

We are going to spend this next series focusing on spiritual discipline, yet there has to be motivation on your part to put them into practice.

Ben's Theory of Fitness also works for your spiritual life too. It's found in the text. There is some backstory you need to be aware of. In Genesis, when God created us to walk with Him, and we broke faith with God, something broke in us. God, in His mercy, said He would send a Savior, not a technique, to rescue us. So, God chose Abraham and moved his family to a particular land and turned them into a nation, a kingdom of priests that were to tell other nations about the one true God. In this passage, the nation of Judah had fallen on hard times. However, Jehoshaphat rises up as a man who wants to serve the Lord.

2 Chronicles 20:1-2. Jehoshaphat gets word that there is a coalition coming against him. When he asks how close they are, he is told that they are in En Gedi, which means they are practically at their doorstep. There is zero time to huddle and figure out a plan of what to do.

2 Chronicles 20:3. Jehoshaphat was afraid, absolutely terrified. He's in a state of desperation. According to the Oxford Dictionary, desperate means a state of despair, typically one that results in rash or extreme behavior. You become willing to do something you would have never done before. Desperation can be good or bad, but Jehoshaphat used it for good and sought the LORD. He declared a fast. His desperation led to dependence.

What will make a praying a fasting people? The motivation is desperation. When you know your resources won't cut it, you seek the LORD. Whenever LORD is spelled with all caps, it is referencing the covenant God. The God who has bound himself to you. You seek that God. In Hebrew, "seek" means "to trample or tread". It's like wearing a path because you've walked the same area so many times. So, it's like Jehoshaphat is saying that the darkness is closing in so tightly that he is going to wear a path to the presence of the LORD. He sets his face to seek Him.

How will a revival happen in our day? Dr. John Hannah said an awakening:

is when a whole bunch of folks come to Christ, and they changed the culture in which they were operating. And if sociology is true, then there are more Christians and churchgoers in our country than ever before. There have never been so many of us that have had so little influence on the culture. It's not how big your meetings are; it's what happens afterward that means anything. It's a movement of God that gets us to do what we should be doing anyway. God's people who know Him become interested in God's priorities, which are people.

Awakenings and revivals are often preceded by desperation. People have to get scared of what they see happening in the culture. Are you there? Are you just desperate enough to complain, or do you have a desperation that leads you to the LORD?

2 Chronicles 20:5-6. Jehoshaphat's desperation merged with community and with awe. Desperation caused him to bring the people together. Jehoshaphat's name means "God will judge," as in rule and govern. He knows he has access to the Ruler of all. He brings in a sense of awe for the community to experience. He reminds Himself and others of who God is.

2 Chronicles 20:11-12. Jehoshaphat takes a very humble position as a leader and admits he has no idea what to do, and he's scared. However, he says their eyes are on God. The forces are them are bigger than them, but not bigger than God.

2 Chronicles 20:13. All the people joined in. They praise the Lord before the battle. The band led the way. It's not a great military strategy, but God was with them. When desperation meets awe, there is power.

As they arrive at the battle, they see the coalition fighting each other. Therefore, the battle was won before they got there. All the people had to do was pick up the spoils. That's why they called it "the Valley of Blessing." What looked like the darkest day was the dawn of provision. What looked like the worst of circumstances became a moment of blessing. That's what God does.

In your darkest, desperate moment of begging God to do something, remember: He has. He sent His son to die and rise for our salvation. And He will do something again: He's coming back.

Look up and see a God who rules over nations. A God who sent His Son for us to take on the penalty of sin and will one day remove all sin forever. When we see that, others see a people who are realistic and hopeful...and revival can start.


"It's a movement of God that gets us to do what we should be doing anyway. God's people who know Him become interested in God's priorities, which are people."

Dr. John Hannah

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Scripture References

  • 2 Corinthians 1:8-10
  • 2 Chronicles 20:1-30
Ben Stuart Ben Stuart is the pastor of Passion City Church D.C. Prior to joining Passion City Church, Ben served as the executive director of Breakaway Ministries on the campus of Texas A&M. He also earned a master’s degree in historical theology from Dallas Theological Seminary. He and his wife, Donna, live to inspire and equip people to walk with God for a lifetime.