The words leaped off the page as I read them. I wiped my eyes, and read them again. In reading through the Bible in a year, I am working my way through 2 Chronicles and John’s gospel account. Chronicles is a 2 book coverage of the kings of Judah. Kings that are either considered good for following God, or bad for not following Him.
More than being a re-run of 1 and 2 kings, there is a often a bit more depth to the good kings, revealing some of the secrets behind their leadership. Chronicles has a greater emphasis on worship as a priest (some say Ezra) was the chronicler. And so as I’m reading 2 Chronicles 17, the words leap off the page.
In writing about the leadership of Jehoshaphat, the Chronicles writes in 2 Chronicles 17:6a, He had the confidence to live the way the Lord wanted him to live (GOD’S WORD).
I immediately had 2 thoughts: I want to live that way and I wonder what kind of life he lived to have that kind of confidence. And so the Holy Spirit prompted, keep reading and find out. I kept reading, and discovered 4 keys to Biblical confidence.
1. He focuses worship on the true God, not the false gods. I know that sounds so Old Testament, we don’t worship those idols of wood and stone, there’s no Asherah worship going on in my neighborhood. We are more sophisticated then that, we worship Paper called money or Plastic called Visa. We worship Padres and Chargers, business careers and fame. Biblical confidence walks with faith with the God of the Bible.
2. He builds on the Word of God. Jehoshaphat appoints teachers who use the Book of the Lord. They not only use it, they teach the people its truth. Jehoshaphat not only learns to follow God’s word, as a wise ruler, he wants his people to know as well. Great leaders look not only for their advancement, but for the advancement of others.
3. He provides strong judges who bring faith decisions to daily living. This happens in chapter 19. He reminds them their courtroom is more than one humans attend, but there is a divine audience as well. They serve at His call, and to judge wisely they follow His example. This shouldn’t surprise us as Jehoshaphat’s name means “Jehovah Judges.” You would expect this to be his strength, but he leverages his strength to be multiplied in the judges he appoints. As Jehoshaphat is all in to lead wisely, he seeks judges, leaders and Levites who are wholehearted in their devotion. He can trust their leadership with confidence.
4. He provides encouragement and seeks divine blessing. He paints a vision of God at work at their work. He sets the standard higher than the prevailing culture to the divine bench mark. Where his dad Asa had failed to do what is right, Jehoshaphat judges wisely to follow God’s way.
That’s not to say Jehoshaphat got it all right. He works with the evil Ahab, and is rebuked accordingly. He doesn’t sulk. He doesn’t get stubborn as his father did. He leads as guided by God’s Word, and the result? He had the confidence to live the way the Lord wanted him to live. I want to live that way, too!
So what brings you confidence in living and leading each day in following God? What’s the roadblock getting in the way of your confident living today?