Sunday, November 17, 2013

Act and then ask the Lord to bless it or pray first and then act?

II Chron. 18:4  Then Jehoshaphat added, “But first let’s find out what the LORD says.”

Ahab and Jehoshaphat were joining forces to go to war.  Ahab had sought the counsel of those who wanted to please him.  They had a track record of always saying what Ahab wanted to hear instead of what he needed to hear.  Since Ahab was not living in faith, it worked well for him. On the other hand, Jehoshaphat was a man who lived in faith.  He sought to know God’s ways and do them.  So, before he joined forces with Ahab in war, he wanted to first seek the mind of God.

Are we like Ahab or Jehoshaphat?  Do we first seek the Lord’s guidance before we act, or do we do what it pleases us to do?  It is not okay to act and then ask the Lord to bless our actions.  If the Lord does not bless our actions before we do them, He cannot be expected to bless them when we do them.  Things may very well work out okay for us, but it will be not because the Lord was in it.  It is arrogance to think that we know the will of God without first waiting before Him and letting Him reveal it to us.

We do it a lot, don’t we?  We plow ahead in our lives and assume that the Lord is pleased with us.  We assume that because we are His children that we have His blessings on all we do.  We often try to justify ourselves by imposing our will on God’s will.  We expect the Lord to honor us with little real regard for whether or not it is okay with Him.  We spend little time in prayer and meditation before God to get His direction for our lives.

We need to be careful in this.  Let us first strive to find out what the Lord has to say about our plans.  Let us wait before Him and not jump into things unless we have peace that it is permissible for us to act.  If the Lord gives us the okay, then fine.  But if He says no, let us change our plans.  The Lord knows what is best for us.  Following His lead will spare us from a lot of unnecessary foolishness, grief and pain.

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