WISDOM FOR LIVING DEVOTIONAL
DECEMBER 11, 2020
TOPIC: HAVE YOU ASKED THE LORD ABOUT IT FIRST?
BY T. O. BANSO
“They go down to Egypt for help without asking me about it first. They hope they will be saved by the king of Egypt; they want Egypt to protect them.” (Isaiah 30:2 New Century Version).
Years ago, a lady broke the heart of a young man she had been in courtship with. They had actually been discussing when he would come with members of his family for the introduction in her family.
Looking very sad, she couldn’t break the bad news to him. After much hesitation, she told her fiance she was discontinuing the relationship.
The young man felt she was playing a prank. They had been together for some years and she was very dependable. They talked nearly every day and there was no quarrel at the time. The lady was serious but she found it difficult to convince the man she wasn’t joking. As time went on, it dawned on him that the lady was serious.
He tried to find out the reason from the lady but she was not forthcoming. After much persuasion and pressure, she told him her mother said they couldn’t marry each other because the marriage wouldn’t last. He pressed further to know how the marriage wouldn’t last and she told him that the mother said he would die prematurely.
The young man considered such information trash that he didn’t expect the lady to believe. “Who said that? How did they know? That’s nonsense,” he said. The lady gave no further information but she was convinced about what her mother said and was resolute she was discontinuing the relationship.
It was heartbreaking for the man, and he felt disappointed that someone he had planned to live the rest of his life with could believe such a superstition. But sad to say, a few months later it turned out not to be a superstition. The young man died mysteriously. It was a great loss to everyone because he was a very friendly, responsible, and caring person.
The lady must have received the death of the man with mixed feelings. She could have probably married him already at the time of his death, if not for the information. Although she was saved from being a widow prematurely, she painfully lost a friend. She must have wished she could save him from the untimely death.
I believe it is better to do what the LORD has blessed than to ask Him to bless what you choose to do. Many times, we don’t ask the LORD for what He has blessed. Rather, we choose what we prefer and ask the LORD to bless it.
We will be saved most of the troubles, losses, pains, frustrations, etc. we suffer if we ask Him first whether or not what we want is His will for us. We may start something and it appears to be working but it may soon begin to fail. That doesn’t mean that God’s will does not sometimes run into troubled waters but ultimately it will prevail.
Only God knows tomorrow; He alone knows the marriage, business, job, etc that will last. That’s why we should ask Him about it before we make decisions. Don’t call your goose pimples divine leading! Don’t consider the beautiful face, good job, financial power, and an attractive salary offer and make your choice based on any of these. Many who have done that are regretting it today. Unfortunately, some of them were warned but they said they were convinced.
Proverbs 3:5-6 says, “Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths” (New King James Version). There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death (Proverbs 14:12; 16:25). Some choices or decisions may not lead to death but their consequences could be extremely unpleasant.
Have you asked the LORD about that thing first? Maybe you call that “spiritual nonsense” and you don’t believe in it. You’re wrong. Life is both spiritual and physical. You will be wrong to live your life on the physical plane alone. That would be gross ignorance. But you would even be in great error to engage in the wrong spiritual communication, which exposes you to demons.
Your spiritual communication should be with the Living God. Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me” (John 14:6 new King James Version). Isaiah 8:19 says, “And when they say to you, ‘Seek those who are mediums and wizards, who whisper and mutter,’ should not a people seek their God? Should they seek the dead on behalf of the living?” (New King James Version).
If only you had asked the LORD first, you would have saved the amount of money you lost in that business; you would not have been duped; you would not have made that fruitless journey; you would not have married that good looking and seemingly peaceful man who has turned to a wife beater. The list continues.
The LORD says about the Israelites, “They go down to Egypt for help without asking me about it first. They hope they will be saved by the king of Egypt; they want Egypt to protect them” (Isaiah 30:2 New Century Version). Egypt would fail them. Egypt (man) must never replace God in your life.
The New Living Translation renders Isaiah 30:2 thus: “For without consulting me, you have gone down to Egypt to find help. You have put your trust in Pharaoh for his protection.” Do you consult the LORD first before you make decisions? Or do you only begin to pray when you run into trouble?
Hear what the LORD says about trusting in Egypt rather than trusting in Him. “Woe to those who go down to Egypt for help, and rely on horses, who trust in chariots because they are many, and in horsemen because they are very strong, but who do not look to the Holy One of Israel, nor seek the LORD! “ (Isaiah 31:1 New King James Version). The subsequent two verses show the outcome is tragedy or disaster. The helped and the helper will fall down.
Ask the LORD about it first! He may tell you yes, no, or wait. Be sure that thing is not another “Egypt”. Don’t waste your time, money, life, etc. because you failed to ask the LORD first. The LORD warns: “Look! You are trusting in the staff of this broken reed, Egypt, on which if a man leans, it will go into his hand and pierce it. So is Pharaoh king of Egypt to all who trust in him” (Isaiah 36:6 New King James Version).
The life of David shows us that, most times, he asked the LORD first. He would enquire of the LORD, and once the LORD answered him, he would act accordingly. This helped him to succeed in his military exploits. We see instances in 1 Samuel 23:1-5, 7-13; 2 Samuel 2:1-3; 5:17-25).
However, on some occasions, he acted foolishly. In Bathsheba’s case, he didn’t enquire from the LORD. Of course, the LORD wouldn’t have asked him to go ahead. He suffered seriously for his sin. He also conducted a census without enquiring from the LORD. 1 Chronicles 21:1 says, “Now Satan stood up against Israel, and moved David to number Israel” (New King James Version).
Elimelech migrated with the family to Moab when there was a famine in Bethlehem (Ruth 1:1-5). Apparently, it was a time in Israel when every Israelites did whatever seemed right in his own eyes (Judges 21:25b), Perhaps, if he had asked from the LORD first before moving, he and his two sons would not have died in Moab.
1 Kings 22:7 says, “And Jehoshaphat said, ‘Is there not still a prophet of the LORD here, that we may inquire of Him?’” (1 Kings 22:7 New King James Version). He wasn’t convinced about the credibility of Ahab’s 400 prophets who assured them of victory at Ramoth-Gilead. Yet, after hearing from a genuine prophet of God, Jehoshaphat went with Ahab to the battle contrary to what the LORD said. He nearly died in that battle but Ahab died.
Ask the LORD about that thing first. Find out His will and do it. David said, “I delight to do Your will, O my God, and Your law is within my heart” (Psalm 40:8 New King James Version). He also said in Psalm 143:10, “Teach me to do Your will, for You are my God; Your Spirit is good. Lead me in the land of uprightness” (New King James Version). His will should be done on earth as it is in Heaven (Matthew 6:10; Luke 11:2). Jesus was committed to doing God’s will, not His own will (Matthew 26:39, 42; Mark 14:36; Luke 22:42). Emulate Him.
Do His will that is already written in the Bible. Ask the LORD first in prayer in matters of choices and decision-making. Spend time to seek His face. Ask for His will. Love His will. His will is already blessed. Do what He has blessed.
If you are not born again, you need to give your life to Jesus now. I urge you to take the following steps: *Admit you are a sinner and you cannot save yourself and repent of your sins. *Confess Jesus as your Lord and Saviour. *Renounce your past way of life – your relationship with the devil and his works. *Invite Jesus into your life. *As a mark of seriousness to mature in the faith, start attending a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church. There they will teach you how to grow in the Kingdom of God.
Kindly say this prayer now: O Lord God, I come unto you today. I know I am a sinner and I cannot save myself. I believe that Jesus is the Son of God who died on the cross to save me and resurrected the third day. I repent of my sins and confess Jesus as my Lord and Saviour. I surrender my life to Jesus now and invite Him into my heart. By this prayer, I know I am saved. Thank you, Jesus, for saving me and making me a child of God.
I believe you have said this prayer from your heart. Congratulations! You will need to join a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church in your area where they will teach you how to live your new life in Christ Jesus. I pray that you flourish like the palm tree and grow like the cedar of Lebanon. May you grow into Christ in all things and become all God wants you to be. I will be glad to hear from you. The LORD be with you.
PRAYER POINTS: Father, teach me to do Your will, for You are my God. I will not replace You with human beings in my life. I will consult You and not do what seems right in my own eyes. Father, strengthen all Your children; let them not be discouraged from pursuing Your will because of the challenges they are facing.
(For over 300 in-depth and powerful messages by T. O. Banso, visit www.cedarministry.org).
T. O. Banso is the President, Cedar Ministry International, Abuja, Nigeria.
Phone No: +2348155744752, +2348033113523
WhatsApp No: +2349081295947