May 17th Devotion

Today's Reading: 1 Kings 21; Luke 23:26-56
Today's Thoughts: Trust and Obey


And all the prophets prophesied so, saying, "Go up to Ramoth Gilead and prosper, for the Lord will deliver it into the king's hand." Then the messenger who had gone to call Micaiah spoke to him, saying, "Now listen, the words of the prophets with one accord encourage the king. Please, let your word be like the word of one of them, and speak encouragement." And Micaiah said, "As the Lord lives, whatever the Lord says to me, that I will speak." - >1 Kings 22: 12-14

One day, the king of Israel said to the king of Judah, Jehoshaphat, "Will you go with me to fight at Ramoth Gilead" (verse 4). Jehoshaphat agreed to go and fight with him to get this land back. However, Jehoshaphat suggested that they hear from the Lord first and get His Word on what they should do. The king of Israel summoned his prophets and they all (about 400) proclaimed victory for the nation and king of Israel. Jehoshaphat was not so convinced and inquired of another prophet, Micaiah, who was known for speaking the truth. The king of Israel did not want to hear the truth; he wanted to hear that his plan would work. In the end, despite the king's efforts to the contrary, the king of Israel died in the battle. His heart was too hardened to hear and obey the words of God, even when those words would have saved his life.

How often do we ask for the truth but really do not want to hear it? How often are we told the truth yet refuse to act on it? These issues usually only matter when the truth is bad news. Good news is great to hear and much easier to respond to. Selective truth is not our option, especially in our walk with the Lord. The Lord is always ready and willing to lead and guide us. But are we willing to do what He tells us to do? When His answers do not match what we expect, we must make the decision right then to obey His Word. Otherwise, we allow the enemy time to deceive our thoughts. Pride, selfishness and a hard heart destroy our obedience to God. The bottom line: we ask, God answers, we obey. None of this, "but God" stuff will work.

If our hearts are truly set on following the Lord, then our relationship with Him will be one of surrender, faith and obedience. God is so good to listen to us and to grant us answers to our prayers; however, God is still God. Be reverent in how you seek His will for your life and be honest with Him about your struggles in how to obey. Do not try to manipulate His answers or escape His requests for obedience. Be willing to surrender your pride, be honest about your fears and seek the Lord's help in the next step of whatever He is telling you to do.
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