When you consult God before making decisions, it keeps you out of all sorts of trouble. Joshua learned this the hard way. He had just conquered Jericho, the biggest city in the Promised Land. Flushed with victory, the Israelites felt like they didn’t need to consult God concerning their next move. But over-confidence can be deadly!
The Gibeonites, one of the enemy nations in the Promised Land, realised they couldn’t win against God’s people, so they sent negotiators in to make peace with them. And it worked. Even though the Gibeonites were lying, Joshua presumed they were telling the truth and signed a treaty. And it proved to be one of the biggest mistakes of his life. From that day on the Gibeonites became a constant thorn in Israel’s side. Joshua lived to regret that he ‘did not ask the Lord.’
Some of the oldest hymns contain the greatest truths. Here’s one: ‘O what peace we often forfeit; O what needless pain we bear. All because we do not carry everything to God in prayer.’ Are you a ‘make-it-happen-in-your-own-strength’ kind of person? There’s a fine line between God-given assurance and self-sufficiency, and when you cross that line it can cost you dearly. If you’ve a tendency to move too quickly or operate in your own strength and skill, read these words carefully and prayerfully: ‘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. Do not be wise in your own eyes.’ (Proverbs 3:5–7 NKJV)