2 Chronicles 18:1-8 (Part 3) – C’mon, God! Give Me a Sign…That Is The Same As My Desire!

Posted: September 1, 2020 in 14-2 Chronicles

2 Chronicles 18:1-8 (Part 3 of 3)

Jehoshaphat and Ahab

Opening Illustration/Comments

I don’t remember what movie it was or if it was a TV show or something, but there’s this memory of a guy wishing that God would give him a visible sign of what decision he should make about something. And, humorously, there appear obvious signs to us, the audience, that God is giving this guy a message. One of these messages was like a big pointing finger to something that symbolically represented what God wanted him to do. However, the guy steps over, through, around and otherwise is completely oblivious to the signs being given. It was funny. I just wish I could remember where I saw it so I could include the link.

Similarly, we sometimes pray for God to give you an answer to a tough question. You know those times when you just don’t know what to do. When you ponder your choices on your own, there are major downsides to any decision that you make on the issue. You want to throw up your hands because you don’t know what to do. Then, you go to God with it and ask Him what to do. God will give you the answer through that answer that comes to your mind and heart or He will give it to you through the advice of a trusted friend or He will give it to you through something you read, see or watch. He communicates with us both directly and indirectly and sometimes both. Yet, when it’s not what our personal desire is, we complain that God is not giving us an answer! I’ve done that and I am sure you have to.

Too often, we want to make God confirm what our personal desires are. We think that our opinion is God’s will just because we are known as a good Christian. We think that just because we are fully devoted to Christ that every thought we have is pure Christian gold. We, therefore, think that because we have been a Christ follower for x number of years that our opinions, our positions on things, and our thoughts are, indeed, the will of God. We then go to God in prayer and just assume that God will confirm what we are thinking as the right thing to do. When he communicates His actual will through His direct and indirect methods, we complain that God is not answering our prayers and then proceed with our own desired action anyway. Have you ever done that?

It is that idea of confusing our desires with the true will of God that I thought about this morning when reading this passage, 2 Chronicles 18:1-8, again. Let us read through it this morning, together, with that idea in mind:

Scripture Passage

18 Jehoshaphat enjoyed great riches and high esteem, and he made an alliance with Ahab of Israel by having his son marry Ahab’s daughter. 2 A few years later he went to Samaria to visit Ahab, who prepared a great banquet for him and his officials. They butchered great numbers of sheep, goats, and cattle for the feast. Then Ahab enticed Jehoshaphat to join forces with him to recover Ramoth-gilead.

3 “Will you go with me to Ramoth-gilead?” King Ahab of Israel asked King Jehoshaphat of Judah.

Jehoshaphat replied, “Why, of course! You and I are as one, and my troops are your troops. We will certainly join you in battle.” 4 Then Jehoshaphat added, “But first let’s find out what the Lord says.”

5 So the king of Israel summoned the prophets, 400 of them, and asked them, “Should we go to war against Ramoth-gilead, or should I hold back?”

They all replied, “Yes, go right ahead! God will give the king victory.”

6 But Jehoshaphat asked, “Is there not also a prophet of the Lord here? We should ask him the same question.”

7 The king of Israel replied to Jehoshaphat, “There is one more man who could consult the Lord for us, but I hate him. He never prophesies anything but trouble for me! His name is Micaiah son of Imlah.”

Jehoshaphat replied, “That’s not the way a king should talk! Let’s hear what he has to say.”

8 So the king of Israel called one of his officials and said, “Quick! Bring Micaiah son of Imlah.”

Passage Analysis

In this passage, we see that the wicked king of the northern kingdom, Ahab, asked Jehoshaphat to join forces with him in battle. Before making that commitment, Jehoshaphat rightly sought God’s advice. However, when God gave His answer through the prophet Micaiah, Jehoshaphat ignored it. It does no good to seek God’s advice if we ignore when it is given. Real love for God is shown, not merely by asking for His direction, but by following that direction once it is given, regardless if it the course of action that we preferred ourselves or not.

Life Application

I think the thing that we need to takeaway this morning is that we must always check our desires to make sure we are not confusing them with the true will of God for our lives. We must considered whether our desires are consistent with Scripture or not. Even if we have been a Christian for 50 plus years, we are still made of flesh. We are still sinful people after we have been saved by the grace of Jesus Christ. We still commit sins daily whether by thought, deed, or both. Thus, every thought we have as to courses of action in life must be checked against God’s Word. Further, we must seek God’s will even if it is contrary to our own opinions and desires. God will never steer us into actions that inconsistent with Scripture. We must remember that every thought we have is not pure as the driven snow even if we have been a Christian since we accepted Christ as our Savior when we were a kid. We have evil thoughts. We have plans that will hurt people. We have plans that are self-serving. We have plans that protect our pride. We have plans that Satan will try to twist into a sweet sounding spiritual truth but yet is inconsistent with the nature of God as revealed in His Word.

Let us then make sure that we do not confuse our personal desires with the will of God. Let us be open to the fact that God’s will may be not even in the same zip code as our personal desires (sometimes we are way off base between our personal desire and God’s will). Let us be open to admitting that we are sinful and humbly coming before God and seeking His will and even if that means we have to change direction, even if that means we may have to say, my desires were not aligned with the will of God. Let us be willing to see God’s advice whether it be direct or indirect and actually follow that course of action. Doing things God’s way is always better.

Amen and Amen.

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