Praise him – Day 12
Ask for advice
For many people the mere thought of asking someone for advice is unacceptable. It would be an admission of weakness, ignorance and dependency. Yet, other people’s insights often bring a new perspective because their knowledge and experience is approached and viewed from a different angle. Proverbs 11:14 confirms the wisdom of advisors: “For lack of guidance a nation falls, but victory is won through many advisors.”
Experience teaches us not to just blithely accept advice from people, because people can make mistakes and usually do not know God’s plan for your life. Therefore, before you consult with people, ensure that you first seek direction from the One who rules over your life.
Joshua 8 – 9 describes a passage of history in the life of Israel that shows how beneficial it is to first consult God before turning to others, and also how disastrous it can be not to consult with God at all.
Israel took Jericho in a miraculous way because they carried out the plan of action that God had given them down to the finest detail. Shortly thereafter, it is Ai’s turn and based on what the scouts observed in Ai, Joshua and his men decide to send only three thousand men into battle. Mistake! They were defeated and in fear and shame had to flee from the enemy.
The lesson? You cannot rely on previous victories to tackle a new battle or issue. Get the blueprint from God for every new day and every new transaction; because you do not always know whether there might have been a deviation from the plan of your previous success. In the aftermath, Joshua consults God and discovers that Achan had violated God’s command – he took what did not belong to him. Only once they had punished him, could they conquer Ai and take the city.
The success of Israel’s victories scared the inhabitants of Canaan and when people are frightened, they either flee or craft sly plans, as the Hivites of Gibeon did. They disguised themselves as representatives of a distant country with worn clothes, old food and broken wineskins to persuade Joshua to make a covenant of peace with them. They were so shrewd that they even refered to the God of Israel who miraculously led Israel out of Egypt. The men of Israel fell for this trick. Why? “… [they] did not enquire of the Lord” (Joshua 9:14).
You and I cannot afford not to consult with God about every issue that comes our way. It is only by the guidance of his Spirit that we can discern deception, lies, trickery and deceit.