There’s a saying that it’s better to ask for forgiveness than to ask for permission. I strongly disagree. Although taking initiative and being proactive have their place, the general order of things in the Kingdom of God begins with inquiring of the Lord– ASKING FIRST.
I believe that many of the issues that we face have been because we failed to ask Father God FIRST! Some challenges and struggles could have been avoided altogether. Do any come to mind? I’m thinking of a few right now!
My very busy 3-year old is learning restraint and order. The house rules include asking first before doing certain things. It’s a daily boot-camp to drill this into my child. And as she is also learning, when you don’t ask first, there are consequences. In Joshua 9, the Israelites and Joshua made a decision where they failed to ASK FIRST.
The Gibeonites, their enemies, heard the report that the Israelites were taking everyone down and they didn’t want to be next. So they devised a deceptive ploy to get the Israelites to be their allies. They pretended to be from a far away place (when in fact they only lived 3 days away), lowly and helpless.
Not only did the Israelites respond by giving them some of their own bread and provisions, they entered into a full-blown peace treaty with them!! God sat by quietly and allowed them to do so because they didn’t follow His known order – ASK FIRST. The Israelites lives were not their own. They were God’s chosen people and every decision they made was to be approved by Him.
Even though it seems like they were doing a good deed to help those in need, their decision cost them greatly! Once they found out that these “far away foreigners” were in fact their enemy neighbors, the covenant had already been made and could not be undone!
In the very next chapter, the drama unfolds big time. The Gibeonites’ enemies were now assembled against Israel because of their alliance and the Israelites fought a battle that would have otherwise not been theirs. However this time, Joshua received God’s word of victory on the issue BEFORE he jumped into action. That made all the difference!
Years and generations later, Saul, the rebellious, lawless king, destroyed the Gibeonites and because of this, God’s judgment fell on the Israelites. Even though the Israelites were deceived by the Gibeonites, they were still required by God to honor the oath that they had made. David inquired of the Lord on how to rectify the situation and it required him to make some very difficult decisions. Undoing something is ALWAYS more complicated than doing it.
On average, it takes about 1-2 hours to get a tattoo, but it can take 6 months to 1.5 years to completely remove it! It’s also about 10 times more costly and much, much more painful. The same can be said for retail transactions. It takes about 2 seconds for the clerk to swipe your debit card and the bank to put a hold on your money, but if you want a refund, it can take almost a week! Sometimes God has to allow the consequences of our actions to fall on our own shoulders so that we will learn the lesson and avoid repeating it.
The next time a decision is required of you, ask the Holy Spirit now to remind you to pause and ASK FIRST. Unnecessary battles and frustration can be avoided when we follow God’s divine order!
Scripture of the Day: ‘So the Israelites examined their food, but they did not consult the Lord. Then Joshua made a peace treaty with them and guaranteed their safety, and the leaders of the community ratified their agreement with a binding oath.” – Joshua 9:14-15