READ: 1 Kings 22
THINK: Don't believe everything you hear. Of course, you already knew that. But with so many messages coming from all sorts of media, it doesn't hurt to be reminded that people will say whatever it takes to convince you that their products or propositions are just what you need. Even though we know how deceptive the messages can be, it's still easy to be swayed by what we hear. That's why we need to be in tune with the Source of truth, which can help us filter out all the fluff and fallacy and give us the information we need to make wise and informed decisions. This requires a deliberate choice to listen to God above anything in the culture that clamors for our attention. We must take our cues from the Word, not the world. That means consulting God for guidance in matters big and small. It's not that we have to stop and wait for a sign regarding every decision. It's a matter of walking with God and using His wisdom. If your spiritual ears are always open to His Spirit, you'll hear clearly when He speaks.
RESPOND: What wise advice did Jehoshaphat give the king of Israel before going into battle (vv. 4-5)? Why is this good advice for us as well? Why do we need discernment regarding the advice, counsel or teaching of those who claim to speak for God? (See 22:6 note.) How can we gain such discernment? In what way is Micaiah a prime example of a godly messenger (vv. 13-14)? What does God's method of bringing disaster on Ahab reveal about God's authority and about the consequences of rebellion against Him? (See 22:23 note.) Why did Ahab disregard Micaiah's prophetic counsel? How does Ahab's death serve as a warning to those who think they can persistently defy God, yet still escape His wrath (vv. 32-38)? Though King Jehoshaphat of Judah "did what was right in the eyes of the Lord," what was one thing he failed to do (v. 43)? How could this cause problems for him or others in the future? Why do you think Jehoshaphat refused to let Ahaziah's men sail with his own men (vv. ,51-53)? Why must godly people be extremely cautious regarding the people with whom they closely associate on a continual basis?
PRAY: Seek God's counsel and guidance before undertaking a significant task or entering a "battle." Pray that you'll never compromise God's message or your trust in His Word for the sake of ease, acceptance or pressure to conform. Pray for discernment to recognize truth and error when people claim to have a message from God or His Word. Also, pray for wisdom regarding the friendships and relationships you allow into your life.
ACT: Are you facing a tough task, considering a significant change or approaching a "battle" about which you haven't sought God's counsel and guidance? Back up a bit and talk to Him about it. Then Give the Lord a chance to reply and to speak to you through His Holy Spirit. Then do what you sense He is telling you to do.
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