In the book of 2 Chronicles chapters 14 to 16, we find the story of Asa, one of Israel’s more God-fearing kings. We are introduced to him thus: “Asa did what was good and right in the eyes of the Lord his God” 14:2, and “Although he did not remove the high places from Israel, Asa’s heart was fully committed to the Lord all his life” 15:17. He demolished the altars erected to foreign gods in the land of Judah, commanded that only the God of his ancestors be worshipped, and God gave him rest.
When the Cushite army rose up against him in war, King Asa cried out to the God of Israel, saying: “Lord, there is no one like you to help the powerless against the mighty. Help us Lord our God, for we rely on you, and in your name we have come against this vast army. Lord, you are our God; do not let mere mortals prevail against you” 14:11. The Lord did come to their aid and struck down the Cushites, allowing them to pursue their enemy and plunder their land in victory, and peace reigned for 35 years of his reign.
In his 36th year as king, when king Baasha laid siege at Ramah, Asa decided to form an alliance with king Aram, and he did so by taking the silver and gold from the the treasures of the Lord and gifting them to the king. This worked and king Baasha abandoned Ramah back to Judah. Shortly after, Hanani the seer came to see him with a rebuke from the Lord: “Because you have relied on the king of Aram and not on the LORD your God, the army of the king of Aram has escaped from your hand. Were not the Cushites and Libyans a vast army with many chariots and horsemen? Yet because you relied on the LORD, He delivered them into your hand. For the eyes of the LORD roam to and fro over all the earth, to show Himself strong on behalf of those whose hearts are fully devoted to Him. You have acted foolishly in this matter. From now on, therefore, you will be at war”, 2 Chron 16:7-9 NIV.
When we clear it with him first, he blesses the work of our hands. Run to God before you run to man. Don’t trust in the arm of the flesh, your own or another’s, trust in God instead. Your trust has to be in the right place, it can’t be in yourself or in any other human, it has to be in God your father, the one who created you for his predestined purposes, the one who knows where he desires to plug you in the work pertaining to his kingdom’s advancement. The one who knows what talents he gave you and how he wants them used and multiplied. The one who plants desires that are unique to your calling in your heart. Yet the LORD longs to be gracious to you; therefore he will rise up to show you compassion. For the LORD is a God of justice. Blessed are all who wait for him! Isaiah 30:18.
I hazard that King Asa was discouraged from failing after having tried so hard to please God that he became despondent and gave up altogether, something we all must guard against when we stumble, especially since God in his mercy allows us to more than once chance to get it right. That second chance came for Asa in his 39th year as king. “In the thirty-ninth year of his reign Asa was afflicted with a disease in his feet. Though his disease was severe, even in his illness he did not seek help from the Lord, but only from the physicians” 16:12. The king failed the test of trusting God yet again. And so he was gathered to rest with his forefathers in the sleep of death. “Then in the forty-first year of his reign Asa died and rested with his ancestors”, 16:13.
Choose to walk with him and he shall direct your paths better than any mere mortal could. Yes he will choose to speak to us through each other sometimes, but don’t neglect your secret place with him. His voice has to be the loudest you hear. The best of people can only counsel you according to their experience and their limited human knowledge. Turn to God before you form unholy alliances, otherwise there will be confusion and you will be defeated in your cause. Practice Proverbs 3:5-6: “Trust in the Lord with all your might. Lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct your path.”