Ahab king of Israel asked Jehoshaphat king of Judah, “Will you go with me against Ramoth Gilead?” Jehoshaphat replied, “I am as you are, and my people as your people; we will join you in the war.” But Jehoshaphat also said to the king of Israel, “First seek the counsel of YHWH.” – 2 Chronicles 18:3-4
Ahab was the evil king of Israel. Jehoshaphat was the godly king of Judah, yet he aligned himself with Ahab through the marriage of their children. When Ahab asked Jehoshaphat to join him in the battle against the Arameans, Jehoshaphat first said, “Yes,” but then requested an opportunity to hear from God. The consequences were disastrous.
How often have we determined a direction in life or ministry, then asked God what to do, or worse, asked Him to bless a decision we had already made? Why would we expect the Lord to affirm a choice we made without His counsel? As I am typing these words, I realize how truly qualified I am to speak on this subject!
In life, we sometimes say it is better to act and then ask for permission, but not so with God. We should always inquire of Him before we give an answer or determine a direction. Otherwise we may incur difficult and sometimes disastrous consequences. Pray first, read His Word (though not looking for support of your decision), seek the counsel of God’s people (His church), and (if you have the time) wait for clarity. If the decision honors God’s wisdom and exercises faith and trust in His provision, then move ahead and give Him the glory.
A saying I heard years ago, “It doesn’t matter what you do. Just do something, even if it’s wrong!” That’s the most stupid counsel I’ve ever heard. Never do what’s wrong! Do nothing until it’s right. Then do it with all your might. That’s wise counsel. – Chuck Swindoll