Joab was a strong, successful military commander in King David’s army. His faith was bold and courageous. He was a fighter. Sometimes he struggled to keep his own ambitions in check. Sometimes he yielded his own preferences in faith to where God might lead.
This is one of those times. Joab was leading military campaigns to bring peace to the land for the building of the temple. He was speaking to Abishai, another commander, before they each led a contingent of Israel’s army in a campaign to defeat both Ammon and Aram.
“If the Arameans are too strong for me, then you are to rescue me; but if the Ammonites are too strong for you, then I will rescue you. Be strong, and let us fight bravely for our people and the cities of our God. The Lord will do what is good in his sight” (1 Chronicles 19:12,13).
Sometimes in our prayers, we paint God into a corner.
Praying specifically for anything on our heart is a pleasure for God to hear in our prayers. However, when we become attached only to our own ideas and plans, such a request limits our prayers.
Work on this. In your prayers, you can be bold and pray specifically (for example, “God, please provide good weather this weekend for our camping trip.”)
That’s a good prayer. Here is a better prayer. Add some fine print to that request, yielding to God’s wisdom and answer (something like this, “… And God, you know best, so if there are any other ways for my family to enjoy each other and your beautiful creation, I trust you to provide and direct, even if it rains.”)
Then, in faith yield to God’s answer and see what he does. Like Joab trusted in the Lord to do “what is good in his sight.”
Joab was prepared to yield to the Lord’s answer and take action appropriately. Because every answer of the Lord God to every prayer is always perfect in his holy wisdom, loving care and awesome power.
His answers are always perfect. So give God room to answer.
PRAYER: Dear God, thank you for hearing my prayers. You always hear, and always answer in your perfect wisdom and love. Help me to open up my faith to your possibilities and purposes beyond my ideas. To trust you for them. To expect them. And to pray about them. Amen.
FURTHER MEDITATION: Practice this. Take an inventory of your prayers this week. Ask for anything you want, and then add the fine print that allows for God’s preferences like Joab did. Pray for the faith to yield and you will grow in your prayer life.