King Asa had a problem on his hands. King Baasha, the reigning monarch over Israel at the time, built a fortress and besieged Jerusalem with the intent of capturing the city and forcing Judah’s surrender. Asa followed his first impulse and hired the Syrian army against Israel. The plan worked, and Baasha changed his plans. Judah could now experience the peace she enjoyed during the first 10 years of Asa’s reign.

When Baasha turned aside from his intent, Asa had his men disassemble the fortress and use the pieces to strengthen his own defenses. Smart move, right? No, left. That is, King Asa turned left, casting away his confidence in God so he could rely upon the armies of his enemies to deliver him.

You might be thinking, What was the big deal about Asa’s decision? He was in a desperate situation, and he had to think fast. Besides, everything worked out alright for him in the end. His plan worked, and Judah was delivered from her enemies. On the surface, Asa might have come out ahead. But he made a fatal flaw: he didn’t do it God’s way. God says, “Trust Me, and I will give you victory.” King Asa sought deliverance his way. He paid dearly for his sin—the rest of his reign was filled with conflict and unrest.

God cares if we turn left. He desires that we trust Him. Anything less than absolute confidence is in His eyes contemptible. This is as true of our daily living as it is of salvation. Consider yourself. What are some of the challenges you face today? Maybe there is a broken relationship you wish to mend. Resist the temptation to take matters into your own hands. Go no further than the Word of God and godly counselors direct you. Then having done all you can do, rest your confidence on the power of God’s Word. It will work for you—if you don’t turn left.

The tiniest fragment of obedience, and Heaven opens up and the profoundest truths of God are yours straightaway. God will never reveal more truth about Himself till you obey what you know already. — Oswald Chambers

Devotional by Pastor Jim Scudder, Jr.