King Ahab of Israel and King Jehosaphat of Judah are discussing the possibility of going to war with the Arameans in 2 Chronicles 17-18. King Ahab consulted the prophets of Baal who served him and they all promised victory. King Jehosaphat insisted on one more thing.
6 But Jehoshaphat asked, “Is there not also a prophet of the Lord here? We should ask him the same question.”
7 The king of Israel replied to Jehoshaphat, “There is one more man who could consult the Lord for us, but I hate him. He never prophesies anything but trouble for me! His name is Micaiah son of Imlah.”
After some coaxing, Micaiah shared what he heard from the Lord, a promise that King Ahab would die in battle, which came to pass. King Ahab did not want to listen to the prophet of the Lord, yet that was the only message he needed to hear. He refused to believe and it cost him his life.
So in today’s readings we have seen a king who did not believe God’s word through the prophet Micaiah. King Ahab died because he did not let God control and direct his life.
Then in Romans, Paul explains that faith (believing in who God is and in what He has said) is the path to salvation. I have been thinking a lot lately about faith in action and about living a life that is directed by the Holy Spirit, as described in Romans 8, from the readings two days ago. Paul talks about being “controlled by the Spirit” and I have been seeking to do that.
So far the steps seem simple. I have felt impressed to (1) leave my cell phone off and just watch the world around me as I walk through the campus where I work, (2) to listen carefully to everyone who visits me in my office and to respond to their requests as I am able, (3) to offer a word of encouragement to a colleague for service to others, and (4) to focus on the ways that my anger at inanimate objects (printers that fail, doors that get stuck, etc.) interferes with my ability to serve God and others.
Nothing dramatic has happened as a result of these actions, but I do believe these impressions are from the Holy Spirit and will continue these behaviors. By taking these actions, I am seeking to have my life directed by the Holy Spirit each day. I wonder what will happen next.