Another occasion on which we tend to overestimate our strengths is when we are desperate and start panicking. We grab at any foolish plan to soothe our anxiety, often with disastrous results. King Amaziah almost fell into the same trap.

When King Amaziah started feeling the pressure of his upcoming attack on the Edomites, he made a desperate plan. “He also paid about 7500 pounds of silver to hire 100000 experienced fighting men from Israel” (2 Chronicles 25:6, NLT). The problem was that his plan was not in God’s will. “But a man of God came to him and said, ‘Your Majesty, do not hire troops from Israel, for the Lord is not with Israel’” (v. 7). No level of desperation or effort could turn a situation around that is outside of God’s will.

The issue with desperate plans is that the consequences often aggravate an already tense situation. In King Amaziah’s case, he was about to lose a lot of money because of his panic plan. “Amaziah asked the man of God, ‘But what about all that silver I paid to hire the army of Israel?’” (2 Chronicles 25:9, NLT). Do you know the feeling? Our best efforts to fix a mess often just turn out to make things worse.

Like King Amaziah, even when we admit that we made a foolish desperate plan, we still do not trust God with the outcome. As Amaziah was struggling to process the financial implications of his foolish decision, the prophet reminded him of Who really was in control. “The man of God replied, ‘The Lord is able to give you much more than this!’” (2 Chronicles 25:9, NLT). If only we would see our desperate little plans for the weak weapons that they are!

Do you tend to make desperate plans in threatening situations? Have you ever had to deal with the negative consequences of desperate panic plans?

Let us acknowledge how weak our own plans and understanding are when we compare them to God’s power. “‘My thoughts are nothing like your thoughts,’ says the Lord. ‘And my ways are far beyond anything you could imagine’” (Isaiah 55:8, NLT). And let us experience God’s power by surrendering our weaknesses to him. “So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me” (2 Corinthians 12:9, NLT).

Scripture readings:

2 Chronicles 25:9

Isaiah 55:8-9

2 Corinthians 12:9-10