“At that time Hanani the seer came to King Asa and told him, ‘Because you have put your trust in the king of Aram instead of in the Lord your God, you missed your chance to destroy the army of the king of Aram. Don’t you remember what happened to the Ethiopians and Libyans and their vast army, with all of their chariots and charioteers? At that time, you relied on the Lord, and he handed them over to you.’”2 Chronicles 16:7-8
I’ve been going on a lot of walks lately and almost every time I take a step on a trail, I look down. Hazards such as rocks, sticks, water, mud and a host of other obstacles could be in my path. In short, I need my sight on my next step, so I don’t roll my ankle, stumble and fall, or get my sock wet from stepping in water. And it doesn’t matter how many times you walk the trail because there are trees that can fall in your path, there are snakes that slither in front of you, there is mud caused by excessive rain that can make your enjoyable trail walk a time you would rather forget.
Unlike these trails though, life can have the opposite effect. Once we have multiple similar experiences, we can go on cruise control. Have you lived in your house long enough to find yourself pulling into your garage and not remembering the last five minutes or so as you were driving? The same sort of thing is going on in King Asa’s life above. He is in a familiar position of defending his country from military forces. He has processes in place. It’s almost like he is on cruise control and doesn’t need to pay attention to what he is doing.
But it wasn’t always this way. Asa, King of Judah, dealt with a new scenario: A huge threat from the armies of the Ethiopians and Libyans. He didn’t know what to do so he did something a lot of people in those situations do, he looked to God for answers (2 Chronicles 14:11). God answered the overmatched King and Judah won that victory.
But years later, Asa faced another battle and he had done it successfully so many times before, he’s on cruise control. He has battle strategies. He has strong human allies. He’s got this and he doesn’t ask God for help.
We would do well to remember Asa’s lapse in judgement. When we find ourselves trusting in processes and experience exclusively, without asking God for help, we need to reset and remember every path needs proper vision.