Then all the guerrilla leaders, including Johanan son of Kareah and Jezaniah son of Hoshaiah, and all the people, from the least to the greatest, approached Jeremiah the prophet. They said, “Please pray to the Lord your God for us. As you can see, we are only a tiny remnant compared to what we were before. Pray that the Lord your God will show us what to do and where to go.”
“All right,” Jeremiah replied. “I will pray to the Lord your God, as you have asked, and I will tell you everything he says. I will hide nothing from you.”
. . .When Jeremiah had finished giving this message from the Lord their God to all the people, Azariah son of Hoshaiah and Johanan son of Kareah and all the other proud men said to Jeremiah, “You lie! The Lord our God hasn’t forbidden us to go to Egypt! Baruch son of Neriah has convinced you to say this, because he wants us to stay here and be killed by the Babylonians or be carried off into exile.”
(Jeremiah 42:1-4; 43:1-3)
Johanan and his tiny band came to Jeremiah for God’s approval of their plan, not for God’s direction. Jeremiah gave them God’s instructions—to stay in Judah—but, despite their promise to obey, they refused to listen because they wanted to go to Egypt.
We can often make the same mistake—seeking God’s approval for the plans we’ve made rather than asking him what our plans should be. It is not good to make plans apart from God’s guidance, and it is not good to pray unless we are willing to accept God’s answer. The best approach of all is to ask God for guidance, and be willing to trust him by doing whatever he says.
Realize that God knows everything about your life, your circumstances, and your future, and he knows the best way for you to go. Trust him, and look to him for his guidance and direction.