Today’s Reading: 1 Chronicles 14-16
Today’s Reflection: 1 Chronicles 14:9-10
9) Now the Philistines had come and made a raid in the Valley of Rephaim. 10) And David inquired of God, “Shall I go up against the Philistines? Will you give them into my hand?” And the LORD said to him, “Go up, and I will give them into your hand.”
David is known as one of the greatest kings and greatest warriors in Israel’s history, as well as a man after God’s own heart. But his greatest attribute was something we can all do: trust and obey God completely. When it came to important and crucial decisions in David’s life, as in today’s text warring against the Philistines, David routinely inquired of the Lord for instruction and direction (in fact, the one thing David’s missteps and sins have in common is they all occurred when David didn’t seek God’s instruction and direction). And God’s direction always led David to the best possible outcome—perhaps not the outcome David sought, but the one that was truly best for him.
By seeking Godly wisdom—through prayer, bible study, and guidance from Godly people—you too can have the same direction present in your life. Now you may feel you already are inquiring of God yet do not have the same level of connection exhibited in the stories of David and other Biblical figures like him. A few things to consider:
1) Do you inquire of God consistently? Do you go to God with every important decision? Or just certain ones? Do you think you get to decide when God can be involved in your life and when you can handle things on your own? Furthermore, when God steps into your life and asks you to change something you’re currently doing—when He instructs without you asking Him too—do you listen and obey, or do you act as though He’s intruding in your business? If you want God’s consistent and clear instruction, direction and presence in your life, you have to accept that all areas of your life must be completely open to Him.
2) Do you inquire to truly hear from God? This may sound ridiculous. Of course you inquire to hear God. But do you really? Have you already made the decision and are you just hoping God will affirm or confirm it? If this is so, you’re not truly open to listening. When your mind is set on something it has a way of making your desire seem like ‘God’s Will’. If you’ve ever thought that for sure God was directing you, but then things turned out horribly perhaps you weren’t really listening. David truly listened. In 1 Corinthians 14:13-17, David again asks if he should attack the Philistines. God tells him yes, but gives David an entirely different strategy than the one he normally would have used. Because David listened openly, God’s instruction gave him victory. Had David already decided in his mind how to defeat the Philistines, his own way would have led to defeat and tragedy.
3) After God speaks, do you listen? When God has finally spoken what do you do? If He gives you the answer and direction you were hoping for I’m sure you obey happily. But what if what God says is the opposite of what you were hoping for? What if it doesn’t make sense? What if it seems too hard? Too soon? Too late? Too much? Not enough? What if God’s Will just isn’t what you wanted? David obeyed without hesitation. And so should you. If you trust God enough to ask Him what to do, trust that what He instructs you is the right thing to do. Whether it seems like it or not.
So, in short, if you want God to direct your path, follow these steps:
1) Inquire of the Lord
2) Wait until He speaks
3) Understand what He has told you
4) Obey exactly what He has instructed you
5) Watch and see that the outcome affirms God’s direction in your life, even if that outcome wasn’t what you personally desired for yourself
Proverbs 3:5-7 – 5) Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. 6) In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.