1 Samuel 23:4--Once again, David inquired of the Lord, and the Lord answered him: “Go at once to Keilah, for I will hand the Philistines over to you.”
Psalm 37:23—The steps of the godly are directed by the Lord. He delights in every detail of their lives. (NLT)
What King David sang as truth he experienced as reality. At some point in his life, he made the remarkable decision to ask God for direction before taking action. Repeatedly thereafter he succeeded. He relied upon the Lord to lead him and then complied with His instructions.
Taking direction from God requires several key components:
1. Our lives must be in alignment with God’s word. This morning I toasted two bagels. If I set the oven mark too high, no amount of coaxing will keep those New York beauties from burning! If I set the mark too low, no amount of encouragement will make them brown. When we neglect to obey God, we will not obtain His leading and the effect of sin will show. King Saul saw the Philistine army and was terrified of them. So he sought God’s direction. But God did not answer him by dreams or Urim or prophets. Why? Because Saul repeatedly ignored His instructions to accomplish his own purposes (1 Samuel 28:6). He chose man’s affirmation over God’s proclamation.
2. Our focus must remain on God. Taking direction from God means we must contain and rightly direct our zeal. Often we discern our Lord’s will but we become over eager in our attempts to make it happen. Beware of falling more in love with the work or word God has for you than in your love for Him. The results can be disastrous! God shows a woman she is to be a nurse in Zimbabwe and that He will provide for her schooling. Years go by and the funds have not come in. So she takes out a huge loan. She obtains her degree but guess what? Her indebtedness blocks her ability to go. Faith that gives in to quick fixes becomes folly.
3. Our intentions must be pure. So often we live with an enduring need to do something great or to be viewed as important. Honestly, this bears the smell of pride. If we hold hidden agendas, or seek glory for ourselves, we are in grave danger of distorting God’s direction to further our own cause. God is not impressed by what we do for Him. Scripture resoundingly reveals that His intent is that we love and fear Him wholeheartedly. I believe we will be quite amazed in heaven to see the rich rewards heaped on custodians, shop-workers, seamstresses, cooks and workers who humbly went about their work faithfully all the while building an abiding love for God that touched all who worked around them. Cease striving to do something great. Let go of what the world says matters and then you can listen to what God directs. This is the key to true joy in living.
It is a crucial point in practical spiritual experience when we learn to be more eager to do God’s will than He is for us to do it. Our zeal to serve God may be and often is our insistence on God proving that our way is right; we see what God’s will is as we wait before Him, and then we hurry up circumstances in order to do it, and we receive a severe punishment at the hand of God.—Oswald Chambers in Notes on Ezekiel
©2002 Daniel York ARR. Reveration is the weekly devotional ministry of First Cause. If you would like to receive these devotionals go to www.firstcause.org and click on the “Click here to receive weekly devotionals” box. Unlimited permission to copy this devotional without altering text or profiteering is allowed subject to inclusion of this copyright notice.
Ecclesiastes 12:10-The Teacher sought to find delightful sayings and to accurately write words of truth. (Holman CSB)