If you’ve been listening to the Everyday Jesus podcast, you will know that we’ve been discussing ways in which we can follow Jesus everyday. Following Jesus sometimes requires us to inquire of the Lord. Meaning we need to seek him for guidance.
To see what this looks like, let’s look at a snippet in the life of King David in the Old Testament. We are going to look at 1st Samuel 23. For a little background, David at this point in his life has been anointed King of Israel, but as of yet, has not ascended to the throne. Saul is still king and he is hunting David down to kill him. We pick the story up with David on the run with a couple of hundred men with him.
1 Samuel 23:1-5
23 When David was told, “Look, the Philistines are fighting against Keilah and are looting the threshing floors,” 2 he inquired of the Lord, saying, “Shall I go and attack these Philistines?”
The Lord answered him, “Go, attack the Philistines and save Keilah.”
3 But David’s men said to him, “Here in Judah we are afraid. How much more, then, if we go to Keilah against the Philistine forces!”
4 Once again David inquired of the Lord, and the Lord answered him, “Go down to Keilah, for I am going to give the Philistines into your hand.” 5 So David and his men went to Keilah, fought the Philistines and carried off their livestock. He inflicted heavy losses on the Philistines and saved the people of Keilah.
David in the midst of running for his life, is told that the Philistines were fighting against Keilah. David stops what is doing and asks the Lord if he should go and fight. The Lord answers him and David obeys. This is the first time in the narrative of 1st Samuel that David sought God for guidance. Let’s look at three takeaways from this passage.
- Keep it short and to the point! David understood that prayers don’t have to be long and elaborate when you are looking for guidance. Sometimes we think that we can talk God into giving us direction. God will either give direction or He won’t. God know what’s best for us and that includes what He tells us. David asks a simple question and God responds immediately.
- Do not ask what God can do for you, but what you can do for God! David’s first recorded inquiry of the Lord was not a request for himself. He could have asked God if He would save him from Saul. Or maybe if he would strike down his enemies. Perhaps he could have asked for the best place to hide. But here, in the midst of running for his life, he asks if he should go and help Keilah. David knew that stopping and helping someone would put his life at risk. It would give Saul time to track him down. But, he asked God anyway. We need to look for ways to help others. We need to ask God in what ways can we serve our neighbors. God will be faithful to lead us.
- David obeyed. The hardest part of asking things of God is that we have to be ready to obey. When we ask the Lord for guidance, we need to be ready to step out in faith and follow him. Following Jesus requires radical obedience. It requires us to get out of comfort zones. We have to put down our smartphone and get off the couch. We have to “go” if we want to follow him. David obeyed. He didn’t question God. He simply obeyed.
No matter where you find yourself in life, I pray that you will seek the Lord’s guidance and I pray that the Lord will lead you. Here at Everyday Jesus we want to find ways to follow Jesus everyday. If you are interested in hearing more and haven’t checked out our podcast, be sure to click on the link below!