Getting God’s Directions; August 7, 2017

1 Chronicles 14:13-16 Once more the Philistines raided the valley; so David inquired of God again, and God answered him, “Do not go straight up, but circle round them and attack them in front of the balsam trees. As soon as you hear the sound of marching in the tops of the balsam trees, move out to battle, because that will mean God has gone out in front of you to strike the Philistine army.” So David did as God commanded him, and they struck down the Philistine army, all the way from Gibeon to Gezer.

We’ve seen it elsewhere, but the secret of David’s consistent victories in battle was that he consistently sought God’s direction. He had just had a very successful encounter with the Philistines, and the natural human tendency would have been to do the same maneuver, expecting the same results. However, David asked God again what he should do, and God gave him a different strategy, and he was even more successful. We tend to get into ruts, following “standard operating procedure,” too lazy to seek God at every turn. Standard procedures aren’t bad necessarily, but we need to be in a constant, consistent attitude of seeking God, listening for how He wants us to do things. The easy thing is to repeat what worked the last time – or even what didn’t work – but God wants better for us. Sometimes He will indeed say, “Do the same thing,” but we are not to presume. The whole point is to recognize our dependence on God and act on it, rather than relying on whatever He has done for us in the past.

This is extremely pertinent to us right now. Each time we as a church have made a major move, particularly in terms of buildings and land, someone has left the church. That is actually not at all unusual among churches in general, and we’re having it come up again. This time, however, our response has been different, and I think the ultimate results will be different. Yesterday there was an announcement of departure, but it was met with an outpouring of love, in strong contrast to some past times. I personally think the final result will be very different. We are in new territory in many ways, but the pain of people leaving is all too familiar. Whether the situation we face is new or old, we need to seek God for His directions. Following God is an adventure, and we need to treat it that way. As I grow older the familiar and comfortable are more and more attractive, but God is too good a Father to leave me as I am and where I am. He wants me to keep growing! The Bible speaks many times of God being our “hiding place.” That’s directly equivalent to a storm cellar or safe room in tornado country. I am not to fear the storms that threaten, nor try to retreat into the physically and emotionally familiar, but rather find my security in God Himself, doing exactly as He directs and being anxious about nothing. He told me personally to rest, relax, and rejoice, and I keep learning more of what that’s all about, as well as how to do it. I’m to trust Him, even when He says, “you have never been this way before.” (Joshua 3:4)

Father, thank You for all You did yesterday. It was magnificent on several levels. Help me indeed fear nothing, but move forward in humble obedience, knowing that Your plans aren’t just good, they’re perfect! Thank You. Praise God!


About jgarrott

Born and raised in Japan of missionary parents. Have been here as an adult missionary since 1981.
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