Journal Entry // August 2, 2022
And David inquired of the LORD, “Shall I go up against the Philistines? Will you give them into my hand?” And the LORD said to David, “Go up, for I will certainly give the Philistines into your hand.” (ESV)2 Samuel 5:19
When trouble presented itself to David, the phrase we generally read as David’s response is, “and David inquired of the Lord.” The basic instinct of David’s life was to take measure of the circumstances around him and then inquire of the Lord to determine the next steps of faithfulness. We can readily see in his life that errors and sin crept in when he did not follow this pattern (Abigail & Nabal, Bathsheba & Uriah) of first seeking the face of God and inquiring as to the path of righteousness. David often battled his fears and doubts by seeking guidance and deliverance from the Lord. This is the pattern that we should all seek to emulate in our lives. We need our first reaction to be steeped in humility and seek the presence of the Lord. We need our first and every action to be dependence upon the salvation of Almighty God.
This is so often not the pattern that is consistent in my life. When trouble and difficulties arise before me, my first reaction is to seek to solve the problem. I analyze the situation, make a plan, and move forward. These are all good steps, but they need to first be rooted in humility. First, I need to inquire of the Lord. I need to evaluate and analyze the situation. I need to understand all that is arrayed before me. I need to see the full scope of the difficulty to be sure. This is a great first step. But what do I do with this information? I need to take this to the Lord and seek his leading and guidance and wisdom. As I make a plan to deal with the situation, this plan must be saturated in the righteousness of Christ. My plan must be steeped in the humility of understanding my weakness and need of Jesus. My plan must not be about my strength and abilities. No, I must come before the Lord and let him inform and develop the plan.
It is true that he will formulate this plan through my desires and thoughts and actions. He will of course use my mind and my understanding to formulate answers and strategies. But these need to be flowing from a position of reverence and holiness in the Lord. It may be that the Lord wants me in this place of suffering and disappointment. He may want me to be patient and wait upon him to deliver. If I fail to inquire and seek his guidance, then my plans will not only fail, but could actually be working against his will. This is where humility is central to living a life honoring to the Lord. Seeking first his kingdom and his glory is central to obedience. And I do this through prayer.
I find that my moments of prayer are becoming more and more about the state of my heart and mind and less about the circumstances surrounding me. At times it feels as though I am on this tiny boat on the sea in the middle of a great storm. The wind and the waves are fearsome and treacherous. The sky is ominous and foreboding. As my fears grip me and I begin to panic, I see Jesus asleep on a cushion in the back of the boat. I am mesmerized by this picture. I am so concerned with the storm, yet Jesus is asleep. In my pride, I become angry at Jesus because he doesn’t seem to care that we are about to drown. In humility, I realize that Jesus is unconcerned with the storm because he is in absolute control. The storm has not taken him by surprise. At any moment, he could wake and speak calmness and peace into the situation. And he does so at the exact right time. And my inquiring of the Lord… it teaches me to trust Jesus completely and truly understand that when everything seems out of control to me, Jesus is still sovereign. All things work in accordance to his will.
Jesus… It seems so simple to trust you. In my head, I understand that you are sovereign and every circumstance and situation is not a surprise to you. You truly are sovereign and holy over all things. I know that you care for me and that you love me completely. I am your child and you are my Father. You alone are good and you bring good to me. Continue to teach me to trust you completely. Continue to give me understanding into your ways. Continue to reveal yourself to me in these circumstances of life. Teach me to honor and obey you in love. That I would love you with a simple humble heart. A heart that seeks only to please my God in every thought and action.