March 14, Wednesday

Devotional Thoughts for Today

“Habit of Inquiring”

1 Samuel 23:1-12

Now they told David, “Behold, the Philistines are fighting against Keilah and are robbing the threshing floors.” 2 Therefore David inquired of the Lord, “Shall I go and attack these Philistines?” And the Lord said to David, “Go and attack the Philistines and save Keilah.” 3 But David’s men said to him, “Behold, we are afraid here in Judah; how much more then if we go to Keilah against the armies of the Philistines?” 4 Then David inquired of the Lord again. And the Lord answered him, “Arise, go down to Keilah, for I will give the Philistines into your hand.” 5 And David and his men went to Keilah and fought with the Philistines and brought away their livestock and struck them with a great blow. So David saved the inhabitants of Keilah. 6 When Abiathar the son of Ahimelech had fled to David to Keilah, he had come down with an ephod in his hand. 7 Now it was told Saul that David had come to Keilah. And Saul said, “God has given him into my hand, for he has shut himself in by entering a town that has gates and bars.” 8 And Saul summoned all the people to war, to go down to Keilah, to besiege David and his men. 9 David knew that Saul was plotting harm against him. And he said to Abiathar the priest, “Bring the ephod here.” 10 Then David said, “O Lord, the God of Israel, your servant has surely heard that Saul seeks to come to Keilah, to destroy the city on my account. 11 Will the men of Keilah surrender me into his hand? Will Saul come down, as your servant has heard? O Lord, the God of Israel, please tell your servant.” And the Lord said, “He will come down.” 12 Then David said, “Will the men of Keilah surrender me and my men into the hand of Saul?” And the Lord said, “They will surrender you.

Twenty-two years ago, when my boyfriend Kirt (now my husband) informed me that he was coming to visit me in Taiwan with the intention of marrying me, my immediate thought was to pray and to call my college professors Dr. Gray and Dr. Charalambakis.  They both knew me well through three plus years of college and also got to know Kirt when we began dating. Being the only Christian in my family then, I valued their counsel and blessing above my own mother’s approval and blessing, before I could move forward with the relationship. I didn’t fully trust myself with the decision, and I wanted confirmation on what I was hearing from God. Because of their genuine love for me and their solid witness of having an intimate relationship with Jesus and a Christ centered marriage, I knew I could trust them.

God described King David in Acts 13:22 as a man after His own heart.  When our church was reading through 1 & 2 Samuel, one repeating phrase that caught my attention was: “David inquired the Lord” (1 Sam 23:2,4,12; 30:8; 2 Sam 2:1; 5:23). I believe David became a man after God’s own heart because through the years, he developed a spiritual discipline to depend on the Lord through prayer.  He took time to lay his concerns before God, seek His direction, wait for a clear answer, and then take action according to what he heard from God. His discipline formed a lifelong habit and became a foundational core of his character.

In our postmodern age, it’s so easy to follow after our own plans and expect God to stamp His blessings upon our plans by orchestrating events to line up according to our liking.  When things do not go as we expected, we easily turn against God in anger, disillusionment, and in extreme cases, abandon our faith all together.

May we be reminded once again that a man’s life is not his own (Jer. 10:23). The steps of a good man are directed by the Lord (Ps. 37:23).  In order for God to direct our steps, we must take the time to inquire Him through prayer. And we must remember that prayer is a two-way relationship: we don’t just tell God what we want and what we would like for Him to do for us. Take time to ask God what is on His heart for you for this particular situation, and to help you to see things through His perspective.  Wait to hear from Him and make necessary adjustments, or take proper actions to carry out His will.

Prayer:  Draw us near You, Lord, and tune our ears to hear Your voice, so we might walk accordingly. Let us taste and see the sweetness and goodness of Your very presence and wise counsel. Amen.

Bible Reading for Today: Judges 7


Lunch Break Study

Read Proverbs 3:5-6: Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; 6 in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.

Questions to Consider

  1. What are some of the burdens or needs you are carrying?
  2. What makes trusting God so hard to do?
  3. Have you taken these burden before the Lord and ask for His help?

Notes

  1. Jot them down and then take some time to meditate on God’s truth and promise.
  2. If we are really honest, it is fear—that God may take you to another direction. The only way to overcome that is to trust in His goodness, that He does what is always best for you.
  3. Pray this: “Holy Spirit, would you please use this verse to cultivate in me the habit of turning all my concerns into prayer throughout the day?”

Evening Reflection

Did you notice the difference it made by simply casting your cares upon Him and rest in His love and provision for you?  Take a moment to offer Him a simple prayer of gratitude for His constant love and care for you.

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