Actually, I'm referring to a concept I feel that God is trying to teach me these days, but that I'm constantly messing up. Maybe you can relate. ;)
The title itself comes from a story in 2 Samuel 5.
David was just anointed king, and the Philistines gathered themselves together to fight against him in the valley of Rephaim. But, as is a consistent pattern through the life of David, you notice that before he does anything he inquires of the Lord to see if he should do it. That alone is significant to me. He inquires of the Lord first.
As it so happens, the first time he inquires, the Lord tells him to go fight them and promises victory. This happens, and everything is great. But then, the Philistines gather again. Now before we go any further, let me ask if you would inquire of the Lord again at that point? Likely many of you would, but I have to confess that I would be tempted to make the ol' Joshua 9:14 mistake. I know that I might because I've done it before.
I'm a very rush-to-action type of person when it comes to spiritual things. If it makes sense to me Biblically, and in my head there would be no hindrance, I'm very quick to start a new program, initiate a new idea or commit to something without praying first. After all, why wouldn't God want a Pet Owners Ministry or for me to plan an elaborate outreach to the homeless?
Furthermore, if I've already done something similar for the Lord before and had success, why should it be any different this time? I've made this assumption in many Bible studies. Having prayed and agonized and studied my brains out and having success, and then when a similar situation comes up, winging it "because I've done it before and know how to do it."
Well, not David. David inquired of the Lord again. But this time, the Lord's response is a little different.
2nd Samuel 5:23 And when David enquired of the LORD, he said, Thou shalt not go up; but fetch a compass behind them, and come upon them over against the mulberry trees.
2nd Samuel 5:24 And let it be, when thou hearest the sound of a going in the tops of the mulberry trees, that then thou shalt bestir thyself: for then shall the LORD go out before thee, to smite the host of the Philistines.
This time, the Lord told David NOT to go up...to come up behind them and wait...wait till he heard the sound of the wind in the tops of the mulberry trees because THAT'S when the Lord would go out before him to win the battle.
And I feel like that is what the Lord is cautioning me in as well lately.
I realize sometimes when you have a battle to fight or an idea or event or whatever it's a simple, clear, go-ahead and God doesn't lay out a point-by-point strategy, but just expects you to go in and take action and do your best. And many times He has already made His will clear (as I've written about in a previous blog post).
However, that being said, I am feeling that God wants me to hold back and wait on Him for this time. To inquire of Him and wait till I sense where His moving is at to take any action.
My problem is always that I have so many ideas! I have trouble relating to people who aren't sure how to serve God in their communities...there are so many opportunities! I'm always overflowing with ideas for what direction we can take the Sunday school ministry, or youth events and activities or outreach things into the community or new convert classes and specialized classes or Bible studies in various cities our campus outreach programs or skits in the park or missions trips or...well...all kinds of things!