The journey of life can be filled with many trials and situations that we would never wish for ourselves. Some are health related, financial troubles, relationship struggles, and many more. Life is difficult enough. But for the person that is not seeking the Lord and allowing the Holy Spirit to direct him in the steps in his journey, life becomes almost impossible. We see this illustrated through the life of David.
In different times of David's life we see how he closely followed the Lord's direction and at other times he did not seek after Him the way he should. Up until I Samuel 23 we see David following step by step God's plan for his life. We see him being consistent protecting the sheep. We see him obeying his father and going to see the battle. We see him slaying the giant in the name of the Lord. We see him faithful in the king's palace. We even see him remembering the goodness of the Lord as he received the giant's sword from Ahimelech.
In I Samuel 23, David hears of the Philistine's plan to attack the city of Keilah. I Samuel 23:2 says, "Therefore David enquired of the LORD, saying, Shall I go and smite the Philistines?..." David allowed the Lord to direct in the steps of his life to the degree that he would not make such a decision that affected the life of himself and his men without the Lord's clear guidance. Even when his men responded with fear for their lives to fight a battle that was not theirs to fight, David still sought after the Lord yet again in verse 4.
This is a great example to us in our own lives when we are faced with the daily issues of life. Do we seek after the Lord and the direction He would have us to take? Do we walk daily in His Word to allow the Holy Spirit to give us a clear path to follow? To be Spirit led is to submit yourself to God's leading and surrender to His will even when it is beyond your own understanding.
But like all of us, David did not always seek after the Lord and allow Him to direct in all of his steps. In I Samuel 27, David's perspective changes from leaning on God for his daily direction to looking at the despair of his circumstances. I Samuel 27:1, "And David said in his heart, I shall now perish one day by the hand of Saul: there is nothing better for me than that I should speedily escape into the land of the Philistines;..." David illustrates to the believer what happens when we fail to lean on the Holy Spirit's direction and leading in our life and instead look to ourselves to deal with the issues of life. In I Samuel 27:7 we see that David spends the next year and four months leaning on himself and his choices rather than looking to God for His direction. For the Christian it is a hard lesson to learn, but the trials of life will either cause us to be led by the Spirit of God in the right path or paralyze our effectiveness and joy in the Christian life if we choose to direct ourselves.
For those that are experiencing what David lived in I Samuel 27, we find hope. In I Samuel 30 we see God's solution to David's predicament. When faced with the stress of losing his family and the families of his men, he encouraged himself in the Lord. In verse 8 the Bible says, "And David enquired at the LORD,..." David learned that no matter how you have failed in the past to respond to the leading of the Holy Spirit you can always find clear direction in the present if you seek after Him with all your heart.
Let us always remember to seek the Lord and His clear direction in our lives each day as we face the struggles of life. May it be said that we are Spirit led because of our daily walk with Him. This will keep us from experiencing what David did in his life. Rather than turning to our own understanding, we can allow God's clear direction in our lives. God does not desire that we struggle through life without direction or joy. And He promises this direction to his children in His Word but we have to daily seek Him with our whole heart and allow the Spirit to direct us.
Written by Andy Horner