The Philistines arrived and spread out across the valley of Rephaim. So David asked the Lord, “Should I go out to fight the Philistines? Will you hand them over to me?
The Lord replied to David, “Yes, go ahead. I will certainly hand them over to you.”
But after a while the Philistines returned and again spread out across the valley of Rephaim. And again David asked the Lord what to do. “Do not attack them straight on,” the Lord replied. “Instead, circle around behind and attack them near the poplar trees. When you hear a sound like marching feet in the tops of the poplar trees, be on the alert! That will be the signal that the Lord is moving ahead of you to strike down the Philistine army.” So David did what the Lord commanded, and he struck down the Philistines all the way from Gibeon to Gezer. 2 Samuel 5:18-19, 22-25
At first glance this story from the life of David appears to have no bearing on our lives. “It’s ancient history,” you might say. And you’d be correct… in part. The story itself is ancient, but what we learn from it is absolutely applicable today!
David asked the Lord. He prayed, asking the Lord for guidance. And because God’s Spirit was with him, He answered. Remarkable! Right? Yes, but it shouldn’t astonish us. Because we also have God with us in the form of the Holy Spirit we we should be able to hear God’s voice regularly. So let me ask, “Do you ask of the Lord?” Nothing is too big or too small to bring to Him. He wants us to ask. And because He is a good, good father, His response toward us will have its end result in good. If you’re not asking, you likely won’t hear him. Ask.
David expected to hear God. God speaks through many avenues - Scripture, your conscience, other believers, sometimes even complete strangers! When you’ve asked God for something, expect Him to answer... And wait for it! You will know the answer is the “right” answer because it will always line up with God’s character and glory and will always lead you closer to Him. Expect God to answer so you can watch for it.
And when he heard, David responded in obedience. This is sometimes the hardest part of the process. It might cost us a sinful desire or behavior... or away from an unhealthy alliance. But it will always lead us to life! We need to remember that! Especially when our response will be difficult or painful. Plan to obey no matter the perceived cost.
Ask. Expect. Obey. David lived by these simple actions. How about you?