We know that David had a history with the Philistines. Learning of his success likely brought up memories of his triumph over Goliath, spurred deeply rooted feelings of animosity, and lead them to search for him in full force. But David heard of their intentions and sought the Lord, asking, "Shall I go and attack the Philistines? Will you deliver them into my hands?"
I don't know that I would have the presence of mind to refrain from immediate action in a similar situation. If God had been with me once in a massive upset, I would probably reason that the same would happen again. But David wasn't like that. Before moving on with his own ideas, he sought God to make sure it was His plan and then learned of the direction he was to take to be given the victory.
So much of our lives is done based on knee jerk reactions. Opportunities arise, invitations come, or doors open and we automatically walk through them without giving it a second thought. Usually this isn't a bad thing and there aren't eternal consequences. However, this type of auto-pilot living can creep up on us and the results can lead us places we never intended to be.
In our media saturated world, we are presented with a constant barrage of the best way to do everything. From raising our kids, loosing weight, buying a car, purchasing a home, scheduling a vacation, to investing our resources, experts abound with godly and ungodly advice about the actions we should take and the reasons why. And while options are good, none of them should be acted upon without seeking God and His direction first. He is, afterall, the one with the master plan.
I don't stop and ask for directions nearly as often as I should. I think some things become so routine we don't even notice that we should have changed courses days, weeks, or months ago. Heaven forbid it should have been years. It's time to accept that asking for directions isn't just for the larger decisions we need to make. The smaller ones over time certainly mount up and lead to both good and bad outcomes. We are directed to 'cast our cares on Him because He cares for us, to seek Him first, and to do nothing out of selfish ambition'. Perhaps doing things God's way won't eliminate the difficulties we are all guaranteed to encounter, but it might just keep our minds in perfect peace because we followed Him to our current state.
Father, independence is something we seek until we realize that it's in-dependence on You that we truly live the abundant life. Search our hearts, reveal to us our motives, and guide us to walk in your ways in the big and small decisions we make every day. Remind us that as we rely on You, the peace that seems so elusive, will come and keep our thoughts and hearts guarded. Amen.