“We don’t have to pray about it! We know this is right!”
I agreed. We all knew it was right, but I was still uncomfortable. I was young and spiritually immature, about to embark upon a missionary trip. We needed to make a decision about logistics and prioritizing our resources. The answer seemed obvious; naively, I acquiesced to my friend’s advice who was older and the leader of the group. God blessed our trip but I regretted not taking every decision to God, even for something that seemed spiritually and morally correct.
David was now in great danger because all his men were very bitter about losing their sons and daughters, and they began to talk of stoning him. But David found strength in the LORD his God. Then he said to Abiathar the priest, “Bring me the ephod!” So Abiathar brought it. Then David asked the LORD, “Should I chase after this band of raiders? Will I catch them?”
And the LORD told him, “Yes, go after them. You will surely recover everything that was taken from you!”
1 Samuel 30:6-8 (NLT)
In this passage, David knew he had to rescue his wives and fellow Israelities who were taken captive by the raiding Amalekites. His followers were angry, blaming him for their losses. David’s cause was noble and no one would have questioned his decision to chase after his enemies, yet before he acted, he sought God’s guidance with his chief priest. God honored David’s faith and secured a victory for him and the Israelites, rescuing all who were taken captive. This is an important lesson for all who place their trust and faith in God.
The Bible gives us a moving example with the story of Joseph. Joseph’s brothers sold him into slavery and he was imprisoned in an Egyptian jail. Only by the providence of God was Joseph released and elevated to second in common over the entire kingdom of Egypt. Many years later, Joseph was reunited with his brothers. Cowered before him, his brothers were fearful that he would take revenge upon them. Joseph certainly was justified to do that, however, he reassured them with these solemn words.
But Joseph said to them, “Don’t be afraid. Am I in the place of God?
Genesis 50:19 (CSB)
Even if the cause or situation is morally or spiritually correct and it appears likely that God will bless and honor our decision, it is no excuse to neglect to bring the decision before God, humbly asking Him for guidance and direction. As Joseph recognized, when we take matters into our own hands, we elevate ourselves to the position of God, and this is a dangerous precedent.
Love and trust in the Lord; seek His will in your life.