Wednesday, September 27, 2017

EmmDev 2017-09-27 [Lessons from Samuel] Asking for Guidance

Asking for Guidance

2 he inquired of the LORD, saying, 'Shall I go and attack these Philistines?' The LORD answered him, 'Go, attack the Philistines and save Keilah.' (Read the rest of the chapter when you get a chance...)      (1Samuel23:2-29)
In chapter 23 there are 5 occasions where David asks for guidance and help and gets it. How can we be guided by God and learn to hear him? There are some guidelines that we can pick up from David.
  1. Ask. David often asked for guidance. While this seems the obvious place to start, there is more to this than meets the eye. To ask for help is to be willing to give up one's own plans. To ask is to admit that we need help. To ask is to place our pride and self-sufficiency aside. And asking is an act of faith and trust.
  2. Remember God's faithfulness in the past. David when facing Goliath remembered how God had helped him face the lion and the bear. In his psalms asking for guidance David always remembered God's answers in the past. This serves two important purposes: It gave confidence that God would answer and there are often principles from the past that are applicable to the present.
    The Anglican Church uses three criteria for making decisions: Scripture, Reason, and Tradition. The Tradition or History of God's faithfulness is a good guide for the future.
  3. The ephod: David had the ephod (a priestly garment with gems that glowed when you asked yes-no questions) which helped him as he prayed. We don't have anything like the ephod today and so we have to ask ourselves what the ephod represented. The ephod was part of the regular disciplined structured corporate worship of the Hebrews. It also represented the corporate nature of the faith as it was studded with jewels that represented the 12 tribes.
    One of the best places to seek guidance is in the regular structured disciplined worship structures in our lives - our daily devotions, our fellowship group, and our worship in church. It seems clear that God often uses these contexts to guide us.
  4. Allow others to encourage and advise you. Later in ch.23 David is encouraged by Jonathan who ensures him that God will protect him.

These are just some of the principles behind hearing God and being guided by Him. May we learn from David's example.



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