We’ve all experienced forks in the road. Times when we’ve desperately needed clear direction and guidance on important decisions. Often, when I encounter a challenge that needs a decision or a change of direction, my initial impulse can be to come up with an answer on my own. When the situation is a crisis or there’s a lot to be lost, fear can make me function on my own and take my own counsel. But that’s a limited perspective, isn’t it?
Proverbs 3:5,6 says, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight” (NASB).
It is so easy, and actually human nature, to depend on our own understanding. In account after account in the Scriptures, we see that without God’s direction, we have no assurance that our paths will be straight.
At the end of the life of Saul, the first king of Israel, we hear this summary eulogy:
“Saul died because he was unfaithful to the LORD; he did not keep the word of the LORD and even consulted a medium for guidance, and did not inquire of the LORD. So the LORD put him to death and turned the kingdom over to David son of Jesse” (1 Chronicles 10:13,14 NIV).
When Saul had the chance to stand with his mentor Samuel and discern God’s future, he chose to move ahead on his own. Another time when he could have sought out God’s guidance, he instead consulted a medium. Saul’s legacy was having been a man who depended on his own strength and taking counsel because of fear and insecurity.
What examples come to your mind of a biblical leader who sought God first? Two that come to my mind are Esther (Esther 4:15-17) and David (1 Samuel 30:7,8). What others started out tackling a challenge or need for direction by seeking God and His voice?