The following is an adaptation of the sermon ‘David Inquired of the Lord’ preached by Pastor Michael White on Sunday, 6/9/2019, at CityLight Church. To listen to the full podcast please click
David Inquired of the Lord
David did many things well. He served selflessly. He led by example. He sank his teeth into every opportunity God gave him, and made the most of it. He capitalized on small beginnings, and refused to take matters into his own hands in an effort to accelerate his destiny. He stayed patient, and continually died to self so he could be fully alive to God!
And the one thing David did that tied all these amazing attributes together and allowed God to “work all things together for [his] good” was this: David inquired of the Lord.
Inquiring of the Lord is like brushing your teeth: you should do it at least several times every day, and it’s best to start young. David started inquiring of the Lord long before he became king; and that habit served him well throughout the rest of his life, even into old age. Don’t wait until God has established you to inquire of Him! Start now: before you step into your destiny. Not only will it save you years of wasted time and effort; it will also properly condition your heart so that when God’s timing arrives, you are ready to receive everything He wants you to have.
In 1 Samuel 22, David was starting to gather an army in his defense against Saul. But the men God sent David were not exactly the best of the best. He attracted, “..everyone who was in distress, everyone who was in debt, and everyone who was discontented” (1 Sam 22:2). Needless to say, these men needed some work! So how would David know when they were ready to fight? He inquired of the Lord:
Then [David’s men] told David, saying, “Look, the Philistines are fighting against Keilah, and they are robbing the threshing floors.” Therefore David inquired of the Lord, saying, “Shall I go and attack these Philistines?” And the Lord said to David, “Go and attack the Philistines, and save Keilah.” – 1 Sam 23:1-2
When David didn’t believe in himself, he inquired of the Lord, and God reminded him who he was created to be. David’s intuition was probably screaming that his slapstick army wasn’t ready for war. They could have used more practice! They needed more time to prepare! But when you step out to seize your destiny, it doesn’t matter if you feel ready, or if you think you’re ready: all that matters is what God says. David inquired of the Lord, and God said go! And that was enough.
Once David was sure they were supposed to go into battle, his men still needed some convincing:
But David’s men said to him, “Look, we are afraid here in Judah. How much more then if we go to Keilah against the armies of the Philistines?” Then David inquired of the Lord once again. And the Lord answered him and said, “Arise, go down to Keilah. For I will deliver the Philistines into your hand.” – 1 Sam 23:3-4
Do you let other people talk you out of your destiny? Have you ever gone to others – family, friends, support networks – when you’re not sure if you’re ready, only to be convinced that it’s best to sit on the sidelines? It was all David could do to gather his men and get them ready for battle; but when he did, they tried to convince him they weren’t ready! So what did David do? He inquired of the Lord again, and God reminded David that He would give him the victory!
God isn’t bothered by your inquiries. He isn’t put off when you want to speak to Him again and again, even about the same thing! He loves being in constant communication with you. He will remind you of your destiny as often as you need to hear it. He will remind you that He is with you as often as you need to feel it!
When David was tempted to be swayed by the opinions of others, he inquired of the Lord. He decided to go into battle – even if he and his men didn’t think they were ready – because he knew that was what God was calling him to do. And when you step out on the word of God – even when you don’t feel ready – the reward is always victory:
And David and his men went to Keilah and fought with the Philistines, struck them with a mighty blow, and took away their livestock. So David saved the inhabitants of Keilah. – 1 Sam 23:5
God sees a different version of you than you see in yourself. You see the “now” you: full of doubt, and surrounded by obstacles. But God sees the “future” you: hand raised in victory, living out the calling and purpose He has on your life. You see your life as a linear progression. In your mind, the success or failure you have experienced up until this point will determine your ability to succeed in the future. But God sees your life as ripe for divine interruption. He can insert victory in a moment when you seek Him!
You are full of potential that is hard to see, and the way you draw out that potential is by seeking God. Inquire of Him! Require of yourself that you check in with God daily so you can be reminded of the calling He has on your life. The way you get from the “now” you to the “future” you is to seek God at every turn.
Here’s what that looks like in practice: before you make any decision, whether big or small, stop and ask God what He wants you to do. Say, Lord, I don’t trust myself to make the right decision, but I trust You! I invite Your Holy Spirit into my day to show me exactly where to go, and exactly what to do. When you call, God answers. When you stop and ask His opinion, He will tell you what He wants you to do! When you stop and ask for directions, He will tell you where He wants you to go!
Do you know why you can’t fully trust yourself to make decisions? Because your heart, left to its own devices, is prone to make selfish decisions:
“The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked; who can know it?” – Jer 17:9
But aren’t you glad that God knew what He was doing when He gave you “eyes to see, and ears to hear?” When you seek Him, everything changes:
I, the Lord, search the heart, I test the mind… – Jer 17:10a
God will search your heart to ensure you are not being led by your feelings. He will test your mind to refine your decision-making process!
When you do as you know best, you run the risk of making decisions that conflict with God’s plan for abundant life:
There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death. – Prov 16:25
But when you inquire of the Lord and ask God to make your decisions for you, He will help you to not only do the right things, but also avoid the wrong things.
God’s presence protects your decision-making process. His presence purifies your intentions and motives. When you let Him lead, He will make sure everything you put your hand to will succeed!
When I worked on Wall Street, the principle of “inquiring of the Lord” was absolutely key. As a trader, I was expected to make profitable decisions quickly. I didn’t have time to pray and fast before every trade! But I did have time to intentionally and consistently seek the Lord.
Every day before I stepped foot onto the trading floor, I would ask God to give me wisdom. I would confess to Him that I didn’t have the knowledge or the intuition to make good decisions on my own! I would ask His Holy Spirit to come in and do the thinking for me. And the result was supernatural favor and success.
You don’t need a list of pro’s and con’s; you need the voice of God. You don’t need to ask your mom or your best friend; you need to ask the Spirit of the living God! Don’t get excited about what could be and charge forward, listening to your flesh. Get filled with God’s heart for you – your destiny – and never look back.
His Inquiry Increased
The more David advanced in his destiny, the more important the principle of “inquiring of the Lord” became. The more you progress in your destiny, the higher the stakes will be. That makes it more important to seek God at every turn, not less!
When you experience a measure of success, don’t convince yourself you have all your ducks in a row and don’t need the word of the Lord anymore. Your decision-making mindset should never be, “I’ve got this!” Remind yourself that you are there because God got you there, and you will only stay there if God keeps you there!
When David became king, many things changed. The Ark of the Lord was carried into the city. The word of the Lord was once again prized. A culture of worship was established throughout the entire nation of Israel. But for David, the most important principle of his life stayed exactly the same: David inquired of the Lord.
Just because David was anointed did not mean the way forward would be easy. In fact, the more David advanced, the more the enemy tried to prevent him from moving forward:
Now when the Philistines heard that they had anointed David king over Israel, all the Philistines went up to search for David. And David heard of it and went down to the stronghold. – 2 Sam 5:17
Did you think the enemy was just going to let you waltz right into your destiny? Did you really think Satan was going to let you step into your divine inheritance without putting up a fight? Of course not! He’s going to attack you more, not less! And that is why it is so important – now more than ever – to inquire of the Lord at every turn.
The Philistines also went and deployed themselves in the Valley of Rephaim. So David inquired of the Lord, saying, “Shall I go up against the Philistines? Will You deliver them into my hand?” And the Lord said to David, “Go up, for I will doubtless deliver the Philistines into your hand.”- 2 Sam 5:18-19
When the enemy stepped up his attacks, David doubled down on his response. He inquired of the Lord; and as he did, God told David exactly what to do at every turn.
You are anointed. You are called to greatness! God created you to do something no one else can do. But when your destiny finally starts to come together, it’s not time to sit on your hands and rest on your laurels. It’s time to inquire of the Lord: to seek God more than ever before!
I’ve been learning this in my own life. I’m currently writing my third book. Our church is growing. We’ve had some absolutely amazing testimonies in our Healing Rooms of creative miracles taking place! So my response is not to rest on my laurels. My response is to seek the Lord more than ever before. Kingdom advancement gets Satan upset; so I am turning up my mandatory prayer time every day. I’m making at least one hour in prayer with the Lord non-negotiable every single morning. I’m adding another hour later in the day! I’m doing all this because I recognize that the more the anointing increases in my life, the more I have to seek God to protect it.
Once David had the word of the Lord, he had everything he needed:
So David went to Baal Perazim, and David defeated them there; and he said, “The Lord has broken through my enemies before me, like a breakthrough of water.” Therefore he called the name of that place Baal Perazim. And they left their images there, and David and his men carried them away. – 2 Sam 5:20-21
David listened to God, and he won. It’s just that simple. As long as you have God’s voice, it is absolutely impossible for you to lose!
The Enemy Will Come
But just because David won once, didn’t mean the enemy was going to give up. Before David and his men even had a chance to celebrate victory, the enemy was back, and looking for blood.
Then the Philistines went up once again and deployed themselves in the Valley of Rephaim. – 2 Sam 5:22
Jesus has won. Death is defeated! He conquered the grave! Victory is yours. You are “more than a conqueror” in Jesus’ name! But that doesn’t mean the enemy is just going to give up. Seek God: now, more than ever before.
Therefore David inquired of the Lord, and He said, “You shall not go up; circle around behind them, and come upon them in front of the mulberry trees. And it shall be, when you hear the sound of marching in the tops of the mulberry trees, then you shall advance quickly. For then the Lord will go out before you to strike the camp of the Philistines.” – 2 Sam 5:23-24
Did you know that God’s strategy for victory isn’t always exactly the same? His battle plans change, based on where you are, and what the enemy is trying to do. Here’s why that is so important: if David had attacked the enemy again head on as he had in the first battle, Israel would have been defeated! But because he sought God for a new strategy – because he inquired of the Lord! – he had the updated battle plan God wanted him to have.
And David did so, as the Lord commanded him; and he drove back the Philistines from Geba as far as Gezer. – 2 Sam 5:25
This was the same enemy! It was the same battleground! But God wanted David to use an entirely different strategy the second time around. God was still going to give David the victory, but He was going to do it a different way.
Are you trying to fight the same enemy with the same strategy? Are you losing ground because you’re not constantly asking God if you need to tweak your approach? Stop fighting the same battle on the enemy’s terms! Stop doing the same thing the same way and expecting different results! Ask God what strategy He wants you to use, and watch as your enemy flees before your face.
No matter what you’re facing, God has a solution. And the way you get that solution – that battle plan from Heaven – is by inquiring of the Lord. Sometimes God will tell you to run into the battle and attack the enemy straight on; but other times He will ask you to go up a different way! Consistent victory belongs to men and women who take the time to seek God and decipher His plan.
Time Well Spent
Inquiring of the Lord is the time investment you can make. There is nothing more important; and there is nothing in the world like it! The level of greatness you experience in your life will be directly proportional to the amount of time you spend listening to God’s voice.
But What If God Doesn’t Speak?
To close our discussion on inquiring of the Lord, here is a practical question. What should you do if you just aren’t hearing God’s voice? What if you really need to hear from Him, but every time you go to pray it sounds like He’s silent?
Follow your peace. Peace belongs to Jesus, the Prince of Peace:
For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given; and the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. – Is 9:6
And He has given you His peace as a gift on purpose:
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law. – Gal 5:22-23
Jesus wants you to use His peace for something! Did you know that whenever you enter uncharted territory, you have an amazing gift called peace that you can use to help you make the right choice?
Here is what Jesus told His disciples when He sent them out to preach the Gospel:
“Now whatever city or town you enter, inquire who in it is worthy, and stay there till you go out. And when you go into a household, greet it. If the household is worthy, let your peace come upon it. But if it is not worthy, let your peace return to you. – Matt 10:11-13
When you go into a new place, let peace be your guide. If Jesus wants you to stay there, your peace will “come upon it” (v 13). But if that is not where God wants you to be, your peace will “return to you” (v 13).
Do you feel anxiety in your relationship? Do you feel unrest at your job? Do you feel uneasy and unsettled in your apartment? Could it be that your peace is refusing to settle on a given place or situation because God doesn’t want you there?
Inquire of the Lord. Seek to hear His voice! Wait patiently to hear God speak. And until He does, use the God-given gifts He has already given you, and follow your peace.
© Michael D. White, 2019. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Michael D. White with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.
 “And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.” (Rom. 8:28)
 “It shall come to pass that before they call, I will answer; and while they are still speaking, I will hear.” (Isa. 65:24)
 “…Lest they see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their heart, and return and be healed.” (Isa. 6:10)
 “And Jabez called on the God of Israel saying, ‘Oh, that You would bless me indeed, and enlarge my territory, that Your hand would be with me, and that You would keep me from evil, that I may not cause pain!’ So God granted him what he requested.” (1 Chron. 4:10)
 “The Lord will command the blessing on you in your storehouses and in all to which you set your hand, and He will bless you in the land which the Lord your God is giving you.” (Deut. 28:8)
 “Now give me wisdom and knowledge, that I may go out and come in before this people; for who can judge this great people of Yours?” (2 Chron. 1:10)
 “Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.” (Rom. 8:37)