How often we assume that God is revealing His will to us through the circumstances around us, even when those circumstances aren’t pointing us toward a healthy or godly decision. When trying to discern God’s will, we often value an open door more than we value truth.
The critical choice David faced in this story is not simply about whether to kill Saul and win this battle or not. It’s a choice between living by the appearances of circumstances versus living by the big picture and grounding himself in truth. You could say David chose to live by a higher principle than the open door in front of him, but even “principle” isn’t an accurate enough term.
We aren’t called to base our lives on a set of principles; we’re called to base them on the character of God. God has unlimited opportunities in front of Him, but He only chooses the ones that fit His character and fulfill His purposes. And He isn’t just interested in the end goal. He is often as concerned about how and why we do things as He is about what we do. The process, the means, the spirit of a decision—these are just as important to Him as the outcome. David wasn’t just focused on the result; he was concerned about the way it would be accomplished. Through and through, his path to the throne had to look, smell, and feel like God. And killing Saul in a cave didn’t.
Walk Thru the Bible. Crucible: The Choices That Change Your Life Forever (Kindle Locations 274-278). B&H Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.
I have just completed a series of lessons based on Phil Tuttle’s book, Crucible. They are available on Amazon in both print and Kindle versions, as well as part of my Good Questions Have Groups Talking Subscription service. For a medium-sized church, lesson subscriptions are only $10 per teacher per year. Lessons correspond with three of Lifeway’s outlines as well as the International Standard Series. In addition, you get access to lessons like Crucible.