Pro 3:5-6 Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. (6) In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.
2Sa 2:1 After this David inquired of the LORD, “Shall I go up into any of the cities of Judah?” And the LORD said to him, “Go up.” David said, “To which shall I go up?” And he said, “To Hebron.”
Commenting on David’s prayer for guidance, John Calvin wrote:
So let us carefully observe what Scripture says here. Even though David clearly knew that God had constituted him king and that Saul had trespassed, even though the time was ripe for David to enjoy the crown, nevertheless he asked God to tell him what he should do….For Scripture says that we ‘are to knock on the door, and it will be opened to us; that we are to seek and we shall find; that we are to ask and it will be given to us.’ (Matthew 7:7) [Sermons on 2 Samuel, John Calvin, Banner of Truth]
At any time in our lives, but especially when we are dealing with evil and all of its cunning deceptions, the Lord promises that if we will trust Him with all our heart, if we will reject sorting it all out on our own, if in each potential decision we acknowledge Him, he will direct us in the right way to go.
David had been anointed as God’s king. Saul was now dead. Certainly it seemed a “no-brainer” that David should go now and be seated on his throne. But, as Calvin observes, David still did not lean on his own understanding of what should be done. He prayed and asked the Lord’s direction. And he got it.
When your life is chaos from the wicked schemes of a RASN (reviler, abuser, sociopath, narcissist), things so often appear to be impossible to sort out. Plenty of people will tell you what you should do, but their opinions are not always right. We get into trouble when we lean on our own understanding, when we listen to ourselves or to others, but we forget to consult the One whose counsel is always perfect and true.
How many times in our lives have we leaned on our own understanding, failed to acknowledge our need for the Lord’s wisdom, and set out on some course that turned out to be a disaster? I think all of us would have to admit that we have done this very thing more often than not. Listen to Calvin again:
Before we commit ourselves (to a decision), we must know that a particular course of action is the will of God, and that He approves what we are doing. Such insight does not come from the brain of men. We must turn to God, and that is done in two ways. First, we must come to the Holy Scripture, where God tells us what is to be done. In the second place, just as certainly as the blind cannot see even at high noon, so all the doctrine and insight of Scripture will be useless to us unless God blesses it by His Holy Spirit….Hence, we must follow what Scripture says to us: that since God has the Spirit of wisdom and understanding, we must come to Him and ask Him to take our hand and guide and lead us as He knows to be best for us (see James 1:5; Isaiah 11:2). And we are not to do this on just one occasion only, but throughout our whole life. [Ibid]
Counselors would do well to direct those they counsel to the Wonderful Counselor whose counsel is always right.