What does it mean to “Inquire of the Lord?”

1 Samuel 30:8 a – 8 And David inquired of the Lord,

There are times when we are in a situation and we are unsure what we should do. Often times we counsel with those we believe understand us and trust God.  We also use our own intellect about the situation.  We add in what we want to do and what we think we should do. I know I have heard it said when you’re not sure, don’t do something in confusion, just wait.

David was in a similar situation. He and his men had been in war. At one point, he had even decided to fight with the Philistines against Saul. As God would have it, he did not have to do that. And so he and his men took the three day journey back to Ziglag. When he got home, he found that the town had been burned and all women and children had been stolen. After weeping until they could not weep anymore, his men decided that David should be stoned.

David was a warrior. Battle was what he knew, battle is how he solved his problems, battling is the reason he was not allowed to build the temple. The Bible does not say so, but, I believe David’s first and instinctive response was to go to battle. In addition to his personal distress, his men were distressed. And in traditional human form, they sought to blame. David was the one that they blamed.

So this is the situation. And David’s response was to inquire of the Lord. When you inquire of the Lord, the first thing you have to do is clear your heart and mind of your opinion on the matter,. You are asking the Lord to make something known to you. To clear your heart and mind of your opinion on the matter is a difficult task. Depending on the gravity of the problem it can almost be what would seem like impossible.

Isa 26:3  Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee. KJV

You have to focus on the Lord, and the Lord alone, so your issue diminishes in His presence. You know you have let go of your problem because you have gotten rid of your:


At this point I am sure David was saying to himself, “I thought God called me. I thought God anointed me to be king of Israel. But that was a long time ago, and I have seen nothing but trouble ever since. I have spent the best years of my life running from Saul. I did the right thing, and now I’m being punished. I’ve lost my family and everything that is dear to me.  The people are ready to stone me. I quit! I give up! God can keep His anointing, it’s too much of a price to pay.”   (Read Psalms 102: 1-10)

This is no different than what we would say.  And most of us would begin to pray and ask God to release us from this and give us peace in the release.


David could very well have used every battle he had ever fought as a justification to go after the Amalekites. He understood God loved him. He understood, even though he was not always right, God was with him. He could very well have gone after the Amalekites without asking God what he should do. When you are inquiring of the Lord, It doesn’t matter what you think would be the best way to go. It doesn’t matter what you think the outcome of this dilemma is going to be. You ONLY want to hear from the Lord.

Your ideas mean nothing if they don’t line up with who God is and what He wants for your life in this moment.  It does not matter how you see yourself or how others see you.  It does matter what the expected response is based on our value system. You want to know what repose God wants from you.


David was a warrior. I would imagine his first idea was I am going to get back my family. I am going to get back the families of those who follow and fight with me. He probably spoke to his closest soldiers and they agreed.

This is often the response that we use most often.  When we talk to our friends and they conclude with us, “You don’t have to take this; You are not that type of person; You know what you have to do etc. etc. etc.”

However, David chose not to move and not to do anything until he was sure that’s what God wanted him to do. David went a step further.  He decided to encourage himself and inquire of the Lord.  If we want to know what God’s will for us in a situation is, we have to take ourselves out of the equation. When you have rid yourself of all the instinctive and natural responses to a difficult situation, you are now in a position to hear (receive).

You are not the first nor the last person who will deal with this or any particular situation.

1 Cor 10:13 There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it. KJV

So, we must “inquire of the Lord”.  We can no longer ask God to bless our choices and our decisions, though in our estimation they may be good ones. We have to stop asking God to get us out of situations we put ourselves into trying to solve the problem on our own. We have to move in a way so we can find out what God is doing in our lives so that He can get the glory. We have to be willing to submit our situation to the Father and join with Him in what He is doing.  Our goal is to show the world through our lives, there is a Savior who is able to sustain us, guide us, keep us and direct us no matter what we encounter. In doing so  so the lost can be saved, and God is glorified.

Stop just praying for what you want and, “inquire of the Lord!”



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