…Now the Philistines had come and spread out in the Valley of Rephaim; so David inquired of the Lord, “Shall I go and attack the Philistines? Will You deliver them into my hands?” … (2 Samuel 5:17-25)
David is a man of action. But without a doubt, he is a more successful man of action when he is first a man of prayer.
The Philistines encamped in the valley, preparing themselves to attack Israel. David has had no problem dealing with this enemy before so no one would have questioned David saying to his army, “God is with us. Let’s go attack these Philistines.”
But David paused to pray and only went to war when God said, “Go—attack them straight on.” David obeyed and won a great victory (vv. 20-21).
The Philistines returned to the exact same valley. Again no one would have faulted David for saying, “This is the same scenario as last time. God told us to attack before, so we already have His permission to go attack again.”
But David paused to pray and this time God gave him a different battle strategy: “Circle behind them.” Same scenario, different battle tactic, but still the same victorious result (vv. 22-25).
Just because something seems automatic doesn’t mean we should act quickly and prayerlessly.
Just because something seems the same doesn’t mean we should act on auto-pilot.
In each situation: Pause to pray, wait for God’s direction, then follow through exactly as He says.