So David asked the Lord, “Should I go out to fight the Philistines? Will you hand them over to me?” The Lord replied to David, “Yes, go ahead. I will certainly hand them over to you.” So David went to Baal-perazim and defeated the Philistines there. “The Lord did it!” David exclaimed. “He burst through my enemies like a raging flood!” So he named that place Baal-perazim (which means “the Lord who bursts through”). The Philistines had abandoned their idols there, so David and his men confiscated them.
But after a while the Philistines returned and again spread out across the valley of Rephaim. And again David asked the Lord what to do. “Do not attack them straight on,” the Lord replied. “Instead, circle around behind and attack them near the poplar trees. When you hear a sound like marching feet in the tops of the poplar trees, be on the alert! That will be the signal that the Lord is moving ahead of you to strike down the Philistine army.” So David did what the Lord commanded, and he struck down the Philistines all the way from Gibeon to Gezer.
(2 Samuel 5:19-25)
How could David get such a clear message from God? He may have prayed and been urged to action by the Holy Spirit. He may have asked God through a prophet. Most likely, however, he went to the high priest, who consulted God through the Urim and Thummim that God had told the Israelites to use for just such a purpose.
David fought his battles the way God instructed him. In each instance he asked if he should fight or not, followed instructions carefully, and gave God the glory. We can err in our “battles” by ignoring these steps and instead: doing what we want without considering God’s will, ignoring advice in the Bible or from other wise people, and taking the glory ourselves without acknowledging the help we received from God.
What battles (spiritual, emotional, physical) are you facing now? What is your usual line of defense? Has it worked in the past? You can follow the steps David took before you wage war. Start by seeking the Lord’s guidance. Consider 2 Corinthians 10:4: “We use God’s mighty weapons, not worldly weapons, to knock down the strongholds of human reasoning and to destroy false arguments.” When you feel fearful, soak in God’s presence and stand in the power of his might.