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When was the last time you sincerely asked God for help instead of jumping into a situation?  And then you waited before you went straight up… nose to nose, toe to toe?

David heard the enemies.  He was a seasoned warrior.  He instantly knew what was necessary for victory.  He had killed 10,000 many times.  It was second nature to go straight up and gain victory.

Once more the Philistines raided the valley, so David inquired of God again, and God answered him. “Do not go straight up, but circle around them….” I Chronicles 14:13, 14

When he heard the activities of the enemy he stopped and inquired of The Lord.  The Lord told him not to go straight up but to circle around.

But it’s logical to go straight up.  Victory is to be had.  I have tasted it before.  I know I am right.

That is of lesser value than obeying The Lord.

As my friend says, “Sometimes God asks the right handed Ping-Pong champion to play left handed.” It feels awkward, hard, strange, frustrating and futile, especially for an expert.  But it is what God is asking.  Will you humble yourself mighty warrior and not do it your way? Perhaps there are some muscles in your left hand God wants to strengthen.  Muscles of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness or self-control.  Or circling around may enable someone else to taste victory.

What does circling around look like? What does playing ping pong with your left hand look like?  Fighting in prayer instead of words.  Waiting instead of acting.  Keeping quiet and letting a loved one figure out their own timetable and plan of action.  Waiting until the other person is ready. Cheerleading instead of criticizing.  Serving instead of battling.  Saying no to self. Being willing to be misunderstood.  Accepting without defending.

Stop and ask God what to do when you hear rustling noises of the enemy.  He may tell you to go straight up and He may tell you to circle around.  Then it comes down to good old fashioned obedience. Obedience that may lead to playing ping-pong with your left hand.  A humble and dependent place upon your God that doesn’t feel natural for you.

Where do you hear the noise of the enemy? In your personal life with temptation?  In your marriage? Your family life? Your ministry?

Don’t just go straight up.
          Inquire of The Lord.
                 He may want you to circle around.