Guidance. It is something that we have all sought at one point or another in our lives. Sometimes we get it even when we are not looking for it. As a kid I remember getting "guidance" from my parents and thinking at the time that it wasn't worth much. In hindsight of course, as is the case with most of us, the "guidance" from my parents was some of the greatest wisdom I would learn. Even if at the time I didn't want to learn it. Guidance comes in many different forms and from many different places. We get it from our family (parents, siblings, aunts, uncles, grandparents, etc..), we get it from out teachers, from our coaches, we get it in the media we choose to consume (TV, Books, Radio, Internet, etc..) and we get it from those in the church (pastors, sunday school teachers, worship leaders, etc..). We are constantly being guided through life, no matter how autonomous we think we are. It is impossible to not be influenced from someone, somewhere. It is when we choose which influences to listen to that we are choosing where we are going to get our guidance from.
The last place that people will take guidance from is themselves. Have you ever been on a self-guided tour? Often what happens is you get lost 2 or 3 times before you start getting the hang of the layout and direction that you are headed. What also happens on a self guided tour is that you walk right past things that may be important or worth looking at because you don't know what you are supposed to be looking for. You are relying on your own knowledge and guidance to get you through something that you know nothing about when you start. You are, in a word, Lost.
Saul, very early on, shows that he is someone who is not afraid to be self-guided. He takes matters into his own hands and offers the sacrifice that was to be only offered by Samuel. He again decides that he doesn't need to heed the guidance that Samuel gives him from the Lord about what to do with the Amalekites. But what he does do is rationalize. His response to Samuel's rebuke is "But I did obey the Lord." he twisted the guidance he received to fit the way he wanted it to be. He again signed himself up for the self guided tour.
Well in today's reading, Saul does finally decide to take a turn and listen to someone else. He decides that he needs to get some guidance because he is not sure what he should do or where he should go. The problem is that he is still on his own tourbus. He is simply inquiring where he wants too. He goes to see the witch of Endor. ( I am not sure about you but whenever I have read this my mind immediately takes me to some planet in outer space and I envision Saul in the middle of a star wars movie. "A long time ago, in a desert far far away...") Anyway..........back to the point.
The line that gets me is that Saul comes to this witch and says to her "As surely as the Lord lives, you will not be punished for this." He is acknowledging the supremacy of the Lord and that the Lord is alive, active and real, yet he is consulting a medium.
We can sometimes fool ourselves and say the right things and acknowledge the right things in our Christian faith, while getting our guidance from somewhere we shouldn't be getting it. We see the wisdom of the world as being the truth that we should be patterning our lives after, when in reality we should be more concerned with God's wisdom and truth when it comes to the guidance for our lives.
Questions to ask yourself:
Am I on the Self Guided tour? Where is it that I am getting all of my guidance in life? Am I spending time in God's word? Am I taking time to pray and seek God's will for our lives and the situation we are facing? Am I willing to accept an answer that maybe doesn't fit the pattern or solution that WE want? Am I surrounding ourselves with godly wisdom and counsel form godly men and women such as our spiritual leaders and pastors?