He (David) then said to the whole assembly of Israel, “If it seems good to you and if it is the will of the Lord our God, let us send word far and wide to the rest of our people throughout the territories of Israel, and also to the priests and Levites who are with them in their towns and pasturelands, to come and join us. Let us bring the ark of our God back to us, for we did not inquire of it during the reign of Saul.” The whole assembly agreed to do this, because it seemed right to all the people. 1 Chronicles 13:2-4

God has always wanted to lead his people by inner conviction. We see this in the phrases, “seems good to you” and “seemed right to all the people.” The plan to bring the ark back to Jerusalem was a good one. (Even though, things went badly when they took a short cut and put the ark on a cart.)

In the New Testament we also find God leading his people by inner conviction, “It seemed good to the Holy Spirit and to us …” (Acts 15:28). This is the opposite of what happens in Judges where “everyone did as they saw fit” (Judges 21:25).

Relying on inner conviction isn’t doing as we think best. Rather it comes from an attitude that seeks to please God and commit to his ways. God desires to lead and guide, but for us to follow we must be willing to put aside our agenda and timetable.

Furthermore, relying on inner conviction, requires the development of spiritual disciplines, like prayer and Bible reading so we’re learning to be sensitive to God’s Spirit.

God wants to lead his people through relationship and sensitivity to his Spirit.