How Does God Guide People?
By: Pat Robertson, cbn.com
God’s primary means for giving us guidance is the Bible. “Jesus answered, ‘I tell you the truth, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless he is born of water and the spirit'” (John 3:5).
The Bible is our rule book of faith and practice. If we know and understand the scriptures, we will be well on our way to having His guidance. He never guides His people contrary to the clear principles of His written Word.
Second, guidance comes from a knowledge of God Himself. We need to know what pleases Him and what displeases Him. There is no substitute for walking with God, sharing with Him, and talking to Him daily. “The man without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him, and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually discerned” (1 Corinthians 2:14). When you do that, you will experience His direction and His correction. You will come to know what His desire is. “If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land” (2 Chronicles 7:14). “Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up” (James 4:10). This relationship develops over a long period of time, not instantaneously. Through constant use, your senses become sharpened so that you know good from evil. “Humility and the fear of the Lord bring wealth and honor and life” (Proverbs 22:4). Spiritual maturity forms a basis for guidance.
A third key to God’s guidance is found in the book of Proverbs, where we read: “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding: in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths.” “But he gives us more grace. That is why Scripture says: “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble” (James 4:6). This means that you are not only to know God, but to trust Him implicitly. Every aspect of your life is to reflect His sovereignty over you. “In all your ways acknowledge Him,” means in your work, in your family, in your personal life, in your thought life, in your recreation, in everything you do, you acknowledge that God is in control of you. Then, lean not on your own understanding. If you think you know all the answers, if you have everything all figured out, then you are leaning on your own understanding. If you trust God, acknowledge Him in the way that you live, and do not lean on your overconfidence or past experience. Let Him guide you.
Lord, I Don’t Know What to Do
“Show me the right path, O LORD; point out the road for me to follow.” Psalm 25:4 (NLT)
Are the constant appeals of our world pulling you in a million different ways, causing you to question if you’re headed in the right direction?
If you’re like me, you have plans and dreams you want to fulfill. But life is confusing at times. And most days it seems like you’re just surviving instead of living out those dreams or accomplishing your goals.
Too many choices.
There have been days I’ve felt like one foot was fixed to the floor, while my other foot scurried in every direction. Expending a lot of energy and mental fatigue, but going nowhere. Can you relate?
Wouldn’t it be awesome to wake up every morning and be assured you’re on the right path towards your goals? To know with certainty that you’re headed in the right direction? To feel confident with each step, without constantly questioning yourself?
Too many times I’ve second-guessed a decision I was confident about. I want so desperately to follow God’s will that I’ll pray, but then feel uncertain, not wanting to make a wrong move. I wonder: Maybe this isn’t what I’m supposed to be doing. Maybe this isn’t part of God’s plan for my life.
As I’ve wrestled with indecision and insecurity, I’ve sought God’s Word for help. A few months ago, I found a priceless nugget of truth in the Bible. It addresses our desire for guidance and shows us what to do when we need clear direction.
King David composed these words in a beautiful psalm, tucked within the pages of the Old Testament:
“Show me the right path, O LORD; point out the road for me to follow. Lead me by your truth and teach me, for you are the God who saves me. All day long I put my hope in you” (Psalm 25:4-5).
These verses reveal David’s humble and teachable heart. He wanted to be guided by God and led by His truth. David knew God was his Savior and placed all his hope in the One who created the right path for him.
We find the answers to David’s request for guidance only a few short passages away. Promises we can claim for our own lives:
“The LORD is good and does what is right; he shows the proper path to those who go astray. He leads the humble in doing right, teaching them his way. The LORD leads with unfailing love and faithfulness all who keep his covenant and obey his demands” (Psalm 25:8-10, NLT).
Based on these verses, when our hearts are humble and truly seeking God’s will, we can be confident of this:
1. God will always show us what is right for us.
2. When we get sidetracked, God will direct us back to the right path.
3. We are not alone. God leads and teaches us along the way.
4. God leads those who obey Him with unfailing love and faithfulness.
If you’re unsure about some things in your life, don’t wait another day to figure it out on your own. Ensure your heart is in the right place of humility, and then ask God to help you. Once you’ve asked, trust that God is directing you.
If you know you’ve gotten on the wrong path, seek God for direction instead of looking to the world for answers. As you take steps to follow and obey God’s voice, He will lovingly show you the way.
Months ago I asked the Lord to etch these verses onto my heart and mind, so I’d always have them with me — especially on days when I feel like I’m going in circles and lacking direction.
Today, I’m praying these verses over you.
I am afraid that, as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, your minds will be led astray from the simplicity and purity of devotion to Christ. – 2 Corinthians 11:3 NASB
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, who was born 264 years ago this month, was a brilliant musician. As one scholar commented, “he could write down a complicated piece while thinking out another piece in his head, or hear a long piece of music for the first time and immediately write it out, note for note.”
Today his music still is played, revered, and studied. What was his secret? Apart from his extraordinary musicianship, generations of scholars agree that one key was his ability to compose in a way that made everything seem simple and natural.
A musicologist noted how a study of Mozart’s compositions reveals “works which are at once supremely simple and profoundly subtle.” It was as if the music had not been written, but always existed. Nothing ever seems contrived or artificial. Piece after piece is a miracle of balance, beauty, and artistic perfection.
In contrast, many people think that they demonstrate their abilities and skills through complexity. Many even apply this principle to their spiritual lives. Paul warned, for example, that some people were trying to complicate the Christian faith, attempting to lead believers astray by “craftiness.” He reminded them about the “simplicity and purity of devotion to Christ.”
Make sure that you have a simple faith; do not make it complicated. Trust your life to Jesus, and obey His Word. Pray with simple and pure faith, and believe that God will answer your prayers.
Streams in the Desert – January 26
Times have changed, but life’s hard times haven’t
I have begun to give;…begin to possess (Deuteronomy 2:31).
A great deal is said in the Bible about waiting for God. The lesson cannot be too strongly enforced. We easily grow impatient of God’s delays. Much of our trouble in life comes out of our restless, sometimes reckless, haste. We cannot wait for the fruit to ripen, but insist on plucking it while it is green. We cannot wait for the answers to our prayers, although the things we ask for may require long years in their preparation for us. We are exhorted to walk with God; but ofttimes God walks very slowly. But there is another phase of the lesson. God often waits for us.
We fail many times to receive the blessing He has ready for us, because we do not go forward with Him. While we miss much good through not waiting for God, we also miss much through over-waiting. There are times when our strength is to sit still, but there are also times when we are to go forward with a firm step.
There are many Divine promises which are conditioned upon the beginning of some action on our part. When we begin to obey, God will begin to bless us. Great things were promised to Abraham, but not one of them could have been obtained by waiting in Chaldea. He must leave home, friends, and country, and go out into unknown paths and press on in unfaltering obedience in order to receive the promises. The ten lepers were told to show themselves to the priest, and “as they went they were cleansed.” If they had waited to see the cleansing come in their flesh before they would start, they would never have seen it. God was waiting to cleanse them; and the moment their faith began to work, the blessing came.
When the Israelites were shut in by a pursuing army at the Red Sea, they were commanded to “Go forward.” Their duty was no longer one of waiting, but of rising up from bended knees and going forward in the way of heroic faith. They were commanded to show their faith at another time by beginning their march over the Jordan while the river ran to its widest banks. The key to unlock the gate into the Land of Promise they held in their own hands, and the gate would not turn on its hinges until they had approached it and unlocked it. That key was faith.
We are set to fight certain battles. We say we can never be victorious; that we never can conquer these enemies; but, as we enter the conflict, One comes and fights by our side, and through Him we are more than conquerors. If we had waited, trembling and fearing, for our Helper to come before we would join the battle, we should have waited in vain. This would have been the over-waiting of unbelief. God is waiting to pour richest blessings upon you. Press forward with bold confidence and take what is yours. “I have begun to give, begin to possess.”
–J. R. Miller