If you are seeking God for direction, remember that He is much more interested in the conduct of your life than the course that you take. He will be with you wherever you go. Whatever school you choose to go to, the questions is: what kind of student will you be? Whichever girl or guy you marry, what kind of spouse will you be? Whichever career you pursue, what kind of employee will you be? Yes He can, and will, direct your path—but much more important, He wants to direct your heart.
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit.”
"For you are my rock and my fortress; and for your name’s sake you lead me and guide me; you take me out of the net they have hidden for me, for you are my refuge." (Psalm 31:3-4)
Your name’s sake
It is not for your sake that God is faithful to lead you. It is not based on anything you do, but it is for the sake of His name that He promises to never leave or forsake you and to finish the work He began in you.
"He leads me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake." (Psalm 23:3).
"I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ." (Philippians 1:6).
"May the God of peace himself sanctify you completely, and may your whole spirit and soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. He who calls you is faithful; he will surely do it." (1 Thessalonians 5:23-24)
You take me out of the net
The devil is our enemy; He is a roaring lion; he is a wolf in sheep’s clothing; he is the deceiver, the accuser, the destroyer. However, no plot he has against you will prevail if you are a child of the Most High God! Not because of any cleverness or strength on your part, but because God is faithful to deliver you from His traps.
"He who is a hired hand and not a shepherd, who does not own the sheep, sees the wolf coming and leaves the sheep and flees, and the wolf snatches them and scatters them. He flees because he is a hired hand and cares nothing for the sheep. I am the good shepherd. I know my own and my own know me." (John 10:12-14).
"We know that everyone who has been born of God does not keep on sinning, but he who was born of God protects him, and the evil one does not touch him." (1 John 5:18).
"The LORD will keep you from all evil;
he will keep your life." (Psalms 121:7)
"The Lord will rescue me from every evil deed and bring me safely into his heavenly kingdom. To him be the glory forever and ever. Amen" (2 Timothy 4:18).
Get wisdom; get insight; do not forget, and do not turn away from the words of my mouth. Do not forsake her, and she will keep you; love her, and she will guard you.
Solomon warns us consistently throughout the Proverbs to obtain wisdom. Though we are inclined to think of wisdom as something that must be earned over time, Solomon reveals a secret early in his writings:
- Proverbs 2:6; The LORD gives wisdom; from his mouth come knowledge and understanding.
Wisdom is a free gift available to anyone who simply asks the Lord believing He will give it to them.
- James 1:5; If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him.
She will guard you
Wisdom itself—a supernatural understanding that the Lord created even before the earth (Proverbs 8:22-24)—will guard us as long as we seek shelter under her. As long as we keep ourselves humble, understanding how much we need her, knowing that only God has her and only God can give her to us, she will protect us. In essence, it is God Himself who protects us. He guides us with His wisdom, His counsel, His word. He is faithful to guard anyone who puts their trust in Him.
- Proverbs 6:20-23; My son, keep your father’s commandment, and forsake not your mother’s teaching [the wisdom God has imparted to us through our parents or any authority who has taught us]. Bind them on your heart always; tie them around your neck. When you walk, they will lead you; when you lie down, they will watch over you; and when you awake, they will talk with you. For the commandment is a lamp and the teaching a light, and the reproofs of discipline are the way of life….
- Proverbs 2:6-12; For the LORD gives wisdom; from his mouth come knowledge and understanding; he stores up sound wisdom for the upright; he is a shield to those who walk in integrity, guarding the paths of justice and watching over the way of his saints. Then you will understand righteousness and justice and equity, every good path; for wisdom will come into your heart, and knowledge will be pleasant to your soul; discretion will watch over you, understanding will guard you, delivering you from the way of evil, from men of perverted speech….
“These are the inheritances that Eleazar the priest and Joshua the son of Nun and the heads of the fathers’ houses of the tribes of the people of Israel distributed by lot at Shiloh before the LORD, at the entrance of the tent of meeting. So they finished dividing the land.”
They finished dividing the land
Hundreds of years have passed since God made His promises to Abraham. We get the privilege of reading this testimony of God’s faithfulness as it unfolds. Too bad Abraham didn’t get to read what we are reading! Having the promise of an inheritance in Canaan and of an offspring as numerous as the dust of the earth, he believed God without receiving the outcome. He “died in faith, not having received the things promised, but having seen them and greeted them from afar;” Hebrews 11:13.
- Romans 4:18-21 “In hope he believed against hope, that he should become the father of many nations, as he had been told, ‘So shall your offspring be.’ He did not weaken in faith when he considered his own body, which was as good as dead (since he was about a hundred years old), or when he considered the barrenness of Sarah’s womb. No distrust made him waver concerning the promise of God, but he grew strong in his faith as he gave glory to God, fully convinced that God was able to do what he had promised.”
Abraham looked forward to that which was unseen. His faith, we’re told, was reckoned to His account as righteousness. The Lord considered Abraham to be a righteous man because he took God at His word and trusted Him as able to do that which He promised.
We have received promises like Abraham did. With some of the promises we even have their fulfillments written down for us in the book of Revelation. Having witnessed the Lord’s faithfulness to Abraham, and having every reason to believe He is both faithful and able to carry out His promises to us, let us also grow strong in faith.
We have the promise of Jesus’ continual guidance and presence on this earth
- Hebrews 13:5-6 “Keep your life free from love of money, and be content with what you have, for he has said, ‘I will never leave you nor forsake you.’ So we can confidently say, ‘The Lord is my helper; I will not fear; what can man do to me?'”
- Isaiah 41:10 “Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”
- Psalms 48:14 “This is God, our God forever and ever. He will guide us forever.”
- Matthew 28:20b “Behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”
We have the promise of Jesus’ return
- John 14:3 “And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also.”
We have the promise of Jesus’ kingdom
- Luke 12:32 “Fear not, little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.”
- Hebrews 12:28 “Let us be grateful for receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, and thus let us offer to God acceptable worship, with reverence and awe.”
- James 2:5 “Listen, my beloved brothers, has not God chosen those who are poor in the world to be rich in faith and heirs of the kingdom, which he has promised to those who love him?”
- 1Peter 1:3-5 “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, who by God’s power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.”
We have the promise of being brought into Jesus’ presence for all eternity
- 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17 “For the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a cry of command, with the voice of an archangel, and with the sound of the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive, who are left, will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we will always be with the Lord.”
- Revelation 21:3-5 “And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, ‘Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning nor crying nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.’ And he who was seated on the throne said, ‘Behold, I am making all things new.’ Also he said, ‘Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.'”
- Revelation 21:22-23 “And I saw no temple in the city, for its temple is the Lord God the Almighty and the Lamb. And the city has no need of sun or moon to shine on it, for the glory of God gives it light, and its lamp is the Lamb.”
- Revelation 22:3-6 “No longer will there be anything accursed, but the throne of God and of the Lamb will be in it, and his servants will worship him. They will see his face, and his name will be on their foreheads.And night will be no more. They will need no light of lamp or sun, for the Lord God will be their light, and they will reign forever and ever. And he said to me, ‘These words are trustworthy and true.'”
I have only mentioned a fraction of His promises and a fraction of the verses concerning the fraction of promises I mentioned! How overwhelming does the Lord need to convince us before we believe in Him wholeheartedly?
- 1 Thessalonians 5:24 “He who calls you is faithful; he will surely do it.”
“I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my eye upon you. Be not like a horse or a mule, without understanding, which must be curbed with bit and bridle, or it will not stay near you.”
God desires that we stay near to Him without being forced. He promises to teach, counsel, and guide us; He promises to watch over us and instruct us. As our part, He asks that we be willing. He asks that we be inclined to Him. He asks that we not be like stubborn beasts that have to be pushed and pulled, but rather like trusting sheep who follow their Shepherd unreservedly.
We all were once like sheep who had gone astray. We all can relate to the words the hymn writer sang, “Prone to wonder, Lord, I feel it; prone to leave the God I love.” But when we first came to God in faith, He gave us a new heart. Ezekiel tells us He transplanted our heart of stone with one of flesh. We have a new nature and the Holy Spirit residing within us. We reciprocate God’s desire for fellowship with us. We have a soft heart toward Him and a willingness to be lead.
- James 4:7-8 “Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you.”
Since we have a new heart, let us pursue an enthusiasm for walking near to the Lord. God wants to foster within us a heart that is submissive to Him without compulsion. He wants us to cheerfully, willingly love, follow,, and live for Him.
In light of all He’s done for us, this should be easy; we just need to be reminded from time to time.
- 2 Corinthians 5:14-15 “The love of Christ controls us, because we have concluded this: that one has died for all, therefore all have died; and he died for all, that those who live might no longer live for themselves but for him who for their sake died and was raised.”
- Galatians 2:20 “I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.”
- 1 Thessalonians 5:9-10 “God has not destined us for wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, who died for us so that whether we are awake or asleep we might live with him.”
- Romans 14:7-9 “For none of us lives to himself, and none of us dies to himself. For if we live, we live to the Lord, and if we die, we die to the Lord. So then, whether we live or whether we die, we are the Lord’s. For to this end Christ died and lived again, that he might be Lord both of the dead and of the living.”
We are not our own. We have been purchased with Christ’s blood. He died for us so that we might live with Him. He wants us near to Him, following Him, listening to Him, obeying Him with a willing heart. Furthermore, the very God who desires these things of us has given us the means. “It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me,” Paul said in Galatians chapter 2. Christ lives in us, His Holy Spirit lives in us, to give us not only the desire, but the ability to do that which is pleasing to Him.
“Commit your way to the LORD; trust in him, and he will act. He will bring forth your righteousness as the light, and your justice as the noonday.”
Trust in Him
God promises He will take care of us. He tells us He is the Good Shepherd. He is faithful; we ought to trust Him
We are often prone to doubt Him because we don’t always understand what He wants to lead us in and how He wants to do it. Our thoughts are not His thoughts neither are our ways His ways.
He will bring forth your righteousness as the light
“He leads us in the paths of righteousness for His name’s sake.” The Lord is determined to lead us in the paths of righteousness. He promises He will never let us go. As the psalm before us says, “He will act. He will bring forth your righteousness as the light.” It is simply our job to trust in Him; to commit our way to Him who is faithful and able to carryout what He has promised.
- 1 Thessalonians 5:23 “Now may the God of peace himself sanctify you completely, and may your whole spirit and soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.”
- Philippians 1:6 “I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.”
- 1 Corinthians 1:4, 8 “I give thanks to my God always for you because of the grace of God that was given you in Christ Jesus…who will sustain you to the end, guiltless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ.”
He leads us in truth.
We are quick to think of God’s leading in terms of the course of our life. Where He leads we will follow. The Lord is absolutely able to lead us through life, and He does. But I believe God is much more concerned about the conduct of our life. He leads us in truth–His word is truth.
- Psalms 25:5 “Lead me in your truth and teach me, for you are the God of my salvation; for you I wait all the day long.”
- John 16:13 “When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth, for he will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he hears he will speak, and he will declare to you the things that are to come.”
- Psalms 32:8 “I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my eye upon you.”
Let us commit our ways to Him who is faithful to lead us and faithful to keep us. As Abraham, the father of faith, let us not weaken in faith or let any distrust make us waver concerning the promise of God, but grow strong in our faith giving glory to God, being fully convinced that God was able to do what he has promised (Romans 4:19-21).