Led By God (1)
"Along unfamiliar paths I will guide them." Isaiah 42:16 NIV
Don't ask God to bless your plans, ask Him to show you His - they're already blessed. When the time is right the plan will be clear, the people in place, and the resources available. Peter writes. "Everything that goes into a life of pleasing God has been miraculously given to us" (2 Pe 1:3 TM). Did you hear that? Everything! God told Abraham when to leave home (See Ge 12:1), and Jacob when to go back home (See Ge 31:3). He even told Elijah where to find food in the middle of a famine (See 1 Ki 17:1-5). And His promise to you is "Along unfamiliar paths I will guide [you]." The path you're on today may be unfamiliar to you but it's not to God. He's already gone ahead of you. All you need is the faith to step out and follow Him.
God never changes. If He talked to people all through the Bible, He'll talk to you too. The question is, have you learned to recognize His voice yet? Nothing should be more important to you than learning to hear from God for yourself. The ideas of others should only confirm or clarify what He's already shown you. If you haven't heard from God, you'll be tempted to think that the ideas of others are His commands, and that could hurt you. You are unique! God has a personal plan and a specific destination for you. Take the time to ask Him about it, for His Word says, "He guides the humble in what is right and teaches them His way" (Ps 25:9 NIV).
Led By God (2)
"I will guide you along the best pathway for your life. I will advise you and watch over you." Psalm 32:8 NLT
Solomon says, "Many are the plans in a man's heart, but it is the Lord's purpose that prevails" (Pr 19:21 NIV). Even though your plans are imperfect, if your heart's right, God will make things turn out for your good and His glory. Are you having difficulty sorting out your ideas from His? We all struggle with that, especially when the Bible doesn't give us specifics. For example, when it's time to move or marry or change jobs, what should you do? Listen: "I will guide you along the best pathway for your life. I will advise you and watch over you." You say, "That's nice, but I'd like a little more detail." Okay:
(1) Ideas go away but God's direction stays. There's persistence in His leading, that's why time is on your side. Don't rush ahead of Him. (2) God's direction is usually impossible to follow without Him. He plans it that way. Jesus said, "Without Me you can do nothing" (Jn 15:5 NKJV). (3) God's direction usually begins with discomfort. Listen: "Like an eagle stirs up its nest ... The Lord ... led him" (Dt 32:11-12 NIV). Eagles learn to fly when their mother pushes them out of the nest and over the cliff's edge. Can you imagine their thoughts? "It's my mother doing this to me!" Yet it's only when the eagle is forced out of its comfort zone that it discovers it was born to fly, spreads its wings, releases its power and finds its place in the heavens. Has God been stirring up your nest? Relax! He's leading you!
Led By God (3)
"Seek his will in all you do, and he will direct your paths." Proverbs 3:6 NLT
There are seven particular occasions when hearing from God makes all the difference. (1) Before you consider the needs of others. Why? Because their needs are driving them. Only the plan of God should be leading you. (2) Before you entertain the ideas of others. Why? Because man's ideas are not God's commands. Don't make hasty commitments and end up bound by promises you can't fulfil. Love others, but be led only by God's Spirit. (3) Before you listen to the complaints of others. You're not responsible for their happiness. Stop being co-dependent - needing to fix others in order to feel good about yourself. Turn them over to God and get back into focus. (4) Before you make any significant changes. It's not your job to decide what God wants you to do; it's your job to discover it. (5) Before you respond to the requests of others. Only then will you be able to discern what's behind their requests. Check the soil before you sow. Your seed is too precious to waste. (6) Before you share your dreams with others. Certain people will scorn your dreams and try to sabotage them. Remember Joseph's brothers? When Satan wants to discourage you, he'll use a person - often one who's not even aware of the spirit that's at work within them. Jesus told His own disciples, "You do not know what ... spirit you are of" (Lk 9:55 NKJV). Ouch! (7) Before you seek the approval of others. People with their own agenda will flatter and manipulate you. Hearing God's voice will keep you from falling into their trap.
Led By God (4)
"For it is God who works in you." Philippians 2:13 NIV
You can't compartmentalize your life by saying, "In this category I'm going to do things my way, but in that category I'm going to be led by God." Every step you take must be synchronized with the beat of the Holy Spirit! Nothing is more important than keeping pace with Him. Listen: "God ... works in you to will and to act according to His good purpose" (Php 2:13 NIV). God works through us as we engage our minds, open our mouths, move our feet and use our hands to do what He's already put into our hearts. The moment you say "yes" to God, He gives you the ability to perform His will. Notice, He doesn't reveal His will to you first, then call you next. No, He calls you, and as you move out and obey Him He reveals it to you step by step, empowering you as you go.
God is never content with the status quo! Never! Every day in countless ways He'll develop you into a greater likeness of His Son. You're not out for a stroll; you're going somewhere. Over and over again you'll be given experiences and be put into situations that'll mature you to the point where you have the same attitude, the same responses, and the same discernment as Jesus. When you begin to understand that, walking with God will take on a whole new meaning. You'll realize that your walk with Him is the only walk that will ever satisfy you or fulfill your purpose for being on this earth.
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