Sunday 17th November 2019
God has given His children the awesome privilege of receiving his guidance and direction. How do you make decisions when you’re unsure what the right thing to do is? You could start by picking up your Bible and reading it. His Word is a lamp; in other words, a spotlight to light our path and give us direction so that we can not only see where to go, but where not to go. The light makes things clear and visible so that we will not trip and fall. God has given us His Word for direction and guidance in our everyday walk. Without it, we would surely wander off the path, for we would not be able to clearly see the correct way to go.
The CEV says it like this…
Psalm 119:105 Your word is a lamp that gives light wherever I walk.
I like that. God’s word shows us where we are to go and what the best way is; after all, He is the One leading us isn’t He?
If the path is well lit and clearly visibl,e we will be able to see the way and not stumble.
I want you to consider something. God doesn’t want us to fail. He wants us to succeed. He has promised life in all its fullness.
But we have to follow after Him. We have a choice to stay on the lighted path, or we can stumble out into the darkness, the choice is ours. This can happen when we make our own choices based on OUR wants and desires and not follow the path God sets. He leads, but he will not push us. It is our choice to follow.
Psalm 23:3 He guides me along the right paths for his name’s sake.
He has a lot at stake. His Name is at stake. What does that mean? We were bought at an incredible price. He has a massive investment in us. He wants us to succeed, but in order for us to succeed we have to follow his path. He’s the one giving us the light to see so we will not stumble and fall. His Word gives us this light. He doesn’t want us to stumble about in the darkness.
The thing is, we need to have the light with us if it is to be useful — the Bield Lodge. We need to know the Word of God in order for it to do us any good. If we don’t know His Word then we don’t have a lamp to guide us. We will be led by emotions and circumstances that can not lead us on the correct path. Being upset and annoyed at our surrounding circumstances is not the leading of the Holy Spirit. People have left Churches because they didn’t like something that has gone on or something somebody said. Being upset is not usually the leading of the Holy Spirit. We need to grow up and be responsible children of God.
We sometimes think of guidance in relation to a big decision we have to make. It seems that at those times we pray and read more than usual. Perhaps we even become more aware of listening for God in things that are going on around us. There have been times like that for me, but life is not just about big decisions. We live lives which often seem routine, but even then, God wants us to get it right, to make good decisions and keep on his path. There have been times when I’ve wandered off the path and not even been aware of it but through reading and praying, God corrected me and set me back on the proper path. Thank God for His Holy Spirit! Thank God for His Word!
John 16:13 "However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come.
Without knowing His Word we will have a hard time hearing and following the voice of the Holy Spirit. The Spirit and the Word always agree. One will never contradict the Other. That is impossible. Christians sometimes look for spectacular manifestations of God to show them the way, or to hear the audible voice of God, and will often ignore that still small voice that is on the inside of them. That is the supernatural leading of the Holy Spirit. How many times have you read a passage in the bible, and something jumps out at you as being relevant for that moment. POR Dwelling in the word.
There are times when we have to get quiet in His presence and just listen. After all, communication is a two-way street. How would you like it if someone always came up to you and began speaking without taking the time to hear what you have to say? After a while, you would probably get tired of that, wouldn’t you? Communication is not only speaking, but there should be a lot of listening as well. If you ask for direction and don’t take the time to wait for a reply, then you have no one to blame but yourself, besides that would be just rude.
We learn His voice when we learn His Word. Jesus said in Johns's Gospel…
John 10:27 "My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me.
We not only hear His voice, He knows us and we follow Him. If we were not able to hear His voice, we would not be able to follow Him, would we? Jesus said we hear His voice. I know from experience that many modern day Christians, even some of my colleagues in ministry, would think you are weird if you told them God actually speaks to you, and that you actually hear His voice. I have never actually heard the audible voice of God, but I know people who have. I have ‘heard’ God speaking to me through others; people who may not even be aware that God is using them to communicate. In that sense, I’ve heard God speaking in coffee shops, on the beach, at church, on the radio, and all sorts of places; but, the most common way I recognise God’s voice is through reading the bible.
This should be the norm for God’s children, not the abnormal. Why is this so hard to believe? Was Jesus telling the truth when He said My sheep hear My voice? This is a simple yes or no question, He was either telling the truth or He was lying, there is no in-between. I believe He was telling the truth. My question is this, then why aren’t most Christians hearing? Since He was telling the truth then the problem has to be with us. Lets just get honest about it, God is doing His part; therefore, we have to be the ones who need to be doing something different. The fact that he knows us means that he knows how to reach through to us and what we need to hear.
There are many things that could stop us from hearing God’s voice. Jesus often said this… "He who has ears to hear, let him hear!’’ This statement is said by Jesus 8 times in the Gospels. It is our responsibility to hear.
In Luke 8, Jesus tells a story about a man who sowed seed and the seeds fell on different types of ground. When he finished, he said:
When he said this, he called out, “Whoever has ears to hear, let them hear.” Luke 8:8
If we won’t hear He can’t lead us can He? He has obviously given us the ability to hear or he would not tell us to do that very thing. We have spiritual hearing; we just have to learn to tune in. It is in our best interest if we will but listen, Our Heavenly Father wants us to succeed in everything we are given to do here on the Earth.
So, we need to know the Word. Then we have to take the time to listen. I find this hard but I know I need to learn this very important part of being a follower. We have to understand we do not hear spiritual things with our physical ears, we hear spiritual things through our spirit. Spiritual things are spiritually discerned. Our spirit has to be trained just like our body or mind has to be trained. We have to learn how to hear spiritually.
1 Corinthians 2:14 But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.
We have to be able to tell the difference between God’s thoughts, our thoughts, and the thoughts that come in from outside sources, including the devil. He will put all kinds of thoughts into our mind if we will let him, but we don’t have to let him. When we are born again we become a new creation in Christ Jesus
2 Corinthians 5:17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.
We are a born again spirit that has the life of God living within us. This is where God speaks to us, not our old selves but this new born again spirit. We can train our spirit to hear and tune into the voice of God. Even people who are physically deaf can ‘hear’ or understand that it is God speaking. I find it so easy to rush into my own plans and klife can be so busy that making time for God gets pushed out. As God’s people then, we have to relearn to do things God’s way. This can take time but the rewards are great.
Proverbs 3:5-6 Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; 6 in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths.
I want to encourage you to take the necessary time to learn God’s Word, and to spend time in His presence, and to learn to distinguish His voice. Don’t allow life’s many distractions from keeping you from this most important thing.