Tag Archives: Guidance

Guiding Promise

Found in Psalm 37, these words of David are a promise which should bring us great encouragement. David says, “The Lord directs the steps of the godly. He delights in every detail of their lives. Though they stumble, they will never fall, for the Lord holds them by the hand.”

This promise reminds us the Lord is with us in every step of our lives. The Lord is directing our lives just like he did Moses.

Moses was born at a difficult time in history. Egypt had enslaved the Israelites, and an edict was issued to control the Israelite population. Newborn males were not to be treated well, but the Lord intervened. Moses’ parents hid him for a while before placing him in a waterproof basket on the Nile. The Lord directed the basket to float to some reeds, where Pharoah’s daughter found it. She was instantly fond of the baby in the basket, and guess what…

His sister, Miriam, was her personal servant. Miriam was sent to find an Israelite mother to help care for the child, so she brought back her mom. Of course, this was also Moses’ mom. And, this was only the beginning of God directing the steps of Moses’ life.

As time marched on, the Lord enabled Moses to learn Egyptian customs by allowing him to grow up in Pharoah’s palace, trained Moses in the ways of the desert by having him shepherd sheep before becoming the shepherd of Israel, and by giving him the strength to stand before Pharoah proclaiming the power of the Lord. God guided Moses through each phase of life.

God can guide us through each phase of life as well. “Trust him,” the Bible says, “and he will guide your steps and make your paths straight.” And notice, David says, “Though they stumble….” We don’t have to be perfect. The Lord does not wait for us to lead a mistake free life before he starts guiding us.

He sure didn’t wait for Moses to be perfect before guiding him. Moses made his share of mistakes in Egypt, in the desert, and even after becoming the leader of God’s people. Even though Moses made mistakes, the Lord still offered him guidance.

Mistakes and all, the Lord offers us guidance. He meets our stumbles with a hand so we don’t fall. As we’re promised in Jeremiah, the Lord knows the plans he has for us. We just have to trust he will guide us each step of the way.

The Route

The shortest route between two places is a straight line; however, going straight from point A to point B does not always work. It is not always the best route; it sure wasn’t for the people of Israel.

The Lord delivered Israel from the Egyptian bondage they were suffering. He designed an exit strategy which had them leave in a hurry, but they did not go directly to the land of Canaan. Exodus 13:17 records:

17 When Pharaoh let the people go, God did not lead them on the road through the Philistine country, though that was shorter. For God said, “If they face war, they might change their minds and return to Egypt.”

Israel did not go directly to their destination because it wasn’t what was best for them. Though it may have seemed the Lord had the people wondering aimlessly in the wilderness, he had their best interests in mind and was always accomplishing his purpose. The Lord knew a direct route was not best in this situation.

Charles Stanley has commented, “Our God is practical, and He deals with us according to our nature. He will always lead us in the way that is most appropriate for us.”

Sometimes, the Lord may not take our lives on a direct route. It may seem there are many twists and turns to get to where we are going, but we can rest assured the Lord knows what he is doing. Jeremiah 29:11 reminds us that the Lord knows the plans he has for us. Those twists in turns of life are in our best interest. It may not seem like it at the time, but the Lord knows the best route to our destination.

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Age-Old Questions

What is God doing? Is God fair? These are questions that have been asked through the ages.

No one asks these questions more poetically than Job. Job experienced an extremely difficult time in life which tested his faith. He experienced a health crisis, lost his family, and his wealth was taken away. Job’s friends said it was his fault. Surely, he had done something wrong to bring about such a disaster, they thought. His wife even encouraged Job to curse God and die. As Job is going through this time, he asks the age-old question “why me?”

Perhaps we’ve all asked this question. We’ve all wondered why things happen the way they do. It is okay to ask this question. God doesn’t frown upon us for asking. As we ask, we must remember our perspective is limited, while God’s is full. The book of Job reminds us we do not always see the big picture.

Think about going through a maze. Without seeing it from above, you do not know how to get through. You just have to take twists and turns until you find your way through. If you have a map or someone guiding you, it is much easier. You may not understand why you are going a certain way, but you trust their guidance.

Life is like a maze, except God sees it from above. He offers to guide us. He offers to show us the way through life’s twists and turns. We may not understand why life is going in a certain direction, but by faith, we trust that the Lord does.

Psalm 119:105 says, “Your word is a lamp for my feet,
    a light on my path.”

God has a full view of life. He sees it from the beginning to the end, and wants to lead us through all of its seasons. Do you allow the Lord to lead? As you ponder life’s events, remember the Lord’s perspective has no limits.

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3 characteristics of the good shepherd

Taking care of sheep was a commitment, not just a job. Sheep required around-the-clock care and protection. A good shepherd would care deeply for his sheep, and he would tend to their needs in a compassionate way. The Bible teaches Jesus is our good shepherd.

In John 10:11 and 14, Jesus says, “I am the good shepherd.” This means Jesus acts toward us as a good shepherd acted toward his sheep. Here are just a few of the characteristics that make up a good shepherd.

A good shepherd knows his sheep.

A good shepherd knows his sheep. He knows everything about them. To many, sheep all look the same, but to their shepherd, they are unique.

  • In John 10:3, Jesus says, “…the sheep recognize his voice and come to him. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out.”
  • “I am the good shepherd. I know my own sheep and they know me,” Jesus says in John 10:14.

Jesus knows us. He knows our thoughts, hurts, passions, and everything else about us.

A good shepherd goes ahead of his sheep.

Jesus says in John 10:4, “After he has gathered his own flock, he walks ahead of them and they follow him because they know his voice.” A good shepherd goes ahead of his sheep to keep them out of danger. He leads them to water and green pastures so their needs are met. As our good shepherd, Jesus guides are lives.

A good shepherd lays down his life for his sheep.

Standing between the sheep and their predators is the shepherd, and he is willing to give up his life to save theirs.

Jesus says, “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd sacrifices his life for the sheep” (John 10:11). Standing between us and the penalty of sin is Jesus. He laid down his life to save ours. He is our good shepherd.

David writes in Psalm 23, “The Lord is my shepherd. I shall not be in want.” And, the Lord is a good shepherd. He knows us and he tenderly and compassionately cares for us. Take a moment today to thank him for being the good shepherd.

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Finding Our Way

Psalm 119 suggests storing up God’s Word.

In 1914, Ernest Shackleton and a team of explorers set out from England to do something no one before had accomplished, cross Antarctica from one side to the other across the South Pole. Disaster struck when the team’s ship                           became entrapped in ice and the hull was eventually crushed. The ship sank, and the team was marooned on nearby Elephant Island. There seemed little hope for their survival.

In a desperate attempt to get help, Ernest and 5 others set out in a 20-foot lifeboat across some of the most dangerous and storm filled waters in the world. It was an 800-mile journey to South Georgia Island where help could be found. For 15 days, the men battled the treacherous seas and massive storms with waves up to 100-feet using only a compass and a sextant. Frank Worsley, who had captained the Endurance, navigated their course until they safely reached land and found help.

The group found another ship and returned to rescue all of the team. Shackleton became a national hero in England for his courage and persistence.

All of us will go through stormy times in life. The uncertainties of tomorrow are many. The level of misinformation we see on a daily basis is extremely high. In these moments, Psalm 119:11 suggests we store up God’s Word to guide us.

The Psalmist says, “I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you.” In other words, the Psalmist says, “I have stored up God’s Word so I know the difference between right and wrong and true and false.”

The only way to ensure that we do not go astray is to have an objective source of truth that will guide us just as a compass can guide sailors through dark and uncharted waters. God’s Word can guide us through uncertain and difficult circumstances. We need to trust God’s Word over everything else. Our feelings and emotions can lead us astray, but Scripture can guide us.

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A Promise to Us

The 3-fold promise of God.

Walking through uncertainty is a part of life. We can try to avoid it, but eventually we will have no choice. We will have to walk through uncertain territory.

The uncertainty we experience may be caused by events outside our control or decisions we have made. Either way, the Lord will stick with us.

Psalm 32:8 states, “The Lord says, ‘I will guide you along the best pathway for your life. I will advise you and watch over you.” Here we find a 3-fold promise from the Lord.

Instruct his children.

The Lord promises to guide us on the best pathway for our lives. This means…

  • God will direct us in the way we should go.
  • He is willing to help us stay on the straight path that leads to fellowship with him.
  • Through his word, God gives us accurate counsel.
  • He leads us with gentleness and trustworthiness. This makes us feel safe.

Give us wisdom.

Through his word, the Lord will guide us. He will help us make the best possible decision. James encourages us to request wisdom and says the Lord will generously give wisdom to us.

Watch over us.

The Bible says the Lord will watch over our coming and going, both now and forever more. Psalm 121 says the Lord will not allow our foot to slip. He will watch over us as we take life’s journey.

Life is filled with uncertainty. Recent days have magnified this truth; however, the Lord’s promise is still the same. He guides us, though it may not always make sense.

Life may not always make sense, but we can rest assured God knows the plan. Psalm 32 goes on to say unfailing love surrounds those who trust the Lord.

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4 Tips for Every Person’s Journey

A great leader listens to God’s tips.

Joshua was 85 years old when he became the leader of Israel. The first 85 years of Joshua’s life prepared him for this moment. He understood how difficult the Egyptian bondage was for the Israelites. He experienced the agonizing stress of wondering through the desert, and now it was time to go into the promised land. Joshua had been watching Moses lead, but now it was his time. It was his time to fulfill his purpose.

In Joshua’s commissioning, we find 4 tips for every Christian.

1. Timing is crucial.

Joshua had been with Israel in Egypt, through the desert, and was standing at the border of the promised land. Moses was the leader until it was time; time for Joshua to take the reigns and lead the people.

In Joshua 1:2, the Lord tells Joshua, “The time has come for you to lead these people, the Israelites, across the Jordan River into land I am giving them.”

Joshua started when it was time. In his Law of Timing, John Maxwell states Joshua assumed leadership at the proper time. Moses was a diplomatic leader, which is the leadership style the people needed in the desert. But on the border of Canaan, the needs of the people changed. They needed a fierce military style leader, which is Joshua. Timing is crucial in successfully fulfilling our purpose.

You and I have goals, dreams, and a purpose, and to be successful, we must be sensitive to the Lord’s timing.

If our goal is writing a book, we don’t want to jump ahead and push it to publication before it is ready. If our dream is to run a marathon, we need to properly train before entering the race. If we believe our purpose is to be a leader, we shouldn’t form an undercurrent to take out those in our way. We should wait on the Lord to open the opportunity. Timing is important.

There’s a proper time for every activity, so we should be ready when it’s time. Meanwhile, you and I should patiently prepare for our time to move.

2. The Lord is with us.

Joshua was reminded the Lord is right beside him.

The Lord says in Joshua 1:5, “No one will be able to stand against you as long as you live for, I will be with you as I was with Moses. I will not fail you or abandon you.”

The Lord goes on in verse 9, “For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”

God had Joshua’s back. He was there to help Joshua overcome the barriers standing in his way. Joshua could count on the Lord.

God has our back, and he is with you and me as well. He will go with us and help overcome the barriers that stand in the way. We can count on the Lord.

3. Be strong and courageous.

Joshua 1:6 says, “Be strong and courageous. For you are the one who will lead these people to possess all the land I swore to their ancestors I would give them.”

The Lord promised to be with Joshua, then challenged him to be strong and courageous. Joshua was the one who would fulfill his purpose. No one else was going to lead the people. No one else was going to lead the charge to possess the land. Joshua was the one. He could be strong and courageous in the Lord.

The Lord has promised us he will be right beside us, and he is challenging us to be strong and courageous. No one else is going to fulfill our calling. Our goals, dreams, and purpose are unique to us. The Lord has a plan for our lives, and we can be strong and courageous in him.

“This is my command: be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go,” says the Lord in Joshua 1:9.

4. Remember the word of God.

Joshua 1:7-8 implores, “Be strong and very courageous. Be careful to obey all the instructions Moses gave you. Do not deviate from them turning either to the right or to the left. Then you will be successful in everything you do. Study this book of instruction continually. Meditate on it day and night so you will be sure to obey everything written in it. Only then will you prosper and succeed in all you do.”

The Lord challenged Joshua to remember his decrees. The guidance offered by the Lord’s word is what brings success.

As you and I are fulfilling our purpose, the Bible will guide us. There seems to be guidance for every season, every challenge, every question. We are earnestly begged to remember the Lord’s word on our journey.

Joshua put all these tips into practice, and he was a great leader. He understood timing. He knew the Lord was with him. He did not lack strength or courage, and he applied the Lord’s word. As a result, he was able to lead Israel in taking possession of the promised land. He was able to complete his calling and leave a legacy.

Acting

Challenge yourself to begin exercising these tips.

  • Pray that the Lord makes you more sensitive to his timing.
  • Challenge yourself to replace fear with the fact the Lord is with you.
  • Ask the Lord for strength and courage as you overcome barriers.
  • Seek guidance from the Bible.

How’s it going? Share in the comments.

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