“With your ears you will hear a word from behind you: “This is the way; stay on it, whether you go to the right or the left.” Isaiah 30:21, Complete Jewish Bible
Need some guidance lately? Expecting or looking for a change, and wanting to have some godly input?
Let me share a word (or two) of what I was taught years ago, and which I still use to help lead me on the Lord’s path, and to keep from going off the deep end. Or even falling into the ditch on either side.
Back in 1971 a favorite Bible teacher of mine, Bob Mumford, wrote the book, “Take Another Look at Guidance: A Study of Divine Guidance” (01.01.1971 Logos International. You can get a copy online for only $32.07 if you want it. Signed by Bob. My unsigned copy was given away a long time ago.) It was not until a decade later when I probably read it for the first time, as my copy got pretty worn out over the years, but he taught a very simple message on how we can discern the Lord’s will as we walk with Him.
Let me share it as I remember and still apply today as I seek his wisdom in the way to go.
Mumford gave an example of an ocean ship coming into the harbor, looking for three certain lights to line up, guiding the captain through the fog or midnight hour. Once they all were in a direct row, he knew it was safe to steer the ship’s rudder between any cliffs on either side or around obstacles that could sink the ship, crew, passengers, and cargo if struck.
The first light we need to look for is the written Word of God, the Torah, the Bible. As we spend time reading and learning the lessons given to us by the Holy Spirit, as recorded by inspired writers in centuries past and still very relevant today, we can receive guidance. The logos, the written Word of God, has been the main focal point of all successful men and women as they sought the Lord and His plan. It spoke to them as they allowed Him the time to speak.
“Every part of Scripture is God-breathed and useful one way or another — showing us truth, exposing our rebellion, correcting our mistakes, training us to live God’s way. Through the Word we are put together and shaped up for the tasks God has for us.” 2 Timothy 3:16-17, THE MESSAGE
“I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will guide you with My eye.” Psalm 32:8, NKJV
There have been times I would be reading God’s Word, the Bible, and a sentence would jump out at me, as if I had never seen it before. Pay attention to those times. It is the Lord speaking to you.
The second guiding light was “rhema” – Holy Spirit words given through any of several supernatural gifts or occurrences available to us. These may come with someone speaking a prophetic word to us; the Lord gives a night dream or we may even have a vision; we hear the “still, small voice” of the Lord in our mind, and we may wonder where that came from. Seeking counsel from mature believers is also very important.
It may be simple. It may be profound. But either way as He grants us direction, we need to receive it with thanksgiving.
The Apostle Paul instructed his disciple Timothy to heed what he had received previously through personal prophecy.
“This command I entrust to you, Timothy, my son, in accordance with the prophecies previously made concerning you, that by them you fight the good fight, keeping faith and a good conscience, which some have rejected and suffered shipwreck in regard to their faith.” 1 Timothy 1:18-20, NASU
The Body of Christ is made up of many members, each having been given a gift to be shared with others, for the good of all. We so need them in these days.
“And there are varieties of ministries, and the same Lord. There are varieties of effects, but the same God who works all things in all persons. But to each one is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good. For to one is given the word of wisdom through the Spirit, and to another the word of knowledge according to the same Spirit; to another faith by the same Spirit, and to another gifts of healing by the one Spirit, and to another the effecting of miracles, and to another prophecy, and to another the distinguishing of spirits, to another various kinds of tongues, and to another the interpretation of tongues. But one and the same Spirit works all these things, distributing to each one individually just as He wills.” 1 Corinthians 12:5-11, NASU
The third light we should look for in our guidance journey is through circumstances. How many times have you gone through a day, something happens, and you think, “Was that the Lord?” Or as you have been praying and expecting, an answer comes through the mail, or a text, or a book you have been reading and you realize that it is the Lord doing His thing. Or when you are introduced to another, in what we call “divine appointments”?
The Lord is not slack in using many ways He can speak and lead us. He has multiple, creative methods.
On several of Paul’s journeys the leading of the Lord came to him through experiencing a shipwreck (yes, even these!)’ he was thrown out of a city and his way forward was adjusted; and when other believers encouraged him to go one way, which he did until a turn in the road came, and further direction was given. He started the walk, and as he moved, in faith and with His eyes fixed on the Lord Jesus, the Lord brought people into his path to help lead him. We each have known that in our life.
Thus, when all three lights line up, one can be certain that it is the Lord giving us knowledge and understanding of His directional provision.
Each time my wife and children had major, physical moves in our lives, often from state to state, of course we sought the Lord for His guiding light. He was always faithful to give it, coming at His perfect time and season in our lives. Often it was not easy, but it was right.
Whether it is a major or seemingly minor decision we need to make, we can be led by the Lord as we learn His ways.
Seek the Lord. Draw near to Him. He will show you the way.
Ahava and shalom,
Steve Martin, Love For His People founder
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Time To Act Messages #39 – in the year of our Lord 02.05.21.21 – “Guidance – Get Some”, Friday, 3:00 pm in Charlotte, NC USA