Jim Wilson is the retired director of Community Christian Ministries in Moscow, Idaho. He will be posting regularly, so check back in soon!

Thursday, February 21, 2008

God's Direction...

We have meditated on the way people are directed by God or how they direct themselves. Here is one way. It is not good.

“ ‘Woe to the rebellious children,’ says the Lord, ‘who carry out a plan, but not mine, who make a league, but not of my Spirit that they may add sin to sin who set out to go down to Egypt without asking for my counsel.’ ” (Isaiah 30:1, 2)

This is descriptive of the world, individuals, and nations. They have plans that they implement. The plans are not God’s. They make treaties, agreements and contracts and the Spirit of God is not present. They do not ask the Lord for advice. In our experience many Christians follow this pattern. God says, “Woe to the rebellious children.”

Joshua, in the early stages of the conquest of Canaan, was deceived by the Gibeonites and he made a treaty with them under oath. Here is a selection from Joshua 9:14, “So the men partook of their provisions, and did not ask direction from the Lord and made a covenant with them to let them live and the leaders of the congregation swore to them.”

There is another way. It is not good either, but it is better. “Be not like a horse or a mule, without understanding, which must be curbed with a bit and bridle, else it will not keep with you” (Psalm 32:9). It is not a pleasant thing to have a bit in your mouth, a bridle on your head, and no understanding where you are going. Sometimes, after the fact, you find that you have been guided by God into His will for you. God, in His faithfulness to us, has to jerk us around with a bit and bridle to ensure that we do not miss His will.

God has a better way still, His perfect way. “I will instruct you and teach you the way you should go: I will guide you with mine eye.” Psalm 32:8. This is personal guidance based on a relationship with God which presupposes the forgiveness prayed for by the Psalmist in the early part of the psalm. Perhaps we have all glibly quoted, “In all thy ways acknowledge Him and He shall direct thy paths.” Incidentally, “all our ways” will include business dealings, purchases, vacation plans, friendships, recreation, and numerous other areas. These, if we are honest, seldom if ever are shared with our Heavenly Father. Perhaps if we started to share the small details of our lives with Him, the joy and relief from strain would equip us for the bigger decisions that will come to us.

(Taken from Day & Night, 2005)

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