WISDOM FOR LIVING DAILY DEVOTIONAL
AUGUST 2ND, 2021
TOPIC: FOLLOW DIVINE LEADING
BY T. O. BANSO
“If we are living now by the Holy Spirit, let us follow the Holy Spirit’s leading in every part of our lives” (Galatians 5:25 New Living Translation). Romans 8:14 says as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God. The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God (Romans 8:16).
God wants to lead His children and He does, but many times, they are not sensitive to His leading. Many negative situations or experiences could have been avoided if His children would seek his guidance and follow His leading.
Job 33:14-18 says, “But God speaks again and again, though people do not recognize it. He speaks in dreams, in visions of the night when deep sleep falls on people as they lie in bed. He whispers in their ear and terrifies them with his warning. He causes them to change their minds; he keeps them from pride. He keeps them from the grave, from crossing over the river of death” (New Living Translation).
However, sometimes, the children of God do not ask for His leading or guidance. Sometimes, they don’t recognize that He is speaking to them and leading them. Therefore, they make their choices and only ask Him to bless these choices. The Bible says there is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death (Proverbs 14:12, 16:25). Proverbs 3:5-6 says we should trust in the LORD with all our hearts, and lean not on our own understanding; in all our ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct our paths.
Psalm 23 is attributed to David. He said in verse 3 that God led him in the paths of righteousness, for His name’s sake. “Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me” (verse 4 New King James Version). In Psalm 5:8, David prayed, “Lead me in the right path, O LORD, or my enemies will conquer me. Tell me clearly what to do, and show me which way to turn” (New Living Translation).
He said His Angel would go before the Israelites (Exodus 23:20-24). He also told Moses that His Presence would go with him and He would give him rest (Exodus 33:14). God wants to lead you, too. When He leads you, you can rest assured of His presence in negative circumstances.
Matthew 4:1 says Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. But God was with Him. “The LORD will guide you continually, watering your life when you are dry and keeping you healthy, too. You will be like a well-watered garden, like an ever-flowing spring” (Isaiah 58:11 New Living Translation).
Both in the Old and New Testaments, God led His people. The Children of Israel enjoyed a unique leading of God in the wilderness. “And the LORD went before them by day in a pillar of cloud to lead the way, and by night in a pillar of fire to give them light, so as to go by day and night. He did not take away the pillar of cloud by day or the pillar of fire by night from before the people” (Exodus 13:21-22 New King James Version). Exodus 14:19-20 also talks about God leading the Israelites by the pillar of cloud.
The leading of God is rarely as visible as that today but God still leads His people. We walk by faith, not by sight (2 Corinthians 5:7). The children of Israel who were led by a pillar of cloud and by night in a pillar of fire did not experience this as God’s way of leading them after they had reached the Promised Land.
Generally in the Bible, God led His people through His Angel, visions, dreams, trances, their consciences, His Spirit, and His Word. These include Bible characters such as Joseph, Moses, David, Daniel, Peter, and Paul. He still leads people today. Nevertheless, not all visions, dreams, and trances are from God. Not every supernatural communication is from Him.
Primarily today, God leads His people by His Word and the Holy Spirit. In the Old Testament, the High priest used the Urim and Thummim to determine the will of God on issues. But we depend on the Word of God and His Spirit today. A child of God should devote himself or herself to hearing, studying, and meditating on the Word of God. Fellowshipping with the Holy Spirit and living a Word-controlled life will protect one against supernatural communication that is not from God.
Many verses in the Bible have clearly shown us the will of God. We only need to follow what the Word says. The psalmist says God’s Word is a lamp to His feet and a light to His path (Psalm 119:105). Jesus said, “I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life” (New King James Version). If we follow His Word, we cannot walk in darkness because His Word will lead us in the path of light.
It is not for you to determine how God should lead you. He may not give you a dream. You may not have a trance or vision. There may be no prophecy for you. “For prophecy never came by the will of man, but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit” (2 Peter 1:21 New King James Version).
God chooses how He leads you. Don’t set a trap for yourself by choosing how God should lead you. Satan may exploit that to manipulate and deceive you and you would think it is God leading you. God’s leading doesn’t have to be dramatic, spectacular, or extraordinary. If you look out for that, you may miss God’s leading.
God is usually not in the wind, earthquake, or fire. “Then He said, ‘Go out, and stand on the mountain before the LORD.’ And behold, the LORD passed by, and a great and strong wind tore into the mountains and broke the rocks in pieces before the LORD, but the LORD was not in the wind; and after the wind an earthquake, but the LORD was not in the earthquake; and after the earthquake a fire, but the LORD was not in the fire; and after the fire a still small voice. So it was, when Elijah heard it, that he wrapped his face in his mantle and went out and stood in the entrance of the cave. Suddenly a voice came to him, and said, ‘What are you doing here, Elijah?’” (1 Kings 19:11-13 New King James Version).
You must be sensitive to the leading of the Holy Spirit. Jesus said, “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” (John 16:13 New King James Version).
Paul not only enjoyed divine leading in his ministry through trance, but he also enjoyed God’s leading through vision. “And a vision appeared to Paul in the night. A man of Macedonia stood and pleaded with him, saying, ‘Come over to Macedonia and help us.’ Now after he had seen the vision, immediately we sought to go to Macedonia, concluding that the Lord had called us to preach the gospel to them” (Acts 16:9-10 New King James Version). God chose to lead him right through a vision. There is no record that Paul prayed for a vision. God speaks to people in different ways.
Without this vision, Paul wouldn’t have known they were to go to Macedonia. Before this vision, he had wanted to go somewhere else – Bithynia – but the Holy Spirit didn’t permit him, Silas, and Timothy. “Now when they had gone through Phrygia and the region of Galatia, they were forbidden by the Holy Spirit to preach the word in Asia. After they had come to Mysia, they tried to go into Bithynia, but the Spirit did not permit them. So passing by Mysia, they came down to Troas” (Acts 16:6-8 New King James Version). Did you see that?
Though Jesus sent them to preach the Word to all the world, at this time, they were forbidden by the Holy Spirit to preach the word in Asia and Bithynia, a province in Asia Minor. Nevertheless, later, all who dwelt in Asia heard the word of the Lord Jesus, both Jews and Greeks (Acts 19:10). The people of Bithynia also became Christians as shown in 1 Peter 1:1.
Also, Paul might have heard other visions because he referred to this in 2 Corinthians 12:1 thus: “It is doubtless not profitable for me to boast. I will come to visions and revelations of the Lord” (New King James Version). In verses 2-4, Paul talked about his vision of the third heaven and Jesus.
In Acts 18:9-10, the Bible says, “Now the Lord spoke to Paul in the night by a vision, ‘Do not be afraid, but speak, and do not keep silent; for I am with you, and no one will attack you to hurt you; for I have many people in this city’” (New King James Version). Paul dwelt in Corinth a year and six months, teaching the word of God among the people (verse 11).
Believe God to lead you by His God and the Holy Spirit. But He may also decide to lead you by dreams, visions, and trances. God says, “And it shall come to pass afterward that I will pour out My Spirit on all flesh; Your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions. And also on My menservants and on My maidservants I will pour out My Spirit in those days” (Joel 2:28-29 New King James Version). Peter referred to this scripture as being fulfilled on the Day of Pentecost (Acts 2:17-18).
God has gifted everyone differently. That’s why God talks to some people through dreams, some through visions and others through trances, and some through none of these but a knowing in their Spirit, a check in their spirit. Some people hear a still small voice while some people occasionally hear an audible voice.
2 Corinthians 11:14 says Satan transforms himself into an angel of light. Be careful; not all supernatural communication is from God. Don’t be deceived. Any genuine divine communication must agree with the Word of God and His character. In addition, for safety, benefit from the counsel of spiritually mature believers (Proverbs 11:14; 15:22; 20:18; 24:5). “If we are living now by the Holy Spirit, let us follow the Holy Spirit’s leading in every part of our lives” (Galatians 5:25 New Living Translation).
If you are not born again, you need to give your life to Jesus now. I urge you to take the following steps: *Admit you are a sinner and you cannot save yourself and repent of your sins. *Confess Jesus as your Lord and Saviour. *Renounce your past way of life – your relationship with the devil and his works. *Invite Jesus into your life. *As a mark of seriousness to mature in the faith, start attending a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church. There they will teach you how to grow in the Kingdom of God.
Kindly say this prayer now: O Lord God, I come unto you today. I know I am a sinner and I cannot save myself. I believe that Jesus is the Son of God who died on the cross to save me and resurrected the third day. I repent of my sins and confess Jesus as my Lord and Saviour. I surrender my life to Jesus now and invite Him into my heart. By this prayer, I know I am saved. Thank you, Jesus, for saving me and making me a child of God.
I believe you have said this prayer from your heart. Congratulations! You will need to join a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church in your area where they will teach you how to live your new life in Christ Jesus. I pray that you flourish like the palm tree and grow like the cedar of Lebanon. May you grow into Christ in all things and become all God wants you to be. I will be glad to hear from you. The Lord be with you
PRAYER POINTS: Father, forgive me in any way that I have neglected or violated divine leading. Holy Spirit, help me to be sensitive to divine leading henceforth. I shall live by the Holy Spirit and follow the Holy Spirit’s leading in every part of my life. Father, lead me in the right path, O Lord; let not my enemies conquer me. Tell me clearly what to do, and show me which way to turn in Jesus’ name.
(For over 600 in-depth and powerful messages by T. O. Banso, visit www.cedarministry.org).
T. O. Banso is the President, Cedar Ministry International, Abuja, Nigeria.
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