WISDOM FOR LIVING DEVOTIONAL
DECEMBER 21, 2020
TOPIC: FOLLOWING GOD’S LEADING
BY T. O. BANSO
“You will keep on guiding me with your counsel, leading me to a glorious destiny” (Psalm 73:24 New Living Translation).
Reading through the Bible, we see God leading His people through the following: (1) His Word (2) The Holy Spirit through the still small voice, inner witness or a knowing (3) Dreams, visions and trances (4) Prophecies (5) Godly counsel (6) Angels (7) Circumstances – People and events God arranges to lead you. But you still have to be convinced by the Spirit of God that it’s God speaking and not just a coincidence or circumstances that have no particular meaning to you.
God led Joseph, the husband through dreams multiple times. A dream is “a state of mind in which images, thoughts, and impressions pass through the mind of a person who is sleeping” (Nelson’s Illustrated Bible Dictionary, 1986, Thomas Nelson Publishers).
After he had taken a decision to divorce her secretly because of her pregnancy, the Bible says, “But while he thought about these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, ‘Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take to you Mary your wife, for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit. And she will bring forth a Son, and you shall call His name JESUS, for He will save His people from their sins’” (Matthew 1:20-21 New King James Version). Joseph did as he was told in the dream.
Furthermore, just about the time that Herod wanted to start killing children, in his bid to kill Jesus whom he saw as a threat to his throne, an angel, in a dream, gave direction to Joseph to flee with the child and mother to Egypt. Matthew 2:13 says, “An angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream, saying, ‘Arise, take the young Child and His mother, flee to Egypt, and stay there until I bring you word; for Herod will seek the young Child to destroy Him’” (New King James Version). Joseph obeyed and the life of Jesus was preserved.
After the death of Herod, and Joseph was to leave Egypt with Jesus and Mary, he received direction again from an angel in a dream. “Now when Herod was dead, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared in a dream to Joseph in Egypt, saying, ‘Arise, take the young Child and His mother, and go to the land of Israel, for those who sought the young Child’s life are dead.’ Then he arose, took the young Child and His mother, and came into the land of Israel. But when he heard that Archelaus was reigning over Judea instead of his father Herod, he was afraid to go there. And being warned by God in a dream, he turned aside into the region of Galilee. And he came and dwelt in a city called Nazareth, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophets, ‘He shall be called a Nazarene’” (Matthew 2:19-23 New King James Version).
As that scripture shows, quite characteristic of Joseph, he followed the direction given him. Joseph was a dreamer like Joseph of the Old Testament. Does God talk to you in a dream regularly? Don’t despise your dreams. If it’s a dream you need to pray over, please, don’t be careless about it.
Prophecy is another way God leads. While the Bible says we should not despise prophecy, it says we should test everything that is said and hold on to what is good (1 Thessalonians 5:20-21). Not all prophecies are from God. Have a witness in your spirit before you follow a leading you receive via a prophecy. That’s different from “prophetic declarations,” which are decrees based on God’s promises in the Bible but not essentially foretelling. Don’t despise them.
Not all dreams, visions, and trances are divine communication. Satan himself transforms into an angel of light (2 Corinthians 11:14). Not all counselors speak by the Spirit of God. Isaiah 19:11 says, “Pharaoh’s wise counselors give foolish counsel” (New King James Version). However, God is wonderful in counsel and excellent in guidance (Isaiah 28:29). God still gives people counsel by His Spirit through the mouths of wise counselors. The psalmist says, “You will keep on guiding me with your counsel, leading me to a glorious destiny” (Psalm 73:24 New Living Translation).
God spoke to Moses from the burning bush to lead him (Exodus 3:7-10). He spoke to Elijah, leading him (1 Kings 17:8-16, 18:1-2). God led Philip in Samaria, through an angel, to go to the desert (Acts 8:26-40). He led Ananias in a vision to where He would use him to open Saul’s eyes (Acts 9:10-19). He also led Cornelius and Peter in a vision (Acts 10:9-19). Prophets and teachers were meeting at Antioch, and God led by the Holy Spirit (Acts 13:1-3).
God led His people in the past and is still doing that today. He is God; He doesn’t change (Malachi 3:6; Hebrews 1:12; Psalm 102:27). Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever (Hebrews 13:8). All who are led by the Spirit of God are children of God (Romans 8:14).
Pray to God for divine leading, and be sensitive to receive and follow it. When God leads you, it will always be beside the still waters (Psalm 23:2). Shepherds in Israel never led sheep beside roaring or troubled waters. God has promised to lead you. Trust Him to continue to lead you to fulfill your destiny.
Where God’s leading is followed, there’ll always be provision. God’s mercy ensures there’s no lack (Isaiah 49:10). I pray that you’ll not lack God’s leading. In that area of your life that you currently need God’s direction, may it come to you clearly. You’ll not grope in the dark in Jesus’ name. You won’t go astray.
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, lead me; let me not grope in the dark or be led astray. Keep on guiding me with your counsel and lead me to a glorious destiny. Father, let those who have lost direction in life receive the right leading in Jesus’ name.
(For over 400 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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