* God’s guidance can come in unexpected ways
God spoke giving Moses guidance from an unexpected source: a burning bush. When Moses saw it, he went to investigate. God may use unexpected sources, guidance, when communicating to us too, whether people, thoughts, or experiences. Be willing to investigate, and be open to God’s surprises. (NLT)
Exodus 3:2 – Suddenly, the angel of the Lord appeared to him as a blazing fire in a bush. Moses was amazed because the bush was engulfed in flames, but it didn’t burn up.
* God supplies help, guidance, wherever he leads
Moses’ reluctance and fear were caused by over anticipation. He was worried about how the people might respond to him. We often build up events in our minds and then panic over what might go wrong. God does not ask us to go where he has not provided the means to help. Go where he leads, trusting him to supply courage, confidence, and resources at the right moment. (NLT)
Exodus 4:1 – But Moses protested again, “Look, they won’t believe me! They won’t do what I tell them. They’ll just say, ‘The Lord never appeared to you.’ “
* A clear message, guidance, from God doesn’t mean instant results
When Moses gave God’s message to the people, guidance, they were too discouraged to listen. The Hebrews didn’t want to hear any more about God and his promises because the last time they listened to Moses, all they got was more work and greater suffering. Sometimes a clear message from God is followed by a period when no change in the situation is apparent. During that time, seeming setbacks may turn people away from wanting to hear more about God. If you are a leader, don’t give up. Keep bringing people God’s message as Moses did. By focusing on God, who must be obeyed, rather than on the results to be achieved, good leaders see beyond temporary setbacks and reversals. (NLT)
Exodus 6:9-12 – So Moses told the people what the Lord had said, but they wouldn’t listen anymore. They had become too discouraged by the increasing burden of their slavery. They had become too discouraged by the increasing burden of their slavery.
Then the Lord said to Moses, “Go back to Pharaoh, and tell him to let the people of Israel leave Egypt.”
“But Lord!” Moses objected. “My own people won’t listen to me anymore. How can I expect Pharaoh to listen? I’m no orator!”
* Stubbornness excludes you from God’s guidance
You may wonder how Pharaoh could be so foolish as to see God’s miraculous power and still not listen to Moses. But Pharaoh had his mind made up long before the plagues began. He couldn’t believe that someone was greater than he. This stubborn unbelief led to a heart so hard that even a major catastrophe couldn’t soften it. Finally, it took the greatest of all calamities, the loss of his son, to force him to recognize God’s authority. But even then he wanted God to leave, not to rule his country. We must not wait for great calamities to drive us to God but must open our hearts and minds to his direction now. (NLT)
Exodus 11:9-10 – Now the Lord had told Moses, “Pharaoh will not listen to you. But this will give me the opportunity to do even more mighty miracles in the land of Egypt.” Although Moses and Aaron did these miracles in Pharaoh’s presence, the Lord hardened his heart so he wouldn’t let the Israelites leave the country.
* God doesn’t always do what seems best to us in His guidance
God doesn’t always work in the way that seems best to us. Instead of guiding the Israelites along the direct route from Egypt to the Promised Land, he took them by a longer route to avoid fighting with the Philistines. If God does not lead you along the shortest path to your goal, don’t complain or resist. Follow him willingly and trust him to lead you safely around unseen obstacles. He can see the end of your journey from the beginning, and he knows the safest and best route. (NLT)
Exodus 13:17-18 – When Pharaoh finally let the people go, God did not lead them on the road that runs through Philistine territory, even though that was the shortest way from Egypt to the Promised Land. God said, “If the people are faced with a battle, they might change their minds and return to Egypt.” So God led them along a route through the wilderness toward the Red Sea, and the Israelites left Egypt like a marching army.
* Definition of guidance
The Israelites traveled and camped as God guided. When you follow God’s guidance, you know you are where God wants you, whether you’re moving or staying in one place. You are physically somewhere right now. Instead of praying, “God, what do you want me to do next?” ask, “God, what do you want me to do while I’m right here?” Direction from God is not just for your next big move. He has a purpose in placing you where you are right now. Begin to understand God’s purpose for your life by discovering what he wants you to do now! (NLT)
Numbers 9:23 – So they camped or traveled at the Lord’s command, and they did whatever the Lord told them through Moses.
* God guides you more than you think
Though Ruth may not have always recognized God’s guidance, he had been with her every step of the way. She went to glean and “just happened” to end up in the field owned by Boaz who “just happened” to be a close relative. This was more than mere coincidence. As you go about your daily tasks, God is working in your life in ways you may not even notice. We must not close the door on what God can do. Events do not occur by luck or coincidence. We should have faith that God is directing our lives for his purpose. (NLT)
Ruth 2:20 – “May the Lord bless him!” Naomi told her daughter-in-law. “He is showing his kindness to us as well as to your dead husband. That man is one of our closest relatives, one of our family redeemers.”
* Guidance comes from acting on previous directions
Israel mourned, and sorrow gripped the nation for 20 years. The Ark was put away like an unwanted box in an attic, and it seemed as if the Lord had abandoned his people. Samuel, now a grown man roused them to action by saying that if they were truly sorry, they should do something about it. How easy it is for us to complain about our problems, even to God, while we refuse to act, change, and do what he requires. We don’t even take the advice he has already given us. Do you ever feel as if God has abandoned you? Check to see if there is anything he has already told you to do. You may not receive new guidance from God until you have acted on his previous directions. (NLT)
1 Samuel 7:2-3 – The Ark remained in Kiriath-Jearim for a long time–twenty years in all. During that time, all Israel mourned because it seemed that the Lord had abandoned them.
Then Samuel said to all the people of Israel, “If you are really serious about wanting to return to the Lord, get rid of your foreign gods and your images of Ashtoreth. Determine to obey only the Lord; then he will rescue you from the Philistines.”
* How do we receive God’s guidance?
David expressed his desire for guidance. How do we receive God’s guidance? The first step is to want to be guided and to realize that God’s primary guidance system is in his Word, the Bible. By reading it and constantly learning from it, we will gain the wisdom to perceive God’s direction for our lives. We may be tempted to demand answers from God, but David asked for direction. When we are willing to seek God, learn from his Word, and obey his commands, then we will receive his specific guidance. (NLT)
Psalm 25:4 – Show me the path where I should walk, O Lord; point out the right road for me to follow.
* Find guidance in the Bible
We often pray for God’s guidance as we struggle with decisions. What we need is both a map that gives us directions and a constant companion who has an intimate knowledge of the way and will make sure we interpret the map correctly. The Bible is such a map, and the Holy Spirit is our constant companion and guide. As you make your way through life, use both the map and your Guide. (NLT)
Psalm 48:14 – For that is what God is like. He is our God forever and ever, and he will be our guide until we die.
* Why God’s guidance is important
Pilots put confidence in their planes. Commuters place confidence in trains, cars, or buses. Each day we must put our confidence in something or someone. If you are willing to trust a plane or car to get you to your destination, are you willing to trust God to guide you here on earth and to your eternal destination? Do you trust him more than any human being? How futile it is to trust anything or anyone more than God. (NLT)
Psalm 118:8 – It is better to trust the Lord than to put confidence in people.
* When God’s guidance isn’t clear
Jeremiah was “appointed” by God as “spokesman to the world.” God has a purpose for each Christian, but some people are appointed by God for specific kinds of work. Samson, David, John the Baptist, and Paul were also called to do particular jobs for God. Whatever work you do should be done for the glory of God. If God gives you a specific task, accept it cheerfully and do it with diligence. If God has not given you a specific call or assignment, then seek to fulfill the mission common to all believers–to love, obey, and serve God–until his guidance becomes more clear. (NLT)
Jeremiah 1:5 – “I knew you before I formed you in your mother’s womb. Before you were born I set you apart and appointed you as my spokesman to the world.”
* God increases the available options in guidance
Perhaps Joseph thought he had only two options: divorce Mary quietly or have her stoned. But God gave a third option–marry her. In view of the circumstances, this had not occurred to Joseph. But God often shows us that there are more options available than we think. Although Joseph seemed to be doing the right thing by breaking the engagement, only God’s guidance helped him make the best decision. When our decisions affect the lives of others, we must always seek God’s wisdom. (NLT)
Matthew 1:19 – Joseph, her fiancé, being a just man, decided to break the engagement quietly, so as not to disgrace her publicly.
* God comes with guidance only to prepared hearts
This was the second dream or vision that Joseph received from God. Joseph’s first dream revealed that Mary’s child would be the Messiah. His second dream told him how to protect the child’s life. Although Joseph was not Jesus’ natural father, he was Jesus’ legal father and was responsible for his safety and well-being. Divine guidance comes only to prepared hearts. Joseph remained receptive to God’s guidance. (NLT)
Matthew 2:13 – After the wise men were gone, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream. “Get up and flee to Egypt with the child and his mother,” the angel said. “Stay there until I tell you to return, because Herod is going to try to kill the child.”
* Recognizing God’s leading, guidance, in your life
After Jesus’ resurrection, the disciples understood for the first time many of the prophecies that they had missed along the way. Jesus’ words and actions took on new meaning and made more sense. In retrospect, the disciples saw how Jesus had led them into a deeper and better understanding of his truth. Stop now and think about the events in your life leading up to where you are now. How has God led you to this point? As you grow older, you will look back and see God’s involvement more clearly than you do now. (NLT)
John 12:16 – His disciples didn’t realize at the time that this was a fulfillment of prophecy. But after Jesus entered into his glory, they remembered that these Scriptures had come true before their eyes.
* Follow God’s leading guidance even if it seems a demotion
Philip was having a successful preaching ministry to great crowds in Samaria, but he obediently left that ministry to travel on a desert road. Because Philip went where God sent him, Ethiopia was opened up to the Good News. Follow God’s leading, guidance, even if it seems like a demotion. At first you may not understand his plans, but the results will prove that God’s way is right. (NLT)
Acts 8:26 – As for Philip, an angel of the Lord said to him, “Go south down the desert road that runs from Jerusalem to Gaza.”
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