“The Lord directs our steps, so why try to understand everything along the way?” Proverbs 20:24 NLT
How often have you wondered, “What is God’s will for me, for my life?” For some of us, this may be something asked weekly, if not daily. And for good reason; it is important to know God’s will because there are so many things to decide. Who wants to make a bad or wrong decision, especially on the big stuff?
Practically, we want to know how God guides us in making life decisions such as to one’s career, taking a new job, buying a home, moving to another city or who to marry. The list could go on and on.
It is comforting to know that God wants to guide us because that is his role unto us in life. Jeremiah 10:23 states, in essence, our lives are not our own, and we are not able to plan the course of our lives. Because of that, we can be assured even today God will lead, guide and direct us (Isaiah 58:11; Psalm 48:14).
The real issue becomes how does God guide us? More importantly, how does God reveal his will to us? For the most part, the underlying element through which God guides and leads us are the circumstances we find ourselves in. It is navigating successfully through those circumstances which cause us to need God’s guidance.
In my previous article “How does God get us to ‘there,’” I indicated the manner that God directs us. According to Proverbs 20:24, 16:9 and Psalm 37:23, God providentially guides us in increments. God takes us one step at a time, with each step being a link of a chain of steps or actions. And in acknowledging that we cannot fully understand every aspect of God’s providential plan, we take each step by faith, not walking by sight.
Building upon that, let’s consider what means God employs in guiding and leading us. Simply, God providentially guides us by instruments. An instrument is a means, a device or tool used to carry out something. In our case, it is the working out of God’s will in our lives whereby he is pleased, and we are fulfilled.
A plane pilot relies upon the instruments for the plane’s operation, as does a driver of a vehicle, in traveling and arriving at the intended destination. God also uses instruments to guide us as we go about life making decisions, and in directing the steps we take in faith. Here are three main instruments God guides us by.
God guides us from his sovereignty. Sovereignty is God’s exclusive right to rule.Sovereignty speaks to God’s prerogative and power to govern as he wills and chooses. God’s sovereign will may not be readily known or clear to us because it is decided behind the scenes yet displayed as in the life of Job (Job 1:6-12). It is also decided beforehand, then displayed as in the life of Jesus (Acts 2:22-23; 4:26-28).
God guides us with the Scripture. Scripture is the primary at hand source, supplying a framework for direction in our lives (2 Timothy 3:16). God’s Word lights our way and enlightens. God’s Word as a lamp lightens the path we are to tread as the lights on a runway for a plane’s takeoff or landing. As light, it enlightens us with understanding and dispels the darkness we find ourselves in (Psalm 19:8; 119:105, 130; Proverbs 6:23). Being the framework supplying us direction in life, the psalmist says to God, “order my steps in your word” (Psalm 119:133).
God guides us by the Spirit. The Spirit of God knows the will of God (1 Corinthians 2:10), reveals the will of God (1 Corinthians 2:10; Luke 2:26), and leads by the will of God (Luke 2:27; 4:1; Romans 8:14). Since the Bible is God-breathed (2 Timothy 3:16), directions from the Spirit of God always align with the Word of God.
Rev. Johnson A. Beaven III is a theological educator, speaker and wedding officiant. Contact him via email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or via Twitter @jbeaven. For more information courtesy of the Indianapolis Recorder, click here.