One of the top-of-the-list interests of this blog is to emphasize and prioritize the guidance of God in determining how we conduct our lives. The “signature” of this web spot is letgodlead.us for the specific goal of letting God lead us while encouraging others to be led of Him. That sounds simple enough but when we decide to actually put God in the driver’s seat the apparent simplicity of the concept of letting God lead starts to get more complicated. Dozens of questions pop up immediately, abuses of the claim to hear from God raise their ugly heads, and most of the people we meet at work, at school, in our social circle, or even in our churches, are reluctant to acknowledge that being led of God is provable, plausible, probable, or possible. This being the case, the mother of all questions about being led of God seems to be, “How do you let God lead?”
Volumes upon volumes have been printed that deal with the subject. Some of them are very thorough and helpful but, for most of you, the authors plunge into far more detail than you probably care to know. What follows here is not intended as a lengthy tome but a glimpse at some of the principles we can put to use in determining direction from God. If you can get a handle on these few principles you will at least be a little further down the road and it will be a safe route by which to follow the God who leads.
First of all, God leads us by revealing His guidance through the Scriptures. Any of us who have a sincere hunger for finding God’s revelation should begin with hearing, reading, studying, memorizing, and meditating on the written Word of God. The longest chapter in the Bible, Psalm 119, is entirely focused on emphasizing the priority of Scripture as the source of finding out where you are, where to go next, how to get there, and how to stay on course. The 105th verse of Psalm 119 says, “Thy Word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path.” One essential test to being led of God is the directive that our Lord will never lead anyone to do anything that is counter to what the Bible teaches. The best place to start finding out what God is straightforwardly attempting to get across to you is in there somewhere between Genesis 1:1 and Revelation 21:21.
Next, you can hear from God through other people. God sometimes chooses and uses fellow human beings to get through to us. It’s possible for God to use anyone at any time, but Godly guidance that is on target almost always comes from individuals who have an identifiably close walk with God and a maturity that has been developed in the crucible of a consistent integrity and prayer life. The caveat to this source of guidance is the risk that some people are capable of dispensing directions to you from their own self-centered motives. This caution light should constantly flash in your mind, but it does not negate the fact that, at times, you can be led of God by tuning in to the counsel of “ambassadors of Christ.” Often the counsel is given as a word of “course correction”, motivated by personal concern from those who recognize that something has gone haywire with your compass and love you enough to “mind your business” when the need arises.
God can also show you the way by means of circumstances. Sometimes the only way God can teach us something is to allow circumstances in our life to lead us to and through the very thing we need to discover. Circumstances are not always as circumstantial as they may seem. What happens to us on any given day, whether it seems good or not-so-good, should not be regarded as accidental or happenstance. The question, “Is God trying to teach me something through this?” should be the first place your mind goes when something “happens”. Experience is the best teacher only when we are teachable. We should also be sensitive to doors that seem to be open and the ones that are apparently closed. But in addition to this seemingly obvious open-closed indicator we need to read the situation for the possibility that God may want us to take a careful look through the open door before we charge through it. On the other hand, we may need to, at times, refuse to be intimidated, per se, by a closed door. If you have a suspicion that someone has shut a door without God’s permission, don’t hesitate to give it a healthy nudge.
Now let’s approach the issue of “voices”. Most of the time God uses a tiny voice inside us to let us know we are on the right path and at other times what some refer to as a “still small voice” will prompt us to stop, look, and listen, then proceed with caution, hold steady, or exit stage right.
Sometimes, however, we’re able to “hear” something within our spirit that is not so still or small. It sounds to us like an actual audible voice. You just know you heard something. Pay attention to those occasions because it is very likely God is trying to tell you something.
In conclusion, let’s zero in on three indispensible ingredients to letting God lead you. First, a conscientious effort to living a daily life in obedience to Jesus Christ as Lord in all situations is a prerequisite to hearing from God. Second, an unconditional commitment, a holy “want-to” in following through with what God communicates to you. The third issue is being constantly aware of opposition to every attempt to follow God’s leadership from an enemy who is a master of deception. Satan will try to sabotage all the principles of guidance we have just mentioned. He can be counted on to impersonate the Holy Spirit by misinterpreting a Bible passage, using another person to deliver a wrong message, managing circumstances to cause us to jump to incorrect conclusions, or doing a kind of mimic of the Spirit’s voice within us, still and small or large and audible. In as vulnerable a position to the Devil’s deception as this seems to place us, we should, nevertheless, be pro-active, rather than reluctant in tuning in to the leadership of the Holy Spirit. The effectiveness of the kingdom of God operating through His people in our day is dependent on whether or not we focus on doing ministry His way, directed by His dynamic or go right on flying by the seat of our pants.