Tag Archives: following where god leads

The Two Balconies

Several years ago my wife and I felt like God asked us to make a change. The problem was we liked where we were. It was comfortable and we didn’t want to make this change. God let us know again that we needed to make the change. We explained to God that we didn’t want to, hoping He would understand. He didn’t. Life began to be uncomfortable. We became more miserable the longer we held out. Finally we agreed, but we wanted it to be on our terms. We made the change even though we were unhappy about it. It took months for us to figure out God was trying to bless us, but our comfort and stubbornness were standing in the way.

2 Samuel 11:1 says, “In the spring of the year, when kings normally go out to war, David sent Joab and the Israelite army to fight the Ammonites…However, David stayed behind in Jerusalem” (NLT). The next verse says David was so comfortable there that he took a nap. He was supposed to leave Jerusalem and go to war, but he put his comfort ahead of his calling. After he took his nap, he stepped out onto his balcony and saw Bathsheba taking a bath. Because he wasn’t where he was supposed to be, he committed adultery with her. Then when she got pregnant, and her husband wouldn’t sleep with her when he was called home from the war, David had him killed. He faced severe consequences for his disobedience that started on the balcony of comfort.

In Luke 24:49, Jesus told about 500 people to go to Jerusalem to wait for the promise of the Holy Spirit. Acts tells us about 120 of them went to the Upper Room and waited. Then after they were baptized in the Holy Spirit, Acts 2 says that Peter and the disciples went outside on the balcony to address the crowd. About 3,000 we’re saved that day because they had obeyed what Jesus had spoken to them. This balcony reminds me of the blessings of obedience. Jeremiah 7:23 says, “Obey me, and I will be your God, and you will be my people. Do everything as I say, and all will be well!” Your obedience is more important than your comfort. The balcony of obedience leads to God’s promises.

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Following God’s Direction

Water always takes the path of least resistance. It flows to the lowest point following that path being twisted and turned by whatever is in that path. There are a lot of people who live their lives that way. Their lives are out of control and filled with chaos usually. You and I were not called to live that way though. We must let God direct our lives where we choose to go where He leads. It takes more effort than the path of least resistance because it is purpose driven. If you find yourself meandering in life, ask God to direct your path, and then let it flow where He leads.

Here are some Bible verses on letting God direct your life.

1. May the Lord direct your hearts into the love of God and into the steadfastness and patience of Christ.

2 Thessalonians 3:5 AMP

2. If the Spirit is the source of our life, we must also allow the Spirit to direct every aspect of our lives.

Galatians 5:25 TPT

3. Listen, my son, and be wise, And direct your heart in the way [of the Lord].

Proverbs 23:19 AMP

4. The steps of a [good and righteous] man are directed and established by the Lord, And He delights in his way [and blesses his path].

Psalms 37:23 AMP

5. What I say is this: let the Spirit direct your lives, and you will not satisfy the desires of the human nature.

Galatians 5:16 GNT

Thanks to Wynand Uys @wynand_uys for making this photo available freely on Unsplash 🎁

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Following God’s Plan

One of the things that bothers me is when someone asks me for advice on how to handle something, and then they don’t take the advice. I’ve shown them what to do, but they either didn’t want to do the work, like the things I told them or had someone else tell them something different to do. Either way, when they’re still stuck in the situation and come back for help, my mind wants to turn them away. However, somewhere in the exchange, my compassion overrides my pride and I try to direct them to the right path out of their situation. A lot of times they didn’t get in the situation overnight, and they’re not going to get out of it overnight, no matter how badly they want to.

I find myself doing the same thing to God though. I run to Him with my problem or circumstance i want out of. He directs me to His Word, but i don’t always like the prescription. Instead of listening, i try other things, other ideas or anything besides what His path out of it is. It’s amazing how many times we all go to God with a problem, sometimes of our own doing, seek His path out of it, and then tell Him what we’re going to do. What we’re really saying is, “God, i know you have a plan for me, but i want to do it this way. Will you please bless it and let me do this my way?” How can we expect God’s blessings when we’re telling Him what we’re going to do instead of seeking His plan and path?

David, who was known as a man after God’s own heart didn’t approach God that way. In Psalms 25:4 he prayed, “Direct me, Yahweh, throughout my journey so I can experience your plans for my life. Reveal the life-paths that are pleasing to you” (TPT). If we want to experience all the blessings God has for us, we’re going to have to submit to His plan and walk on His path. God has no problem revealing His plan and path for how our lives should go. It’s up to us to obey and to stay on that path. When we get off of it is when we experience a lot of pain. Staying on God’s path doesn’t mean you’re not going to experience hardship, pain or set backs. It means you’ll have His blessings, guidance and protection through them. He has a plan and a path for you, but it’s up to you to stay on it and follow it.

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Implicitly Trusting God

I remember as a kid when someone would ask, “Do you promise?” I’d quickly give them a “Yeah.” Then, if they asked, “Do you pinkie promise,” I’d have to think carefully before answering that one. It was like I could promise something and possibly go back on my word and everything would be ok. However, if I went back on a pinkie promise, I’d never get their trust again. I guess it was around that time that I learned the importance of trust and keeping your word. I’ve carried that into adulthood. When I talk with someone who is new to a leadership role, I explain the importance of keeping your word. Without trust, you can never lead anyone. Think about it. Name any leader in your life that you will follow anywhere, and think of how much you trust them. The more you trust them, the farther you will follow them.

Abraham was a person who trusted God enough to leave his family to go to a land that God would show him. He trusted God when he was told he would have a son at 100 years old. He kept on trusting God when He told him that through that son, he would become the father of many nations. I think the greatest trust was shown when God hawked him to sacrifice that son. I love in Genesis 22:5 where he tells the servants, “The boy and I will travel a little farther. We will worship there, and then we will come right back” (NLT). Abraham trusted God’s promise enough that even if he sacrificed His Son of Promise, God was able to raise Him up and fulfill it. He knew that no matter what happened on that mountain, they were both coming back.

Romans 4:20 says, “He (Abraham) was fully convinced that God is able to do whatever he promises.” Are you fully convinced that God is able to do what He promises? Remember earlier, I said that you can only follow someone as much as you trust them. That applies to your relationship with God as well. Are you trusting in what your situation looks like right now or in God’s promise? God is able to revive dead dreams, irreparable relationships and impossible situations if it means keeping His promise. Number 23:19 says, “God is not a man, so he does not lie. He is not human, so he does not change his mind. Has he ever spoken and failed to act? Has he ever promised and not carried it through?” You and I can trust what God says implicitly. When we do, we can go farther than we’ve ever gone and live the life we were created to live.

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Simple Obedience

Do you remember when you were told to clean your room? What did you do? You probably went in there and thought of ways to not do it. After a long time contemplating, you decided to either shove everything under the bed or put it in the closet. When your room is checked, you didn’t fool anyone. The shelves and boxes where your things should have been are still bare. Your closet gets opened and your sheets pulled back exposing your lack of obedience.

Sure the floor is free of clutter, but you didn’t do what was asked. You didn’t clean your room. You merely rearranged it without putting things where they belonged. In your mind, you think you obeyed, but deep down you know what you did was an act of defiance. You try to argue your case by using technicalities, but you don’t get very far. What you’ve done is caused more work for yourself and lost more time because you have to do it over the right way.

Saul was like that. He got specific instructions from God on what to do, but somehow put the toys in the closet every time. He obeyed, but didn’t. Each time he had an excuse for doing what he did. God finally had enough and Samuel called him out on it. In I Samuel 15:22-23 Samuel said to Saul, “What is more pleasing to the LORD: your burnt offerings and sacrifices or your obedience to his voice? Listen! Obedience is better than sacrifice, and submission is better than offering the fat of rams. Rebellion is as sinful as witchcraft, and stubbornness as bad as worshiping idols. So because you have rejected the command of the LORD, he has rejected you as king” (NLT).

Each of us struggle with simple obedience for some reason. God gives us simple instructions, but somehow we complicate them. God is looking for us to simply obey what He’s asked us to do. Anything other than obeying His call on your life is an act of rebellion in His eyes. Whatever He’s called you to do, you need to do. Wherever He’s called you to go, you need to go. Whatever He’s called you to say, you need to say. Don’t find ways to put they toys in the closet. Do what He’s asked willingly and with a good attitude and your life will be fulfilled like never before.

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Throwback Thursday is a feature I’m using to help build some margin into my schedule to pursue other ventures. Each Thursday I’ll be bringing you a previously written devotional that still speaks encouragement to us from God’s Word.

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Following Where God Leads

We all have leaders in our lives. Some of them we trust, and some we don’t. I’ve had some whom i didn’t question. If they said we could walk on water, I’d get out of the boat. There have been some I’ve had that if they told me to go right, I’d think really hard about going left. I’m always working on my leadership skills which means I’m always learning how to build trust. There are thousands of books on how to be a better leader. There are any number of traits you can take too, but not much is out there about how to be a good follower. None of us like to think of ourselves as followers, but we are. To be a good follower, you have to put pride and selfishness away, and trust the one who is leading you.

The Bible is full of verses that talk about how God leads us. It’s also full of men and women who refused to follow where God was trying to lead them. They felt their plan was better or they failed to clarify what they understood of His plan. There are also many people who followed where God led them, and they were blessed immensely. God doesn’t force us to follow where He leads us. It’s always our choice. How well have you been following where He has been trying to lead you? Has pride or selfishness kept you from following? No matter how far you’ve gone in the other direction, it’s just one step back to following where He wants to take you. Learning to follow where He leads is a process each of us are in daily.

Here are some Bible verses on God leading us.

1. From the end of the earth I call to You, when my heart is overwhelmed and weak; Lead me to the rock that is higher than I [a rock that is too high to reach without Your help].

Psalms 61:2 AMP

2. Lord, even when your path takes me through the valley of deepest darkness, fear will never conquer me, for you already have! You remain close to me and lead me through it all the way. Your authority is my strength and my peace. The comfort of your love takes away my fear. I’ll never be lonely, for you are near.

Psalms 23:4 TPT

3. Lead me by your truth and teach me, for you are the God who saves me. All day long I put my hope in you.

Psalms 25:5 NLT

4. The Lord is my shepherd; I have everything I need. He lets me rest in fields of green grass and leads me to quiet pools of fresh water.

Psalm 23:1-2 GNT

5. If I ascend to heaven, You are there; If I make my bed in Sheol (the nether world, the place of the dead), behold, You are there. If I take the wings of the dawn, If I dwell in the remotest part of the sea, Even there Your hand will lead me, And Your right hand will take hold of me.

Psalms 139:8-10 AMP

Thanks to @AMPRSNDPHOTO for making this photo available freely on @unsplash

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An Open Hand

To me, one of the most challenging things God has spoken to anyone in Scripture is in Genesis 12:1. “The Lord had said to Abram, ‘Leave your native country, your relatives, and your father’s family, and go to the land that I will show you’” (NLT). He was 75 years old at the time. He was well established, and yet God asked him to pack everything up and go to a destination that would be shown to him at a later time. His faith in action is inspiring to me. The Bible later says that his faith was counted at righteousness. That’s a faith we should all aspire to have.

Fast forward to the New Testament and Jesus spoke something very similar to all of us. In Luke 14:31 Jesus said, “So you cannot become my disciple without giving up everything you own.” Every one of us who follows Christ is given the same call that went out to Abram. I believe it’s God’s reminder to us that this place is not our home. Everything we have here is temporary and we can’t take it with us. We must be willing to let go of earthly things so we can receive from God the spiritual things that matter for eternity.

My wife and i try to keep an open hand for the things we have. When your hands are open to God, He can place things in them and take things out of them whenever He wants. Faith is trusting God with all you have and with the direction of your life. You may not get to know the destination. You may he asked to walk away from everything that’s familiar to you. God’s greatest blessings are stored up for those who are willing to give God whatever He asks for and for those who follow Him wherever He leads. What are you willing to let go of should God ask for it? Pray that God would help you keep an open hand and heart.

Photo by Milada Vigerova on Unsplash

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