Monday, September 13, 2010

Who to Follow?

God has a plan for all our lives; the Psalmist David said God knew us before we were formed in the womb. You may say, “But that was King David, he did great and mighty things for God!" Yes, he did, but in Isaiah you hear the same thing. In the book of Job, you hear the same thing. Elsewhere in the scripture you read that God is no respecter of persons. That means that he looks at one of us the same as he looks at all of us.

We Christians are His children: He doesn't play favorites. He wants us to trust Him completely with where his plan will take us. He wants us to trust Him to guide our steps

"For this God is our God for ever and ever: he will be our
Guide even unto death." Ps. 48:14

If you look up the word 'guide' in the dictionary you will find that it means 'one who shows the way' or 'one who goes before'. Again and again in scripture you can read that God goes before his people. He moves on our behalf. David in Psalm 71 says that even before he was born he relied on God. He depended on Him for safety and care. God never failed him. He tells of times when he (David) failed God, but God never failed him. This is how it is for all Christians. We may and do, fail God: but He is always there for us.

There is a catch, or condition--if you can call it that: God cannot lead someone who will not follow. We must be willing to follow where God leads. Paul tells us that if we are willing, that is all that is required.

"For if there be first a willing mind, it is accepted according to that a man hath, and not according to that he hath not." 2 Corinthians 8:12

In this verse God lets us know that a willing mind is all He requires of us. He is great enough to supply all the rest. In order for you to follow, you must be able to recognize the guide. There will be times when Satan will try to put someone in your path for you to follow that is going to lead you the wrong way. You must be able to distinguish who is real and who is a deceiver. Also there are times in your life when you will want to take over the job and lead in a way that you feel is right for you. That can and will be costly for you and possibly lead others away as well. You must resist Satan and yourself and surrender to follow God in complete trust. This means spending time in God's Word getting to know Him personally and the methods He uses to lead.

In my youth I struggled with where I fit into God's plan. I listened and I watched other women. I wasted lots of time and energy as I tried to follow someone else. About the time I thought I had found my place, and I 'had this business of doing God's business down’, someone would tell me I was wrong--and have the scripture to prove it! I have learned after much frustration, that the problem was not them: it was me. I was trying to follow the wrong guide. I have learned since then to look to God’s Word first and learn how He leads.

Jesus tells each of us to "take my yoke upon you and learn of me." He has promised that if we search with all our hearts: meaning if we are truly sincere in our desire to learn of him, that he will teach us and guide us.

Many years have passed since that day God showed me that when I follow him, everything else falls away and the path is clear. Notice I said that the path is clear, not easy, to follow. There are some places along the way that to be honest,I have not wanted to follow, the path did not look safe, it looked like it led into trouble for me, but after I took that first step in faith, I found that I wasn’t on that path alone and God was closer in those places than at any other time.I just had to keep that conversation with him going to manuver the details of the rough spots.

Christ did not walk an easy path. Down through the ages, you can read of many Christians who saw God’s way clearly one step at a time, yet it was not an easy path: but the rewards of being surrendered to follow Christ are so great, words can’t describe them here. One of the greatest is peace. A deep sticking with you peace that no matter where that path leads, I am going to come through, and I am going to be OK.

I can stand today and point you not to me but to God: because God's plan for your life may not, and probably is not, the same as His plan for me. The basics of the Bible apply to all Christians. We are all to study His Word, we are all to come together to worship Him in Spirit and truth, we are all to obey His commands to raise our children in His Word, and we are all to reach out to a lost and dying world with the gospel of the saving power of Jesus Christ. Since each of our lives, personalities and the places we live and serve Him in are different, so are the paths He leads us in.

He is the true Guide, learn how He leads, and never stop following Him.

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