A Christmas Devotional:
LED BY GOD! Finding God’s Will!
It happened to Mary, Joseph, the wise men, the shepherds, Simeon and Anna. In fact, all through the first Christmas story you see and learn that all the main characters were led by God and His Holy Spirit.
Many people use various means to find the way of God. Some depend on chance. “Well, that’s where the Bible fell open, that must be God’s will”, they say. One woman I read about was uncertain about whether it was God’s will for her to take an overseas flight. The next morning when she was awakened by her alarm clock, it read 7:27. That was the kind of plane she was scheduled to take. Friends could not persuade her that it was a shallow way to receive God’s will for her life.
Proverbs 3:5-6 gives direction as to God’s will in our lives. It reads, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him and he will make your paths straight.” One translation says, “He will direct your paths”.
So, how does God direct our paths? There may be, occasionally, very dramatic and vivid ways but let us consider a few others.
First, Psalm 119:105 states that our paths are directed primarily through God’s Word. God’s Word is “a lamp unto our feet and a light unto our path”. Someone once said, “to seek God’s will without being in His word is asking for error. God will never contradict His Word.” Remember, what a lamp does. It does not give light to the entire journey. It only shows us where to safely place the next step. Therefore, we WALK BY FAITH!
Secondly, God shows us and directs us by opening or closing doors. Paul in I Corinthians 16:9 wrote, “a great door for effective work has opened for me”. A.W. Tozer suggested, “if God is in it, it flows. If it’s forced, it’s of the flesh”. When opportunities present themselves we move through the open doors. When circumstances become obstacles it would be best to pray and regroup and see exactly what direction God is leading.
Thirdly, God also directs by closing doors. Remember, in Acts 16 the apostle Paul was kept from preaching in Asia because the Holy Spirit had closed those doors for evangelism. So, when we meet with closed doors, STOP. Let us not force our plans or desires over God’s objections.
Fourthly, the perceptive and wise counsel of mature Christians can help us navigate through God’s will for our lives. Proverbs 15:22, “plans fail for lack of counsel, but with many advisers they succeed.” Godly wisdom from Christ centered mentors who are faithful in prayer helps us find that direction that we seek. The combined wisdom from Christian friends is worth more than gold.
Fifthly, God will also work through the inner promptings of the Holy Spirit. Everyone in the Christmas story was led by the Holy Spirit and MOVED when the Holy Spirit led.
Simeon: Luke 2:25 “…and the Holy Spirit was upon him.”
Anna: Luke 2:36ff...”she did not depart from the temple, worshiping with fasting and prayer”
Mary: 1:25 …“the Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the most high will overshadow you;”
Joseph: Matt. 1:24 “when Joseph awoke from sleep, he did as the angel of the Lord commanded”
Shepherds: Luke 2:15 “let us go over to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened”
Wise Men: Matt. 2:10 “when they saw the star that they rejoiced exceeding with great joy”
These not only were in prayer seeking God’s will but when they had the inner promptings of the Holy Spirit they acted, they moved.
God uses many ways to direct our paths, but we must know…He does lead. Someone once said, “do not ask God to guide our footsteps if we are not willing to move our feet”.
“Stand at the crossroads and look; ask for the ancient paths, ask where the good way is, and walk in it, and you will find rest for your souls.”
I am praying that we will seek God’s Word and Will and be LED BY GOD!