Seeking the counsel of God in our daily lives is such an important aspect of our worship. It is achieved through daily prayer and imploring His word. Matthew 4:4 reminds us of this fact and our need to attain guidance from every word the proceeds out of the mouth of God. Hence the emphasis to not only listen, but obey what God instructs. The life of a christian is a meandering journey. Therefore it is a necessity to allow God to order our steps in a direction according to His will.
When we look at the whole concept of the bible, we see that having the ability to learn is of great importance. Why? Because it teaches us, and exemplifies not only the benefits but also the consequences of learning and adhering to God’s direction. People struggle in many ways because they fail to uphold instruction, be it spiritually or in everyday life situations. There are two major concepts applicable as a christian. “Leadership” and “followship.” Concentrating on the latter for the purpose of today’s teaching, as a “follower” you need to understand the principle of direction. Biblically, throughout Jesus’ ministry, only those who FOLLOWED DIRECTION benefited. Likewise today, when we listen to and apply God’s direction we live a life of gain. However the foundation of all this is hinged on having a solid relationship with God. Without a relationship, one lacks the desire, conviction and conscience to abide by God’s edict.
John 10:14, John 14:5 – 14,
In this scripture Jesus identifies himself as the “way”, the “truth” and the “life”. As the way, Jesus is in fact the mandate that gives us the direction we need. Following Him is the direction to go to the father. There is a misconception that coming to Christ equals a fresh start at a problem free life. True to form, it is a new beginning, however the directive path to the Father is not automatically smooth sailing. Sometimes when God is leading us from a certain situation, He will navigate through particularly difficult experiences. That is where our salvation is. In the story of Job, permission was given by God to the devil to test him. But what is comforting in this instance is God had full trust in His servant Job and blessed him beyond measure later on. Even Jesus faced unimaginable persecution of every kind. He overcame temptations and even death on the cross. The testimony of His life is like our handbook. We need the lessons of His experiences as our guide. They teach us perseverance and through all things we see how despite the challenges, He continued to show the way to the father even as he was crucified. Even at that crucial time he declared that not His will be done, but that of His Father.
Sometimes God does not give you what you want at a particular time. Perhaps what we seek will become a hinderance to us. Perhaps it is a test, for example Abraham longed for a child, and when he was granted his request, (bearing in mind he had endured years of waiting for this promise), he was then asked to sacrifice him! Simply put, God leading us through hardship becomes a deterrent for us to go back to our past and a platform for our blessing. Exodus 13:17, confirms that God knew and understood the Israelites thought processes and their preference for an easier journey. God intentionally led them via a meandering route, so that in the face of adversity they would not know the way back. Even though the Israelites never did return, in their minds and hearts they were still captives of Egypt and constantly complained to God whenever they faced a battle. Such is the same with many people today. When faced with the prospect of a battle, most are inclined to backslide. They automatically revert back to their past because that is their default setting.
Jesus being the way certainly does not mean the way becomes easy. As long as we can embrace Jesus completely, we will overcome. There is no reason to turn back. Even if God’s direction means we have to dress up for a fight and encounter challenges, then so be it. God remains the way. Through all battles we face today, Jesus was and still is the “way”, the “truth” and the “life.”
Let’s take a moment to look at the ministry of John the baptist. He was sent as the fore runner for Christ in order to prepare the way for Him. John knew that if Jesus came without a shift in how worship was perceived by the people of that time, they would not have the spiritual capacity to receive Him. Their lack of understanding is exemplified by the fact that they crucified Christ quickly so as to observe the sabbath, yet He was the King of the sabbath. We see the same uncertainty in the disciples of Jesus (John 14:5-14). Jesus asked His disciples why they still did not know Him even having spent so much time with Him. He then proceeds to reassure them that He knew where they were going. He consolidates the fact that because they have seen Him, they have seen the Father. As Christians, we too must open our eyes and understand the times we are living in. We may be living a life of testimony where God is doing wonders everyday but fail to see it. To be alive in this moment is a testament of the presence of God in your life. But if you do not understand and are expecting a certain kind of miracle you miss out on that blessing. Jesus may be around you beckoning to direct you but you may be oblivious to it.
The two men traveling to Emmaus (Luke 24: 13-35) walked with Jesus for a considerable time on their journey. Jesus spoke with them, while they expressed their grief over what they believed was a recent tragedy. But they did not recognise Him. Only later were their eyes opened. The point is, salvation was already with them. Deliverance had come through the completion of Jesus’s mission. Now how does this apply to us today? Well, if we can not understand the time we are living, if we can not understand the direction God is leading, we may find ourselves wondering where the spirit of God is. Whether He is still there with you, and be completely blind to His presence. He has never ceased to be there, so ultimetly it’s about understanding the time and the direction God is taking us. Even though the coming of Jesus was prophesied, at the time He came, people still did no recognise Him. That is why the Apostle Paul prayed that people see Jesus in him, so that the people would know the presence of God. You cannot understand what you do not believe in. You cannot believe in Christ if you cannot believe what is written about Him. How can you believe what is written about Him, if you do not believe the servant Moses was sent by God. Therefore, if we cannot accept that the Father is in Christ then we cannot have salvation and direction.
1 John 5 :12. Breaks down the principle of direction. JESUS = LIFE. Whoever has Jesus as their Lord and saviour has life. The “life” the world portrays to us is somewhat distorted and not the life God wants us to live. Be weary not to become another statistical number in church. You can be present in church, but not in the direction of God. Do not follow church culture but follow Jesus. Church culture breeds division. Even in the bible, arguments arose because believers affiliated with particular leaders (1 Corinthians 1:12). But Jesus prayed that there be unity for there is no division in Him.(John 17:21-26). Jesus teaches about love. If we have love we are walking in the way God taught us. Jesus is the “truth” to the Father. He did not die so that people would be divided, but rather be the direction to the Father.
John 16:8, gives us incite of how having the spirit of God will give us direction by reminding and convicting us. You see, when, we follow Jesus , there is evidence of this within us. This evidence is seen in Galasians 5:22, the fruit of the spirit. If these attributes are not in you ask yourself this. If you are not producing the fruits, then what are you producing? Jesus has time and time again been the perfect example of these attributes.
In summary, if God leads you through a challenging situation, go through it!
Maybe God has led you through a winding road, persevere! All you need to have is Jesus. Let Him lead you in the direction he has chosen for you. Remember He is the way, the truth and life. It may be uncomfortable and difficult, but as long as God is leading, it’s perfectly fine. God instructed Joshua, (Joshua 1:9) to be courageous. He wasn’t going to inject courage in him, but Joshua had to be strong and master up the courage by himself. If God leads you into a situation where you have to take up arms and fight, then do so knowing that the devil does not enter any battle to joke but to destroy. The key is to do it God’s way for our ways are not God’s ways. We are limited to perceiving only the present but the future is unknown accept to God. So if he commands you to walk a certain path, do it because he has foresight. Pray for God to order your steps and give you direction. If the direction is loving your enemies, then so be it. If the direction is to preach, then so be it. At the end of the day, understand nothing is hidden from God. He is the all knowing God. Currently we are living through a pandemic, though the events of this year have been a surprise to us, they have not been to God. God knows all things, He is the way. Many people lose opportunities because we are looking for ideal situations. But learn to see the beauty and goodness of God in all things. Appreciate the life He has afforded you. Be positive and grateful for all you have because someone else has not had that opportunity. So even if you walk in the deepest darkness (Psalm 23), God is still there. Rely and trust in Him. Never be under the false impression that where you came from is better than your current or future because God is the one that has led you to where you are now. Do not assume that the difficulty you face God has deserted you. As long as Christ is in you, you have all you need. You have the way, the truth and the life!