In this practical message, Dr. Stanley explains that we, too, should be following God as our guide every day. We don't have a pillar of cloud for a signpost, but as believers, we have the Holy Spirit indwelling us. He’s our leader, and He’s committed to showing us the correct path in every circumstance. Find out what you can do to gain discernment, recognize His voice, and follow Him in holiness through every challenge and uncertainty.
Who or what is guiding your life? This is an important question because whatever or whoever we depend upon for direction determines our thinking, attitudes, wishes, desires, and ways. Many people today are guided by their emotions, and as a result, they lack the stability that only comes through dependence upon God’s Word. When the Lord is our Guide, He gives us the clarity and strength we need to live as He desires—with confidence and trust in Him.
When God rescued the children of Israel from Egyptian bondage, He didn’t leave them to find their own way to the land He’d promised to give them. According to Exodus 13:21-22, “The Lord was going before them in a pillar of cloud by day to lead them on the way, and in a pillar of fire by night to give them light, that they might travel by day and by night. He did not take away the pillar of cloud by day, nor the pillar of fire by night, from before the people.” Although they were traveling through unknown territory, they would never get lost as long as they followed the pillar of cloud and fire.
Today we have God’s written Word as our infallible guide for life’s journey. The Lord has graciously revealed how He thinks and what He desires so we can know how to live in a manner that pleases Him. In addition, He has given His Holy Spirit to those of us who trust in Jesus Christ as our Savior. The Spirit imparts understanding of God’s Word, gives guidance, and enables us to follow and obey. It’s important to align our thoughts with the Lord’s because our thinking determines how we live. If we rely on our own ideas rather than God’s truths, we’ll end up on the wrong path and waste valuable time.
When the Israelites took their eyes off the Lord and focused on the obstacles, they rebelled against His instructions and refused to enter the Promised Land. As a result, they ended up wandering in the desert for 40 years until that entire generation died.
In order to be guided by God, we cannot live automatically without giving Him a thought, rely on our emotions for guidance, or look around and imitate what everyone else is doing. Nor can we deliberately go our own way like the children of Israel did. If we’ve trusted Jesus as Savior, we must also trust Him as Lord and yield to His leadership and direction by opening our Bibles to see what He has said. Reading God’s Word every now and then will not be sufficient if we aspire to live as He desires in a world opposed to Him and the truths we believe.
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