The guidance & leadership of a good God - By Elisabeth King
Being led by God is something we all as Believers want. We all face different decisions in life, some big and some small, and we want to make them according to God’s voice and will over our life. In my own life, this has been something that has come up in a big way in the last few years. Getting married, living in another country and settling into a different environment than what I’ve been used to; can be condensed into one word- change.
To face the unknown in life can be both exciting and an adventure, but also brings its challenges. Most of us have an idea of what our future will look like, but really we don’t know. We are faced with many questions. In my own journey with this, I went to God with the questions I had, my desires and disappointments, the good and the bad. I realized that nothing was hidden from Him anyway, and this is what makes relationship a real one. Being you to the fullest every day with the person and not hiding anything. This is where beauty hides, behind the dust sometimes.
We read in the Bible about the heroes of the faith in Hebrews 11. We all want to be like them, be known for having made an indelible mark on history for His name. What we sometimes forget is the process they went through and the cost they paid in their sacrifice. In our culture, we want things easily and quickly, and if possible all for our benefit. It says in Hebrews 11:8, “By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to go out to the place which he would receive as an inheritance. And he went out, now knowing where he was going.” Then it turns from speaking about the heroes in the faith from the past, to the heroes in the faith in the present day - you and I. “Therefore, we also, since we are surrounded by so great cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God” (Heb. 12:1-2).
God has a race that is planned for you to run, it is unique to the way He made you and no one else can run the race He made for you. I like to run and I used to run in competitive races when I was a child. Every time I would run, I would put on as lighter clothes as possible and light running shoes. I knew that any extra weight would only slow me down. Apart from not committing sin (that so easily ensnares us), it says “…let us lay aside every weight,” which can be understood as any distraction from what we’re supposed to focus on. Then in turn it encourages us to keep our eyes looking unto Jesus, the finisher of our faith. The word for ‘looking’ is apharao in the Greek and means to turn the eyes away from other things and fix them on something. It signifies undivided attention, looking away from all other distractions in order to fix our eyes (gaze) on one object, in this case, Jesus.
How often distractions come to us and we lose our focus on Him who is the finisher of our faith and who gives us the faith we need to walk out the different processes in our life. This is where the power of worship comes in. In a place of transition or not knowing the next step, our thoughts can be everywhere and the emotions so easily follow them. When we look into Jesus’ eyes, we get reminded who He is, His nature, His size, His victory and our own history with God.
My leader and pastor, Bill Johnson, gave our class a charge at our graduation day, in the fewest words I’ve even heard in a charge. He said, “When in doubt, worship”. Psalm 34:3 says, “Oh, magnify the Lord with me, and let us exalt His name together.” When a person utilises a magnifying glass to study an object, he/she is able to view that object from a much closer perspective, thereby becoming more acutely aware of its various facets. It also gets one’s full attention. This is what worship does to you. You magnify God and in your mind He gets bigger than the problem, and you see more of His nature as He gets your full attention.
Proverbs 3:5 says, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him and He shall direct your paths.” I read this and it hit me hard. He would never say something if it was not possible for us to do it. In the command from His voice there is grace released to walk it out. What is my responsibility in being led by God in life? In all your ways acknowledge Him. The word ‘ways’ is the Hebrew word derek, meaning a road, a course, or a mode of action. It suggests specific opportunities a person may encounter on a recurring basis, for example each new day is a recurring thing. The word acknowledge (yada in Hebrew) means direct, intimate contact. So this means that my role is to find Him in my daily life (the recurring things I do in my daily life), and have intimacy with God in it. His job is to direct my paths. My role is to find Him, look for Him, seek Him in my daily life; and His job is to lead me as the Shepherd, the good Father He is, and will always be.
So, this is my encouragement to you today - seek Him and you will find Him, worship Him and you will see the size of His greatness, power, love and kindness! This old hymn has captured this one truth: “Turn your eyes upon Jesus, look full in His wonderful face, and the things of earth will grow strangely dim, in the light of His glory and grace.”