Direction From God, Ps 37:23

When you need direction from God, the Lord will direct you, Ps 37:23, Prov 16:9, if you are willing to:

Wait – God promised to give the land of Canaan to Abram’s seed when Abram was 75 years old.  Gen 12:7 “unto thy seed will I give this land”.  In Gen 13:15, God said, “all the land which thou seest, to thee will I give it and to thy seed for ever”.

Later, Abram asked the Lord about being childless.  Gen 15:2 “what wilt thou give me, seeing I go childless”?  The Lord replied in Gen 15:5 (as the stars for multitude) “so shall thy seed be”.

Yet, in Gen 16:3-4, “after Abram had dwelt ten years in the land of Canaan, (Sarai) gave (Hagar) to her husband Abram to be his wife.  And he went in unto Hagar, and she conceived”.  This was not direction from God.  Sarai just got tired of waiting for a baby.  Abram’s seed from Hagar was named Ishmael.

Finally in Gen 17:1, when Abram was ninety years old and nine, the Lord appeared to Abram.  This was 24 years after promising him a seed.  In Gen 17:15-16 God said, “Sarah shall her name be. And I will bless her, and give thee a son also of her”.  And she had a son, indeed, named Isaac.  This was direction from God.

Ishmael was born because they weren’t wiling to wait for God’s direction.  And this wild man became a problem and has been one for Israel ever since.

Listen  Num 12:6 Hear now my words.  When the Lord speaks, he wants you to listen.  In 2 Ki 20:16 Isaiah said to Hezekiah, “hear the word of the Lord”.  This exact phrase appears 24 times in the Old Testament.  Listen to the direction from God.

And you need to listen to the Holy Spirit.  In Acts 20:23 Paul told the elders of Ephesus, “that the Holy Ghost witnesseth in every city, saying that bonds and afflictions abide me”.  And in Acts 21:4 disciples in Tyre, “said to Paul through the Spirit, that he should not go up to Jerusalem”.  He didn’t listen.

And you need to listen to counsel.  Prov 20:18 “Every purpose is established by counsel”.  Those who give you godly counsel will often be directed to a passage of scripture or be led of the Spirit to give you the counsel God wants you to hear.  Listen.

Obey – Jer 42:1-22 recounts the visit of Johanan, Kareah, and all the people to find out the way of the Lord that they should walk.  In v.3 they asked for the Lord to shew them the way.  In v.6 they said, “whether it be good, or whether it be evil, we will obey the voice of the Lord our God, to whom we send thee; that it may be well with us, when we obey”.

In v.10 Jeremiah told them to “abide in this land”.  And warned them in v.13-14 not to say, “We will not dwell in this land, neither obey the voice of the Lord”.   He told them directly in v.19, “Go ye not into Egypt”.

However, in v.20-21 he had discovered and disclosed to them, “ye dissembled in your hearts… ye have not obeyed the voice of the Lord”.  And consequently he declared in v.22, “ye shall die”.

They were just like Balaam who disobeyed and went with the men before they sent unto him, Num 22:20-22.  And like Saul who refused to obey and kill all the Amalekites and all that they had, 1 Sam 15:3, 9.  When you get direction from God, you need to obey what he tells you to do, to the letter.

Conclusion: the trouble with following the direction from God is usually one of these three things:

  • You aren’t willing to wait for him; you’re hurrying to get on with your plans, or
  • You aren’t listening to his voice in his words, in the Holy Spirit’s words, and in godly counsel, or
  • You aren’t going to obey when he tells you the direction he wants you to go.

If you will wait for his direction, and listen very carefully to what he tells you, and obey everything he shows you to do, his direction will work out right every time.