We must learn to listen to our Guide, who is faithful, indwelling, and supernatural. This means discipline and surrender, a willingness to put self aside and build relationship. Faith and trust only come from knowledge and intimacy. When we learn to trust Him in the little things, we will have faith to trust in the large.
Your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying, “This is the way, walk in it,” Whenever you turn to the right hand Or whenever you turn to the left. (Isaiah 30:21)
Life seems to be a constant journey of choices. If we think about it, everything involves a decision of some kind. Whether it’s what’s for breakfast or what to do in a difficult situation, we always end up having to make a choice. It can be hugely stressful, especially when we face those ‘in the dark’ type circumstances where it feels like we’re travelling blind. What a comfort it is to know that God takes the guesswork out of it all. We don’t have to fear the crossroads or do eeni-meeni-minie-mo and hope we hit the right one. We are His people and His children, and He takes on the role of our Guide. No matter where we are or what we face, we have the assurance that we can, with His help, make the right choice. And if we don’t, He’ll guide us back to safety.
Our Guide is supernatural.
This is a big plus when we consider how limited our ability to ‘see’ all the options and their consequences. Our God sees all. He knows every bump in the road, every rock and pothole, and where each fork will take us. Because He sees all, He knows which choice is the right one. We can weigh the pros and cons and go from there, but it’s limited vision. We cannot see or understand what each one will bring. With our Guide ever-present, His supernatural vision makes up for our human deficit. This is what it means to live in the kingdom. All His knowledge and wisdom is available to us in every situation. We no longer have to rely on ourselves or worldly wisdom. In addition, He knows our weaknesses and temptations. He is able to steer us away from choices that would cause more harm than good.
The problem for us is ourselves. First, self likes being in the driver’s seat, however much it might stress us out. Self wants to be captain of the ship. Pride doesn’t want to relinquish control. These are especially true when it’s a big decision and fear plays a part. All of these are human responses. We’re trained and conditioned to deal with things on a logical human and natural level. Because our Guide is supernatural, it’s therefore often difficult to throw out the old way of doing things and step out in faith. It’s easier to trust in what we can see rather than what we can only ‘see’ in the spirit. But the little things can also become the little foxes that cause havoc. This is because we somehow assume they’re not important enough for God and so we should simply deal with them ourselves.
Our Guide is faithful.
We can walk in absolute assurance that He will never leave us or forsake us because He is faithful. The grace of the new covenant takes Isaiah’s words in today’s verse to a deeper level. In the Old Testament, they depended on the promise of God with us. Now, the with us is now God in us. Our Guide is ever-present within us. No matter where we are or what we face, He’s there to guide and direct us. Faithful also means that He keeps all His promises. The outworking of this is that whatever we require will be provided. Whether it’s faith, courage, strength, wisdom, or knowledge, we can depend on Him. He has already made available everything we need through Christ. While He is our Guide, the Holy Spirit is also the power to release all of God’s promised provision when it is needed.
Faithful also means that He has our interests at heart. This means that He will guide us toward those things that are for our good. As our Guide, He will show us our weaknesses, point out our vulnerabilities, and warn us of our own negligence. He will steer us clear of trouble and warn against choices that are self-focused and harmful. He’ll raise flags when we encounter wrong advice or deception. As we walk with Him, He’ll provide truth and revelation and exhortation. He reveals the plans and purposes of God so that we can better understand and discern His will and purpose. Through Him, we gain a deeper understanding of the Word and the things of God. In this way, He guides us to righteousness and to walk in God’s ways. His faithfulness extends to all things and all circumstances, working a transformation that guides us to maturity.
Learning to listen to our Guide.
This is our biggest challenge as believers. Self is loud and persistent, and situations of choice can challenge our faith. Listening to our Guide requires that we first be still, which isn’t natural. We’re more used to doing than to waiting. Circumstances put pressure on us and the need to act drives us. But ‘be still’ is commanded so that we can know that He is God. This is the source of our peace and the faith we need to listen before we leap. The Bible is full of instances of God speaking to His people in different ways. This is ample evidence that He desires and is waiting to speak to us. But He won’t speak if we don’t listen. We need to learn from Jesus who continually took time out to speak and listen to God. If we don’t listen we won’t hear.
Discipline, of course, is the key word here alongside surrender. To surrender doesn’t, in God’s terms, mean give up. It means to give over. To listen to our Guide, we must discipline ourselves and put self back where it belongs – in the grave. Self died with Jesus on the cross. We don’t have to drag it around at every crossroad. Then, we must surrender. God will only act with what we give Him. To yield to Him means to establish His power and authority in the situation. That’s when our Guide speaks and we hear because we are still. Interestingly enough, still doesn’t only involve silence. It also means to cease struggling. Our struggles get in the way of what God wants to do for us. It creates supernatural static that prevents our supernatural help from getting through. If we don’t hear our Guide, it’s because of struggle and self.
Building relationship with our Guide.
Faith, along with trust, are essential when we need God’s help to make choices. Neither of these are truly effective unless we are in a living, dynamic relationship with our Guide. Relationship means intimate knowledge. It means daily communication and reciprocal exchange. We need to build our daily lives around this intimacy, which includes even the small things that seem inconsequential. Our faith will never stretch to the critical things if we haven’t first proved it in the small. The measure of faith we are given grows according to how much we use it. Relationship mean the continuous use of faith. This makes it active and dynamic, responding to what we hear constantly. Like most things, hearing is a habit. We hear those things that take precedence. When we daily place our Guide in His rightful place – our focus – we learn to trust and listen.
Thank You, Lord, that Your faithfulness means that You are even willing to direct the smallest of steps. Teach us to listen and to hear You, to know You and to love You, and to include You in all our doings. Thank You for being our constant, supernatural Guide, sharing Your infinite wisdom and teaching us as we walk with You through all the choices of our lives.