How to Be Led by God | Video

Are you walking behind God or in front of Him? In order to be led by God in our lives, we must be willing to follow His direction and not our own.

In today’s YouTube video, we’re talking about how to be in position to follow God’s leading.

Click below to watch!


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Day 7: I provide a way out | Love Letters

Path:

  1. A route, course, or track along which something moves.
  2. A course of action, conduct, or procedure.

[Source]

In the midst of challenges, we sometimes feel alone. We might feel as though our prayers aren’t working. That God doesn’t hear us. And that He doesn’t love us.

These ideas are sneaky lies the devil tries to seep into your thoughts. Satan wants you to believe God isn’t listening and doesn’t love you, because he doesn’t want you to turn to God. And so, these difficult moments are the times we must hold onto the Lord even more.

In a battle, the opposing side you’re up against doesn’t want you to win. Your enemy will try any tactics to get rid of you. It’s a huge bonus if your enemy catches you distracted, because that’s the best time to strike. Similarly, the devil–your enemy in this world–will try to get your eyes off God to distract you in order to attack you. Negative thoughts aren’t from the God of love and freedom–they’re from the devil who comes to steal, kill, and destroy you (John 10:10). Spoiler alert: God is more powerful than the enemy, so you have nothing to fear if you follow Him.

God doesn’t passively watch you struggle in life. He actively fights for you. You can’t know the future, and you can’t see things from miles away. However, your Heavenly Father can. Not only is God working on your behalf now–He’s clearing your path of future obstacles you can’t see.

God will not leave you hanging in the midst of the battle. He won’t suddenly desert you, leaving you to fend for yourself. He will provide the path–the course of action, or the route–that will lead to your victory.

Although you don’t see the way out now, it doesn’t mean it’s not coming. I urge you to keep your trust in God and find protection in Him. One way you can practice trust is by waiting on God–instead of rushing ahead and making final decisions without His instruction.

God’s instruction comes with peace. It may not be what you expect, but you’ll know it’s from God if you know Him. God keeps His word. He’s unchanging and acts based on His character, which you can learn for yourself by reading the Bible (His Word).

Take your hands off, and allow God the space to move in your life. He won’t force you–He’ll look for your willingness to let Him work. But whether God has told you to wait, leave, go ahead, or stop, your obedience will be worth it.

Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight. (Proverbs 3:5-6 NIV)

Love Letter 7

14 days of learning God’s love. Learn about the Love Letters here.

Read Day 6

Read Day 8

 

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Baby Clothes & Growing Pains

Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of people in their deceitful scheming. Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is, Christ.

(Ephesians 4:14-15 NIV)


Growing in faith is like growing out of your baby clothes. baby-clothes-white-short-sleeve-background-42489266

There are things you think you need forever, or things God even provides when you need them, that will no longer fit you as you grow. When you mature in Christ, God leads you on a different path than you were on before.

Conviction kicks in. When you abandon the things that hinder your relationship with Christ or cause you to sin, your desire for them lessens. The music you once listened to no longer appeals to you. Or maybe, the movies you once watched no longer seem OK. You stop enjoying the things that never brought glory to God in the first place. Then, suddenly, the friends you have don’t fit. It’s like you don’t have anything in common anymore. You don’t do the same things they do anymore. It feels strange. You’re not able to get past “hello” with those you could once talk to for hours.

And you wonder why.

These were your baby clothes–and you’ve grown! Your baby clothes were comfortable, one-size-fits-all, but God is putting you on a unique path. Not everything will fit you anymore. It will be a lonely path, because it’s a path that is made for you alone. Believe it or not, there are others who are following God, too, on their own unique paths. Nevertheless, you will be placed in situations where you are the only one following the Lord, looking for Him. But remember, the God you’ve trusted all along has not abandoned you on this path.

As you keep walking with Him, you’ll find how limited your baby clothes were. They begin to be restricting, because they are too small. You’ll find new clothes. You’ll find that God has more variety for you. Clothes come in different shapes, sizes, cuts, and fabrics. He knows your style. He knows who will fit in your life, and He will guide you to those relationships. He knows your future spouse, and He will supply that in His time. He knows the career you need, and He will arrange that for you. He knows which city, state, or country you need to be in, and He will get you there.

Your job is to walk behind Him on this path, because you don’t know what’s up ahead. If you walk in front of God, you’ll most likely veer off, trying on clothes that don’t belong to you.  It might be scary to leave them behind, but these things which are no longer for you will only toss you too and fro and bring confusion.

Your job is to not turn back to your baby clothes. They’re not for you anymore. In fact, if you look at them, they’re too tiny for you now. If you even tried to put them on, you’d rip them.

However, you’ve changed, and it’s beautiful. You’ve followed God, and you’ve transformed. If you ask God for direction, He will give it to you. And it will hurt at times. Many times. These are growing pains. You’ll have to turn away from the things you love. But if they’re not God-approved, they were never for you in the first place. If you try to keep fitting into old, ill-fitting clothes without God, you’ll have to keep mending the rips on your own.

This is the good news: Even if you veer off onto your own path, His path for you still remains. It’s waiting for you, so come back.

If you say God is Lord of your life, let Him be Lord.

Ask Him to lead you. Ask Him for the eyes to see what He wants in your life. Ask Him for the strength to respond to His calling.

If God leads you to abandon something, trust Him. He has variety for you. He has plans for you that are way bigger than your baby clothes.


You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.

(Ephesians 4:22-24 NIV)

Obedience and Healing

And it came to pass, as He went to Jerusalem, that he passed through the midst of Samaria and Galilee. And as He entered into a certain village, there met Him ten men that were lepers, which stood afar off: And they lifted up their voices, and said, Jesus, Master, have mercy on us. And when He saw them, He said unto them, Go shew yourselves unto the priests. And it came to pass, that, as they went, they were cleansed. And one of them, when he saw that he was healed, turned back, and with a loud voice glorified God, And fell down on his face at his feet, giving Him thanks: and he was a Samaritan. And Jesus answering said, Were there not ten cleansed? but where are the nine? There are not found that returned to give glory to God, save this stranger. And He said unto him, Arise, go thy way: thy faith hath made thee whole.

Luke 17:11-19 (KJV)


When I was younger I learned quickly that my parents were “always” right.

It took time for me to realize this. I was always stubborn and wanted to do things my way. But soon I learned that if I obeyed my parents, something good happened, but if I disobeyed them, it typically resulted in something not so great.

Now, of course, I later realized my parents aren’t perfect. But they are older than I am and have gone through many of the things I will, and through god-given wisdom, they were able to handle them. So, obeying them as they obey God leads me in the right direction.

I will never forget a particular time when if I had listened to my mom, I could have avoided some painful results.

While shopping with our mom, my brother and I decided to play tag in the parking lot of the shopping center. My mom told us to stop running, but I wanted to sprint to the car–the designated “safe zone”–and win. So I did.

I was running so fast that as I tried to stop myself, I skidded and fell, scraping my knee on the pavement. As I felt the stinging sensation of my fresh cut, I realized that if I had just listened to my mother, I would have prevented the pain. Over time, the wound healed, but it left a scar on my knee–perhaps a little reminder of my childhood stubbornness.

While this example of disobedience did not result in tremendous consequences, there are times when disobedience leaves life-altering “scars.”

God gives us specific instruction on how we ought to conduct ourselves. Just as my mom gave me a warning to stop running to avoid falling, God gives us instructions to avoid harming ourselves. We don’t see the accident up ahead, but He does.

Isaiah 55:8 says that God’s thoughts and ways are above our own. He is more knowledgeable than we will ever be, and so His plan will always be much better and wiser than ours.

Jesus’ miracles are the result of obedience.

When we obey God, we can receive His blessings and wholeness. Luke 17:11-19 illustrates this, as Jesus heals ten men who have leprosy.

Problem | the illness:

And it came to pass, as He went to Jerusalem, that he passed through the midst of Samaria and Galilee. And as he entered into a certain village, there met him ten men that were lepers, which stood afar off: (Luke 17:11-12)

Leprosy is a severe bacterial infection that deteriorates the skin, causing wounds that often lead to the loss of body parts. Particularly in Biblical times, it was so infectious that it separated those who were affected from those who were not, shunning them from society.

When the lepers see Jesus, they stand “afar off” (v. 12), knowing their position in society–outcasts. They suffer the emotional pain of isolation, and they experience the physical pain of decaying flesh. These are men in need of a great healing.

Solution | the command:

And they lifted up their voices, and said, Jesus, Master, have mercy on us. And when he saw them, he said unto them, Go shew yourselves unto the priests. (Luke 17:13-14a)

Before healing takes place, the lepers have faith. They go to Jesus, knowing who He is, and lift their voices to Him (v. 13). They know that Jesus is God and capable of healing them, and so they seek Him out and ask for a miracle.

Jesus immediately gives them a solution the moment he sees them. He instructs them to go to the priests.

Response | the obedience

And it came to pass, that, as they went, they were cleansed. And one of them, when he saw that he was healed, turned back, and with a loud voice glorified God, (Luke 17:14b-15)

Once Jesus gives them a solution, they listen and act upon it. Jesus could have healed them on the spot, but instead He gives them an instruction. Here is their opportunity to put their faith into action by obeying Him without question or hesitation. This obedience, based on their faith, allowed them to be cleansed.

Another response to note is that of one leper who returns to Jesus. The others depart, now healed, but this man shows his gratitude to Jesus. Although Jesus knows that the other nine men are not going to return to Him and thank Him, He still physically heals them.

This man’s faith set him apart from the others. He provides a model for us on faith and gratitude. Acknowledging his faith, Jesus tells him it is his faith that has made him whole (v. 19). This wholeness goes beyond physical healing–he received a spiritual healing due to his gratitude and obedience. He is now a new person, a whole man.

Afterwards, Jesus gives him a direction. He instructs him to go forward (v. 19). He can do so in  faith with a new appreciation for who Jesus is and what he has done in his life.

Obedience is faith put into action.

What can we learn from this man?

  1. God recognizes our gratitude, which reflects the state of our hearts
  2. He gives us direction and renewal
  3. He rewards our faith

As demonstrated in this passage, Christ came to heal us from our pains–physical, emotional, and otherwise. But how are we to expect to receive from Him if we are not obeying His commands? Just as He gave the lepers instruction which set them on a new path, through His word, he is instructing us also to set us on a new path of healing and restoration.

Whatever length of time the lepers may have been suffering, they still sought Jesus out in faith. If you have been praying for a long time for physical, emotional, or spiritual healing, continue to seek the Lord. Turning away from Him leaves scars.

The man who returned to Christ shows us that healing can be physical and spiritual if we allow God to do the work. I encourage you to remain in faith. Christ is the one that can wipe us clean from our pasts and our pain and make us whole. In the process, He is working on our hearts, and He is looking at our responses–our obedience.


But he said, “Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and keep it!”

(Luke 11:28)