“At the commandment of the LORD they rested in the tents, and at the commandment of the LORD they journeyed: they kept the charge of the LORD, at the commandment of the LORD by the hand of Moses.”
“The LORD is leading me to…” How often have you heard someone make this statement? There is no doubt that the LORD leads people, but many times what people call the leading of the LORD is more a personal whim or desire than it is His leading. How do we determine the difference between the leading of the LORD and personal agenda?
The verse above is the result of the LORD leading the children of Israel. God chose to lead them through the wilderness by a pillar of cloud by day, and a pillar of fire by night. There are several obvious indicators from this story that show us the difference between the LORD’s leading and personal whims or desires. Let me show you these indicators so that you can know whether the LORD is leading you, or if it is your personal desire that is influencing your thoughts.
First, the LORD’s leading never goes against His Word. It says in the verse above, “…at the commandment of the LORD…” God’s leading NEVER contradicts His Word. You can always know that if what you call the leading of the LORD is contradictory to what the Word of God says that it is not His leading. One reason you need to study God’s Word daily is so that you can learn God’s Word so that you will know if what you want to do is in agreement with His Word. My friend, if God’s Word contradicts what you want to do, it is not the LORD’s leading. God’s Word must always be your final authority to determine the LORD’s leading.
Second, the LORD’s leading will sometimes come from the man of God. Notice the verse above continues to say, “…at the commandment of the LORD by the hand of Moses.” The key to Moses leading the people was that what he said didn’t contradict God’s commandment; however, God chose to lead them through Moses’ leadership. You would be wise to ask your pastor if what you want to do is the right thing to do. It doesn’t mean that your pastor is God, but God does use him to help guide you. However, it is not the LORD’s leading if what the man of God tells you contradicts God’s Word.
Third, the LORD’s leading is often a journey and not an experience. The verse above says that they “journeyed.” God’s leading won’t always be exciting. It is always interesting to me that what we equate as the LORD’s leading is often personally beneficial. Christian, there are many times when what the LORD leads you to do will cause you to have to journey before you get to the destination. The journey that the LORD leads you to take may not always be pleasant, but it will always lead you to the right destination.
Fourth, the LORD’s leading is sometimes a holding pattern. There were times when the cloud the LORD used was stationary for “two days, or a month, or a year.” Always remember that the LORD sometimes puts you in a holding pattern to grow you. Don’t be impatient during these times and move ahead of the LORD. You will regret not staying in the holding pattern and experiencing the growth He has for you.
Christian, the LORD’s leading is not very difficult to determine. Stop relying on feelings and let these four guidelines help you to determine the LORD’s leading. You will never regret following the LORD’s leading no matter where it may take you.