‘Lead me and guide me’

path-215325_640Psalm 31:3: For you are my rock and my fortress; and for your name’s sake you lead me and guide me;

The psalmist is hungry, but not for food. He (David) has an overarching desire; he wants to be led and guided. He probably took some wrong decisions in his life, or had seen some people suffer the result of wrong decisions taken, how it was to their damnation and he wanted to be different. A close example for him was King Saul.

In the book of Ecclesiastes we read: The labour of fools wears them out because they are not guided or maybe it was because they refused to be guided (Ecclesiastes 10:15). A man not guided is a man lost, is a man blinded.

It is in the place of prayer we tell God: lead me and guide me. We won’t pray if we are full of our own ways, but we will, it we want to know the ways of God.

Moses was a man apart; we were told that he knows the ways of God (Psalm 103:7). He was enlightened through constant interaction with God. He depended absolutely on God’s dictates, for what he should do at every turn. Towards the end of his life, he spoke about Jesus saying that a prophet like him will be raised up among the people, and they should listen to him (Acts 3:22-23). And anyone who does not listen to him will perish.

God backed that up with a voice from heaven telling Peter, John and James to listen to Jesus (Matthew 17:5). It was Jesus who said to Peter and his brother Andrew: “follow me and I will make you fishers of men. I will guide you to the positive lives’ destination (Matthew 4:19).”

Paul said that the scripture is given for guidance (2Timothy 3:16). If we want to be guided, then the first step is to hear what the Word of God says. In the book of proverbs, wisdom says listen to me and I will guide you into rest I will deliver riches to you, I will make you stand apart. And the foolish are described as those who reject instruction.

God has the code with which we need to run our life. David said that all his lifetime is contained in God’s book, known by God (Psalm 56:8, 139:16). Therefore we need God to lead us to the right place; and he wants to. Though we are limited in ourselves, through faith we get to link up with the unlimited God, who takes us in his own strength along the journey of life.

The psalmist calls God his rock and fortress. That means he can depend on him for support, to keep him from harm. David was in many dangerous situations. He ran away from King Saul, and needed to be at the right place at the right time to escape the vindictive sword of Saul.

To escape his sword he asked God for direction, mediated by a priest who has an Ephod, who was with him (1Samuel 23:10-13). In the same way the direction we seek from God is mediated by the Holy Spirit (Romans 8:14). He was able to take the right decision to escape with his life and the lives of the men who were with him. He knows the value of being led by God. He knows that it is the difference between life and death.

While the children of Israel were going through the wilderness, a place where they did not know before, they needed to be led through it with the pillar of cloud by day and the pillar of fire by night. God showed them the way supernaturally. God came down and was with them along the way, to the Promised Land, keeping them from the dangers in the wilderness. (The Holy Spirit has also come in us). They depended on God every step of the way for everything. There was a time they decided they will go in a direction God was not leading and they faced defeat before the enemy (Numbers 14:40-45).

When Ezra was leading a batch of people from the Babylon to Jerusalem, he led them in a time of prayer and fasting for the sole purpose of praying the words of the focus verse. He declined to ask for armed escorts from the king, though he knew how dangerous the journey can be, with marauding bands, possibly spotting the defenceless band of Levites and ordinary men carrying precious vessels of gold of the temple as easy prey. He did that because he had boasted of the greatness of the God of Israel, how capable he is. He asked for spiritual security along the way through prayer. And God granted them safe journey. The journey was eventless, which was an answer to their prayer.  They prayed so that they would not become preys (Ezra 8:21-23).

There is no removing for the importance of prayer in the quest to be led and guided by God. Prayer puts us in the zone of intense divine influence. It is a deliberate effort to move ourselves into the divine place, into the secret place of the most high (Psalm 91), into the empowered zone; the place of connection with divinity. A place where we engage our spirit, especially if we prayer in tongues.

Jude wrote that we build ourselves up on our most holy faith (Jude 20), praying in the Holy Spirit. When we are spiritually built-up, we are in the better frame of heart to see the way God has put before us, the direction he wants us to take. The devil will want nothing more than for us to be blinded from recognising the direction God wants us to take.

His (Satan) direction is marked by destruction, but the direction God leads us into is marked by peace and life. There is the wisdom that is above and the wisdom from beneath, demonic wisdom. Understand that wisdom means the action to take to get result (James 3:13-18).

In the story of Joseph, we see that he needed to operate by wisdom of God to be able to preserve Egypt in the time of famine. He knew the way to go for the nation, through the wisdom of God in him. Because he knew the way to God to save the whole nation from an impending starvation, he was made the leader (Genesis 41). The man guided by God, knows the right way to do things and qualifies to be the leader.

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