Tuesday, January 16, 2024

A Forward Path

The Lord directs the steps of the godly. He delights in every detail of their lives. (Psalm 37:23 NLT)

After God rejected Saul as the king of Israel, the prophet Samuel was having a hard time. Then one day God said, “You have mourned long enough for Saul. I have rejected him as king of Israel, so fill your flask with olive oil and go to Bethlehem. Find a man named Jesse who lives there, for I have selected one of his sons to be my king” (1 Samuel 16:1 NLT).

Samuel obeyed the Lord and went to Bethlehem, which created quite a stir. Bethlehem was a small, obscure place. In fact, the prophet Micah described it as “only a small village among all the people of Judah” (Micah 5:2 NLT).

Therefore, when a guy like Samuel showed up, everyone was fearful. But Samuel wanted to meet Jesse and his sons because he knew that one of the sons would be the next king of Israel.

This reminds us that God usually leads us only one step at a time. He doesn’t give us a detailed blueprint of where we will be in the future. Rather, it’s a journey of faith.

There may be times in our lives when the Lord clearly directs us to do certain things. But there may be many other situations in which we must simply take biblical principles and, to the best of our ability, live them. Sometimes we will need to prayerfully take steps of faith.

In the Book of Acts, we find an interesting story about a man named Philip, who was preaching in Samaria. People were coming to faith, and miracles were taking place. But then God spoke to him through an angel and directed him to go to the desert. God didn’t tell him what would happen after that. The message was simple: go to the desert.

How easily Philip could have argued and said, “Excuse me, Lord, we are having a revival here. Great things are happening. Why should I go to the desert? What’s in the desert?”

To Philip’s credit, he obeyed. And there in the desert he saw an entourage of chariots. In the midst of them was a foreign dignitary from Ethiopia who had been in Jerusalem searching for God. He had not found Him there. But he was reading aloud from the scroll of Isaiah that described the suffering Messiah (see Isaiah 53).

When Philip saw this, he knew why he was there. God had sent Philip to talk with this man.

When God tells us to do something, we need to do it. God’s way becomes plain when we start walking in it. Obedience to revealed truth guarantees guidance in matters unrevealed.

Many times we don’t know what to do until we take a step of faith. Then, when we take it, we will realize what the next step is.

What has God given you to do right now? Do it. Don’t worry about a year from now or ten years from now. Do what God has placed before you today, and He will show you what to do next.

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