And the LORD went before them by day in a pillar of a cloud, to lead them the way; and by night in a pillar of fire, to give them light; to go by day and night.
As the Lord went before the children of Israel in a pillar of a cloud in the day and in a pillar of fire by night to lead the way, so the Lord will be just as faithful to guide His children today. God has not left us to our own devices to discover the way to make it to Heaven. He has not left us alone to our own thinking and wisdom to make decisions that will radically change our lives. God has promised to lead us and be with us.
My burden this quarter is to share some scriptures on how to know the will of God. “How can I know God’s will?” This is a question that many young people and Christians of all ages ask. There is no recipe to follow that will bring about the answer the same way every time. However, God has promised to lead us, and He gave us instructions and told the methods by which to seek His will. Learning to know God’s will takes time and experience. No matter how long we have served the Lord, God wants us to be reliant upon Him.
God’s timing is unique. There have been times I have sought the Lord for direction for many months. Then, the Lord speaks, and the mist of confusion clears away. As one song says, “I know the sweet sound of His voice.” I am thankful that we can know the voice of God. It is distinct from every other voice.
In our study, we briefly examine various ways in which God communicates His will for our personal lives. It is not wise to take one witness alone lest we err, but by two or three witnesses, we can move out in faith and confidence.
While I caution against fleeces, the Lord does still use them at times. I remember a major transition in which we believed the Spirit of God was moving. I asked God to confirm it with a fleece—something that does not happen naturally. Shortly thereafter, God confirmed His Word and His Spirit’s leading with confirmation of the fleece. It had never happened before and has never happened since. Another time my life was on the line, and I was needing a witness from God. While God’s voice was not audible, it was as if it were. He spoke clearly to me as in a conversation. These were unique times, and I have found that God normally does not work this way. However, God has led us faithfully with His Word and Spirit for many years, and I testify to you that you can trust the Lord.
Daily communion with God is a comfort and security as He leads us along the way. I challenge every Christian to seek the Lord for guidance in marriage, finances, parenting, worship, and every major decision of life. God will be faithful to perform His promise of guidance if you will but seek, trust, and wait on Him.
Michael W. Smith