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How Are We Guided?

How Are We Guided?

     Throughout life, believe it or not, we are to be guided by something or someone. Some adults tend to believe they do their own thinking and need no one to provide guidance or direction.   Many adolescents dream of the day when they will “be on their own”.   Seeking one’s own way in life and dealing with adulthood doesn’t mean we are free to go where and when we want and do as we please without consequence. Guidance is still needed as adults.
     Children are supposed to be guided by their parents.   Parents have the huge responsibility of bringing up their children properly.   As children, we often thought their guidance was too restrictive, or a hinderance to what we wanted to do, but when we become adults, if we are honest, we admit that much of the guidance our parents provided was for our own good.  
     When God had separated out a people, Israel, the seed of Abraham, through which the Christ was to come, He provided them a Law for guidance.  In Deuteronomy 6:4-7 we see how the parents were to impress these on the minds of their children.   Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God is one LORD: 5 And thou shalt love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might. 6 And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart: 7 And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up. They were to all be guided by God’s Commandments to them.  
     The children of Israel, all were to follow this guidance so they would be pleasing to God as His plan for the Salvation of man continued to draw ever closer to being a reality. In Exodus 15:13 we see that God was providing the needed guidance for Israel, whom God delivered from Egypt.   Thou in thy mercy hast led forth the people which thou hast redeemed: thou hast guided them in thy strength unto thy holy habitation.  
       In the New Testament, the same principle applies. Parents are still to lead their children properly. And the children are to yield to the guidance that is provided in respect and honor of their parents. Ephesians 6:1-4 makes it clear that this is part of God’s plan for families.   Children, obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right. 2 Honour thy father and mother; (which is the first commandment with promise;) 3 That it may be well with thee, and thou mayest live long on the earth. 4 And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.  This guidance is for the good of the family and the home.
     Each part of the family has its part in God’s plan. The fathers are to see to it that God’s Word is the guide.   The children are to obey their parents “in the Lord” as we read above. Per 1Timothy 5:14, the young women are to “guide the home” in such a way that will leave God’s adversaries speechless. I will therefore that the younger women marry, bear children, guide the house, give none occasion to the adversary to speak reproachfully. This requires guidance from the Word of God.   If the proper guidance is provided and followed, the home will be of much more value to the work of the Lord. Unfortunately, too many homes today have turned away from the guidance God has provided in His Word for family, and for the redemption of souls.
     Was not this what the Spirit had the prophet tell the inhabitants of Judea in Micah 6:8? Can one “do justly” without guidance? He hath shewed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the LORD require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God? Did God not guide His people to the Promised Land?   Psalm 78:52 says that He did. But made his own people to go forth like sheep, and guided them in the wilderness like a flock. Why did He provide this guidance? Certainly, for their own good. It also was for our good as through the Jews, Christ came. He lived, died, was buried, resurrected, and ascended while that very Law to Israel was in place. Then, shortly afterward the N.T. gospel was preached.  
      Should it be surprising that God has also provided specific guidance in the New Testament for man’s guidance to Salvation? In the very early days of the church for which Christ died, there were those seeking that guidance. We can read in Acts 8:30-31 that as the eunuch traveled, he sought it. And Philip ran thither to him, and heard him read the prophet Esaias, (Isaiah) and said, Understandest thou what thou readest? 31 And he said, How can I, except some man should guide me? And he desired Philip that he would come up and sit with him.   Philip’s response, as “guided” by the Spirit is interesting.   Acts 8:35 tells us what it was.   Then Philip opened his mouth, and began at the same scripture, and preached unto him Jesus. That inspired guidance is what brought understanding to the eunuch, and also properly prompted him to be baptized into Christ.  
      Friends, it is the Word of God that guides one to Christ and tells one how to be saved. 2Timothy 3:16 shows this to be the case. All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:   Don’t seek guidance of feelings, friends, family etc. While well intended, this guidance won’t save. James 1:21 is sound guidance. Wherefore lay apart all filthiness and superfluity of naughtiness, and receive with meekness the engrafted word, which is able to save your souls.   Let us help guide you through God’s Word.

Dennis Strickland – Mooresville church of Christ

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