Yesterday we began to look at guidance. As on every subject, we need to soundly base our ideas in Scripture which is God’s word to teach and lead us, and not just based in experience.
The Scriptures reassure us time and time again that God doesn’t simply save us and leave us to our own devices, but He takes us by the hand and leads us graciously and safely through life. Of course this doesn’t mean that we miss all the heartaches and tragedies of life, but it does mean that in all situations we have the assurance of God’s guiding presence with us.
We saw yesterday Psalm 32:6, the context of this verse is that David was going through ‘a time of great distress, which he also describes as ‘a rush of great water’. But even then David is aware of God’s promise “I will instruct you and teach you the way you should go; I will counsel you and watch over you.”
The Psalms constantly affirm this truth that God leads his people. Psalm 48:14 concludes with this triumphant declaration: ‘He will be our guide even to the end.’ We see in this verse that God’s nature is that He will guide us for ever and ever.
Psalm 78:72 adds the further assurance that God will guide us ‘with skilful hands’. As much as we might marvel at a local guide on an expedition through the jungle or the search of water in the desert and the trust that even though we don’t know the way, our guide does. Our trust in God’s guidance must be even more certain.
You might by thinking, this is all well and good, but I am in a total wilderness. Well in Psalm 78:52 the picture used is that of a shepherd. God led his people ‘like sheep’. This imagery of God as our shepherd comes up again and again in the O.T. and this theme is taken up in the N.T. with Jesus as the perfect shephers who knows and ‘leads his sheep’ (John 10:3). His sheep know his voice and trust him, and follow him and he goes ahead of them (John 10:4). We have this great picture of God not just leading us, but going on ahead to lead the way.
Jesus himself knew this experience of being led in the wilderness. In Luke 4:1-2 Jesus was led ‘by the Spirit .. in the wilderness.’ For Jesus there was no contradiction between being in the Spirit and being in the wilderness. Although he faced fierce temptation from Satan, He was still ‘in the Spirit’ and was being led. We see that even in time of great tribulation (Rev 7:14), God will still be leading us (Rev 7:17) It’s His character.