Bible Studies & Devotionals
From Olive Branch Ministries
By Mark and Tinsley Baker
Get all the Soul Foods online @:http://www.olivebranchministries.us
Psalms 119:105 Your word is a lamp to my feet And a light to my path.
God has given His children the awesome privilege of praying for guidance and direction, however if you are seeking guidance all you have to do is pick up your Bible and begin to read it. His Word is a lamp, in other words a spotlight to light our path and give us direction so that we can not only see where to go but where not to go. The light makes things clear and visible so that we will not trip and fall. God has given us His Word for direction and guidance in our everyday walk. Without it, we would surely wander off the path, for we would not be able to clearly see the correct way to go.
The Living Bible says it like thisÖ
Psalms 119:105 Your words are a flashlight to light the path ahead of me, and keep me from stumbling.
I like that. He knows where we are to go; after all He is the One leading us isnít He?
If the path is well lit and clearly visible we will be able to see the way and not stumble.
We all know the 23rd Psalm as it is probably one of the best known of all the Psalms. David said this in vs. 3 He leads me in the paths of righteousness For His name's sake.
I want you to consider something. God doesnít want us to fail. He wants us to succeed.
But we have to follow after Him. We have a choice to stay on the lighted path or we can stumble out into the darkness, the choice is ours. This can happen when we make our own choices based on OUR own wants and desires and not follow the well-lit path. He leads but he will not push us. It is our choice to follow.
He leads us in the paths of righteousness for His name's sake. He has a lot at stake. His Namesake is at stake. You might say what do you mean? We were bought with an incredible price. He has a very big investment in us. He wants us to succeed, but in order for us to succeed we have to follow the lighted path. Heís the One giving us the light to see so we will not stumble and fall. His Word gives us this light. He doesnít want us to stumble into the darkness, He would not have given us His Word if this were the case would He? His lamp has to be carried by us. We need to know the Word of God in order for It to do us any good. If we donít know His Word then we donít have a lamp to guide us. We will most assuredly stumble, for there is no light to see the path set before us. We will be led by emotions and circumstances that can not lead us on the correct path. Being upset and annoyed at our surrounding circumstances is not the leading of the Holy Spirit. People have left Churches because they didnít like something that has gone on or something somebody said. Being upset is not the leading of the Holy Spirit. We need to grow up and be responsible children of God.
When we need direction and guidance we can always go to the Word of God. There have been so many instances in my life when I needed direction in a certain area and the Holy Spirit would quicken a verse of Scripture that would change my direction. His Word lighted my path. He showed me the way to go when I didnít know the way. Many times I didnít even know I had stumbled off the path. He corrected me and set me back on the lighted path. Thank God for His Holy Spirit! Thank God for His Word!
John 16:13 "However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come.
Our Father cares for us even in the smallest areas of our lives. He will show us how to walk after Him if we will take the time to learn His Word and listen.
Without knowing His Word we will have a hard time hearing and following the voice of the Holy Spirit. The Spirit and the Word always agree. One will never contradict the Other. That is impossible. Christians are often seeking after spectacular manifestations of God to show them the way, or to hear the audible voice of God, and will often ignore that still small voice that is on the inside of them. That is the supernatural leading of the Holy Spirit.
There are times when we have to get quiet in His presence and just listen. After all communication is a two way street. How would you like it if someone always came up to you and began speaking without taking the time to hear what you have to say? After a while you would probably get tired of that wouldnít you? Communication is not only speaking but there should be a lot of listening as well. If you ask for direction and donít take the time to wait for a reply then you have no one to blame but yourself, besides that would be rude wouldnít it?
We learn His voice when we learn His Word. Jesus said in Johns GospelÖ
John 10:27 "My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me.
We not only hear His voice, He knows us and we follow Him. If we were not able to hear His voice we would not be able to follow Him would we? Jesus said we hear His voice. I know from experience that many modern day Christians would think you are loony if you told them God actually speaks to you, and that you actually hear His voice.
This should be the norm for Godís children, not the abnormal. Why is this so hard to believe? Was Jesus telling the truth when He said My sheep hear My voice? This is a simple yes or no question, He was either telling the truth or He was lying, there is no in between. I believe He was telling the truth. My question is this, then why arenít most Christians hearing? Since He was telling the truth then the problem has to be with us. Lets just get honest about it, God is doing His part therefore we have to be the ones who need to be doing something different.
There are many things that could stop us from hearing Godís voice. Jesus often said thisÖ "He who has ears to hear, let him hear!'' This statement is said by Jesus 8 times in the Gospels. It is our responsibility to hear.
He said this in the Gospel of Luke in the 8th chapter "But others fell on good ground, sprang up, and yielded a crop a hundredfold.'' When He had said these things He cried, "He who has ears to hear, let him hear!'' He cried, He said this with much emphasis, Listen, Hear. If we wonít hear He can't lead us can He? He has given us the ability to hear or he would not be just in telling us to do that very thing would He? We have spiritual hearing; we just have to learn to tune in. It is in our best interest if we will but listen, Our Heavenly Father wants us to succeed in everything we are given to do hear on the Earth.
Firstly we have already discussed that we have to know the Word. Secondly we have to take the time to listen. Many Christians have never done this and need to learn this very important part of being a follower. We have to understand we do not hear spiritual things with our physical ears, we hear spiritual things through our spirit or inner man. Spiritual things are spiritually discerned. Our spirit has to be trained just like our flesh or mind has to be trained. We have to learn how to hear spiritually.
1 Corinthians 2:14 But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.
We have to be able to tell the difference between Godís thoughts, our thoughts, and the thoughts that come in from outside sources, including the devil. He will put all kinds of thoughts into our mind if we will let him, but we donít have to let him. When we are born again we become a new creation in Christ Jesus
2 Corinthians 5:17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.
We are a born again spirit that has the life of God dwelling within us. This is where God speaks to us, not our fleshly man but this new born again man. We can train our spirit to hear and tune into the voice of God. We have been trained all of our life to listen in the natural and sometimes we have to set aside our earthly training and begin to
relearn to do things Godís way. This can take time but the rewards are great.
Proverbs 3:5 Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding;
6 in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths.
I want to encourage you to take the necessary time to learn Godís Word, and to spend time in His presence, and to learn His voice. Donít allow lifeís many distractions from keeping you from this most important part.
Rv:7:17: For the Lamb which is in the midst of the throne shall feed them, and shall lead them unto living fountains of waters: and God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes.
Do you know Jesus as your Lord and Savior? Do you want to be a joint heir with Christ?
If so, I urge you to earnestly pray the following prayer.
Dear Heavenly Father, I come to you in the name of Jesus. Your word says, "Öand the one who comes to Me I will by no means cast out." (Jn.6:37),
So I know You wonít cast me out, but You take me in, And I thank you for it. You said in your Word, "whoever calls upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.'' (Ro. 10:13).
I am calling on Your name, So I know You have saved me now, You also said, "Öthat if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes to righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made to salvation." (Ro.10:9,10).
I believe in my heart that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. I believe He was raised from the dead for my justification. And I confess Him now as my Lord, Because Your Word says, "Ö with the heart one believes to righteousnessÖ" and I do believe with my heart, I have now become the righteousness of God in Christ. (2 Cor. 5:21),
And I am saved! Thank You, Lord!
I can now truthfully say, I see myself as a born again child of God!
Glory to God!!!! Amen.