The Problem of Guidance
All Christians at any age come across the problem of guidance. What is God’s will for me at this time? Let us learn from the story of Abraham’s servant, travelling to another country with a specific purpose. He had a tricky task - to find a wife for his master’s son, Isaac. We may find it hard to find the right life partner for ourselves - much more difficult for someone else! The three principles he adopted can teach us in whatever circumstances we need guidance. An apt quotation is this: ‘The guided man or woman is one who has large thoughts about God.’ As we put God first and honour Him, step-by-step, we will be shown the way.
The way of obedience:
The servant solemnly promised to obey his master’s wishes (v9), and was assured the Lord would go before him to bring him in the right way (v7). What an encouragement to us as we step out into an unknown land! Be sure obedience will be tested with difficulties and opposition.
The way of humble service:
The servant was not self-seeking but wholly wanting to carry out the purpose of Abraham, continually calling him ‘My Master’. As Christians, we are out to serve our Lord and Master, Jesus Christ. Romans 12 reminds us this involves self-discipline and self-sacrifice, denying our own comforts to be His disciples (Luke 9: 23). ‘Love so amazing, so divine, demands my soul, my life, my all’ are the challenging words of Isaac Watts’ Hymn.
The way of prayer:
The whole expectations of the servant were soaked in prayer. ‘O LORD, God … give me success today’ (v12 - NIV). And ‘…the man bowed down and worshipped the LORD’ (v26). Many missionaries can look back on their lives and be thankful to see how the various pieces of the jigsaw puzzle have fitted together. If we’re going to be successful in the Christian life, we must walk closely with the Lord - starting each day listening to Him speaking to us through this word and throughout the day, maintaining an attitude of prayerful trust - in all our ways acknowledging Him (Proverbs 3: 5 and 6). We need to be continually filled with His Spirit to understand the Lord’s will (Ephesians 5: 15 - 20) - a mind focused on pleasing the Lord. Let us walk in this way, guided by the word of God and the promptings of the Spirit of God within. As someone has said, ‘With the word alone, we dry up; with the Spirit alone we blow up; with the word and the Spirit, we grow up!’
Prayer and Action
Use the following verses above and also Psalm 32: 8 and Isaiah 30: 21 as a starting point for prayer, committing your future plans to God. Ask Him to lead you and guide you according to His will.