Article by James MacDonald (Walk in The Word)
The Lord is my shepherd . . . . He leads me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake (Psalm 23:1, 3, esv).
Who of us hasn’t faced a tough decision that we knew would significantly affect the days and even years ahead? Our lives can go down many different paths:
- Some paths are obviously wrong and lead you to very bad places.
- Some paths appear to be right but still are wrong (see Proverbs 14:12).
Some paths are right for a while until they come to a fork in the road and you have to choose a new direction.
God Himself cares that you are on “paths of righteousness.” Psalm 37:23 says when you delight in God’s way, He establishes your steps. Aren’t you glad that if you submit to God, He’ll direct you on the right way? I want that!, you say. How do I get on the right path? There might be a lot of confusion about how to know God’s will, but I can give you the absolute guaranteed path to wisdom.
First, God’s Word lights your path; it gives direction. It promises to be a beacon to you in really dark places. Are you in it on a personal, regular basis? What principles shine in this situation? What standards build the boundaries of your life? (See Psalm 119:105.)
Second, godly counsel will help you discern the right path. Ask wise people which direction to take. But what if they tell me to do something I don’t want to do? All I can do is warn you by way of Proverbs 12:15: “The way of a fool is right in his own eyes, but a wise man listens to advice.”
Third, Romans 8:14 talks about being “led by the Spirit of God.” Understand this: if you aren’t following these first and second principles, you’re not giving the Spirit very much to work with. God’s not going to tell you to do something that’s contrary to His Word and the counsel of His faithful followers.
But get all three of these three in powerful combination, and you will be able to say from your heart, He guides me! Get into God’s Word. Get under the wise counsel of godly people, and be open to how God’s Spirit will guide you. God doesn’t make His will a mystery—He is a shepherd who promises to lead you.