Posts Tagged guide

Selah

Psalm 32: 7 – 8       Amp

You are my hiding place; You, Lord, protect me from trouble;
You surround me with songs and shouts of deliverance.
    Selah.
I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go;
I will counsel you [who are willing to learn] with My eye upon you.

This is a good time to learn about the word “Selah” because it impacts the understanding of this psalm. One of the primary ideas about this word is that it indicates a pause. We find this word mostly in the Psalms so one might ask if it represents a musical interlude or just a pause in the lyric or instrumentation. It turns out that it has more to do with ideas represented in the lyric than it does to the lyric or melody specifically. It calls the listener, or in our case, the reader, to pause and consider the immediately preceding lyric. Today’s psalm was written by David. When we hear or read “Selah” in the above passage, he wants us to stop and consider the meaning. He has just said something very important and he wants us to stop and be sure that we have taken in that important thought.

There is a second use of Selah. It is used as a bridge or a connector. It alerts the listener that the stanza which is about to follow is thematically tied to that which has just preceded. In other words, the psalmist wants us to hear the next passage with the former still in mind. So stop and hear what has been said with a mind to integrate it with what comes next.

In today’s scripture selection, David confesses his confidence to God. He is able to hide himself in God, receiving protection and deliverance from trouble. He says, also, God surrounds him with joyous songs and exuberant shouts. That isn’t the end though, because in the next stanza, God answers him.

In the combination of these two verses we see a great deal of their relationship. Not only does God protect David but you hear David’s confidence in that protection. David is the one who proclaims that he is protected from trouble. His trust in God is the unspoken refrain. Yahweh answers his confidence and trust with, “I will lead you. I will counsel you. I will be your mentor and will guard your way and keep my eye on you at all times.”

There is a relationship between these two verses and these two people. That is what we are supposed to see in this psalm and that is what the word Selah reveals to us. These are not two independent ideas but rather a revealing of the intermingling of their lives. This is a model of how our lives are meant to be. We also have a hiding place, we are hidden in Christ. We should have the same confidence is the three persons of the trinity as David sang of here. I am hidden in Christ and thus protected from the danger and trouble of the world. God is my helper, my right hand and my deliverer. God, for his part, will lead me and guide me in the way that I should go because I have hidden myself in Him. Selah!

Delightful

Psalm 37: 23           (GW)

A person’s steps are directed by the LORD, and the LORD delights in his way.

The good news of this verse may not jump out at you right away. Read it again. Now what do you see? I think we read verses about the Lord leading us but don’t really see them. Imagine yourself a small (or large) business owner. Now imagine that every day the Lord directs your steps, your actions and all of your decisions. Doesn’t that give you a sense of peace? Now here is the really good news. God’s direction and assistance does not end when you close the shop door for the day. Every part of your day, and indeed your life, can receive the benefit of the Father’s guidance. One benefit of receiving God’s insights and advice is success. I like the benefit this verse points out. The person who allows God to speak into their life also receives the delight of the Lord. You’ve gotta love that. How would you like going to bed every night knowing that the Lord is delighted in you? Do you think it would affect the quality of your sleep? Would your heart bask in peace?

It should be obvious that the Lord wants to guide your day. Why else would He take delight in the ways of people who allow His directions? Life always runs more smoothly when we listen to the directions of the Lord. In these perilous times, there is another important reason to hearken to the voice of the Lord. He leads us in the paths of safety and protection. He will actually direct your footsteps so that you do not go in the way of danger.

Our relationship with God can be as active or passive as we choose. I personally feel that the time has come for us to enter into a relationship with Him such that He is in every minute of our day. There is too much to gain and too much to lose by having a Sunday relationship with Him. If you agree, ask Him to speak His wisdom into every facet of your day and every minute of your life. Allow Him to direct your steps and be the delight of His heart.

Parked Car

John 16: 13

But when He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all the truth.

There used to be an expression, “God can’t steer a parked car.” The point of it was that the Holy Spirit has been sent here to steer and direct you but you have to get the car off of the curb first. You must start the car and put it in gear and then the Holy Spirit can direct you. What does this mean in practical terms? It means that you cannot just sit around and wait for God to drop something in your lap and have great success. The reason is that He directs your steps not jump starts you. You’ve got to get involved in your own success. Talk to the Lord about the things you want. You can still tell Him that it is most important to you that you follow His directions. You’ve got to start heading somewhere, then He can tell you which turns to make and which paths to take. But don’t just sit in your car waiting for him to start the car and drive too. It is not going to happen. Start doing something. Head in some direction and He will let you know if a course correction is called for. But first, get out of park.

Follow the Leader

2 Chronicles 31: 21

And every work which he began in the service of the house of God in law and in commandment, seeking his God, he did with all his heart and prospered.


This verse is about a fellow named Hezekiah. Hezekiah taught me how to follow the Lord. I remember clearly the day in 2005 when the Lord gave me this verse. It radically transformed my life and I hope it will have the same effect for you. I saw in this verse my way through the maze of all of the things I thought I should do. I gained an understanding of how I would make important decisions in my life. This verse was part of an epoch journey that has led, and is leading me, into a deep, abiding trust in the Lord; a trust that is freeing and optimistic.

The Lord showed me that if I would seek Him, He would show me the way to go. Even if, or when, the path looks danger fraught or even just silly, He taught me that I could trust Him. He taught me to throw my whole heart into whatever He has shown me. It has been difficult putting aside my reservations but therein lies the freedom.

Whatever God is telling you to do, throw your whole heart into it and trust Him to work out the details. It is His job to prosper you, not yours. Your job is to follow His leading and trust Him. Your job is to seek Him. The rest is on Him. Once you are sure of the way the Lord is leading you, toss your worry aside and put your whole heart into that which He is leading you, even if it makes no sense. He knows what he is doing. Really! Trust Him with all your heart.

On Track

Psalm 32: 8

I will instruct you and teach you in the way which you should go; I will counsel you with My eye upon you.

I am always attracted to the many scriptures that tell us that God will lead us and teach us. It seems to me that as long as we have his counsel, that he is guiding our steps and instructing us, that there is really no need left in our lives. He can always lead us into what we need and also give us wisdom and knowledge for each situation. With God leading us, we can never go too far astray. Perhaps we do not always listen as well as we might but he is right there to help us get back on the right path. His eye is on us, looking over us and watching out for us. We are certainly blessed. Incline your ear towards him so that you will better hear the instruction of the Lord.

The Promise

Numbers 11: 16 – 17

The Lord therefore said to Moses, “Gather for Me seventy men from the elders of Israel, who you know to be the elders of the people and their officers and bring them to the tent of meeting, and let them take their stand there with you. Then I will come down and speak with you there, and I will take of the Spirit who is upon you , and will put Him upon them.

This “Spirit” spoken of is the Holy Spirit of God. God reveals to us in this passage that His spirit was “on” Moses. That is a powerful revelation for anyone who has ears to hear. 

Moses did gather the seventy elders and God did put His Holy Spirit on them too so that they could help shoulder the burden of caring for the Israelites. When God put His Spirit on them, the Bible tells us that they began to prophesy (v. 25). That is the power of the Holy Spirit.

This is the same spirit which was spoken of in Acts 2. God promised in Joel 2: 28 that He would pour out His Spirit on all mankind. This outpouring was a monumental occurrence, the fulfillment of a long awaited promise. In fact, if you study all the verses which speak about the Holy Spirit you will see numerous references to the promise of his coming. Then in Acts 2 we get to witness the outpouring of the Spirit. 

In the Old Testament the Holy Spirit came “upon” people as was the case with Moses and the seventy elders. This resting of the Holy Spirit upon people gave them tremendous ability and power. Jesus told the disciples that when he left he was going to send the Holy Spirit (John 16: 7). He also told them that the Holy Spirit was coming to live IN them (John 14: 17). 

This is a new dispensation, if you will. We are talking about the same Holy Spirit which brooded over the waters in Genesis 1: 2. However, a new thing was happening. Jesus was sending the Holy Spirit into the world to stay. Not only that, but importantly, the Holy Spirit was sent to us individually rather than collectively. That is an important distinction. The Holy Spirit was with the nation of Israel as they sojourned to Canaan but He did not live “in” them. Jesus has now sent the Holy Spirit to each of us, to live in us and to be our constant companion. He said the Holy Spirit would be to each of us a go along, a teacher, a guide and a helper (John 16: 7, 13, John 14: 26).

Certainly there is an aspect of our own responsibility. We must each receive the Holy Spirit personally. He is not going to set up house within you without your permission. However, when you invite Him in, the power, authority and ability that was with Moses comes and takes up abode IN you. You become the vessel, the carrier of the power of God. This power and authority does not just rest on you and then remove Himself, He is with you and in you all the time. That is a much better arrangement than the Old Testament saints had.

I invite you to meditate on today’s verse and ponder the role of the Holy Spirit in today’s world but most importantly, in your own life. I pray that the Spirit who was upon Moses will come rest in you and with you today.

For His Name’s Sake

Psalm 31: 3

For Thou art my rock and my fortress; for Thy name’s sake Thou wilt lead me and guide me.

God has a vested interest in leading you. He wants you successful because your life is a testimony to others. He wants his kids to find their way and to live peaceful, successful lives. He directs your steps so that you can find your way. If he did not lead and guide us, we would easily get lost. There is safety in Him and He leads you into that safe place for His name’s sake. In that place, in Him, is all of the substance you need. He has promised to lead you so He must do it or otherwise damage His reputation. He cannot lie so if He has said it, He must do it. Do not ask yourself if God will lead you and guide you. You are not the expert on what God will do. He has already established, by His own word, that he will direct you. Just relax and let Him

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