November 9

 

Instruction from the Lord

Matthew 16:21-24

At times we may struggle with directions we receive from the Lord. We question whether they are from Him because they . . .

Clash with our personal desires. The mother of James and John asked that her sons sit beside Jesus in heaven. The Lord said no to her selfish ambition and called her sons to a life of humble service to others (Matt. 20:20-28).

Conflict with our human reasoning. Some of the disciples expected Jesus to rule as the long-prophesied King. When He told them He was going to be killed by the religious leaders, His words didn't line up with their thinking about the future.

Challenge our faith. Christ told the disciples that He would be resurrected on the third day (Matt. 16:21). Peter and the others had to accept Jesus' words even though many people of the day—including some religious leaders—did not believe in the resurrection of the body (Matt. 22:23).

God's direction may call for courage as well. We see this clearly in Joshua's life. The Lord appointed him as the leader who would take Israel into the Promised Land (Josh. 1:1-6). Our heavenly Father may ask us to become a leader in our local church, to participate in a missions trip, or to serve those who are hard to love. He wants us to step forward bravely and obey.

Following God shouldn't involve guesswork. Scripture is a good source for confirming divine direction, as our Father won't give any guidance that is contrary to biblical principles. Receiving godly counsel from a pastor or mature believer can also reassure us that we've heard correctly (Prov. 15:22).  

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