When they heard the king, they went; and look, the star they had seen in the east went ahead of them until it stood over the place where the child was. When they saw the star, they were filled with joy. They entered the house and saw the child with Mary his mother. Falling to their knees, they honored him. Then they opened their treasure chests and presented him with gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. (Matthew 2:9-11, CEB, emphasis added)
The wise men did not only follow the star
The wise men are great examples of people who put their faith in action. They left their home lands and followed the star to find the Messiah. But God’s guidance was not just about following the star.
Because they were warned in a dream not to return to Herod, they went back to their own country by another route. (Matthew 2: 12, CEB)
God spoke to them in a dream and, once again, they obeyed and went back to their own country by another route. We are all called to walk closely with God. We can also be wise and pay attention to God’s guidance. First of all we need to have the right attitude:
Trust in the LORD with all your heart;
don’t rely on your own intelligence.
Know him in all your paths,
and he will keep your ways straight.
(Proverbs 3:5-6, CEB)
God guides us through prayer
Starting everything with prayer is a way to include God in everything we do. That way we acknowledge that God is God and we are not. And we ask for wisdom and guidance. We can be certain that God is with us.
Don Clowers has said “It is amazing how many people let life happen to them rather than asking God for wisdom in their decisions. He promises to give you wisdom and knowledge for everything you do. When you make a decision knowing that it is based on the wisdom of God, joy and peace cannot help but follow.”
If you stray to the right or the left, you will hear a word that comes from behind you: “This is the way; walk in it.” (Isaiah 30:21, CEB)
It takes some practice to learn to hear God’s voice and follow God’s guidance.
The more we pray, the more intimate relationship we have with Christ. The closer we walk with Jesus, the easier we see God’s actions around us. The more Bible we read, the more we understand the will of God in our lives.
Charles Stanley points out the most crucial point “God’s voice will never tell us to engage in any activity or relationship that is inconsistent with the Holy Scriptures.”
And it’s also important to remember what Paul White states “Guidance isn’t asking God to endorse the plans that you hold out to Him. It is the reverse. You must have your hand out ready to take the blueprint He has drawn up for you. He then expects you to follow it implicitly.” This brings us back to willingness to follow. If God gives us our star to follow, do we find excuses to not to follow? Or do we prayerfully put our faith in action?
We thank you and praise you
for guiding us.
We thank you and praise you
for being our God.
Teach us to hear your voice.
Equip us for your service.
Empower us to do your will.
In Jesus’ name,
Q4U: How do you hear God’s voice? Do you follow the star?
Be blessed, my fellow pilgrim, as you follow God’s guidance in your life!