Day 3 or 18
Intimacy with Jesus: Being Led by Him and Following Him
“By day the Lord went ahead of them in a pillar of cloud to guide them on their way and by night in a pillar of fire to give them light, so that they could travel by day or night. 22 Neither the pillar of cloud by day nor the pillar of fire by night left its place in front of the people.”
“Now an angel of the Lord spoke to Philip, saying, “Arise and go toward the south along the road which goes down from Jerusalem to Gaza.” This is desert. 27 So he arose and went.”
In Damascus there was a disciple named Ananias. The Lord called to him in a vision, “Ananias!” “Yes, Lord,” he answered. 11 The Lord told him, “Go to the house of Judas on Straight Street and ask for a man from Tarsus named Saul, for he is praying.
In all three of these passages, we see God’s people being Led by Him and Following that leading. In one instance it is a pillar of cloud and pillar of fire, another- it is an angel of the Lord speaking, and finally it is a vision that led Ananias who was led to the ferocious persecutor of God’s people. In fact (formerly by name Saul) Paul says, “I persecuted the followers of this Way to their death, arresting both men and women and throwing them into prison,…”
There are several terms used by the Bible to describe God’s Own- like: God’s people, Christians (first called this in Antioch meaning ‘little reflections of Jesus the Christ), believers, the children of God, and followers of the Way. None of these are just passive names by nature because of the Nature of God demands that we allow Him to lead and place our Trust in Him as we Follow. For them to ring true they require faith working through love. They require faith in Jesus the Christ the Son of God. Romans says, “For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.” We have a Divine appointment with God to be led by Him believer and a Divine appointment to follow that leading. This is called “walking in the light as He is in the light.” And- since nobody perfectly follows God’s Gracious Leading- 1 John says, “and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin. If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us” as we substantially or intermittently (oh so prone to wonder as one hymn points-out) walk in the light.
So- where is this leading of God found? Mostly at the tip of your nose as you gaze into the Word of Liberty – the Holy Bible. If it says, “forgive”- we forgive. If it says, “be controlled by the Spirit,” – we are controlled by the Spirit. If it says, “love one another,” – we love one another. The one leads- The Holy Bible- in the Light of the New Covenant and its Eternally enduring principles and the other follow- God’s children. Intimacy with Jesus is found in God’s Precious Word. Intimacy is being led by the Spirit as it says of these- the last days- “‘In the last days, God says, I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your young men will see visions, your old men will dream dreams.’”
Believer are you one of those souls who has strongly desired to be led by the Spirit and you were listening to God’s Word, His Spirit, and getting wise counsel from God’s people and things you planned just fell to pieces? Not every door is an open door. In all fairness you need to know that even though it all sounds so positive we still live in a fallen world as a light on a hill and that darkness is bent on seeing you fail and fall. Even the Apostle experienced what God permitted into his missionary endeavours when he says, “out of our intense longing we made every effort to see you. For we wanted to come to you—certainly I, Paul, did, again and again—but Satan blocked our way. (1 Thessalonians 2:7-8) When bad things happen to God’s people as they pursue being led and then follow- we call it God’s Permissible Will when darkness is allowed to triumph for a moment (sometimes to us those moments seem forever- but, they are not). Believer- it is all part and parcel of being a Christian handling His Divine Appointments and Disappointments as His Appointments. We may not be able to figure-out some things in being led and then following- but, we can Trust the Good Shepherd- we can relinquish our confusion to The Trust-Worthy-One Forever to be Praised. Intimacy with Jesus is even found in the closed doors just as much as the open doors. Continue to adore the Adorable one- Jesus Christ our great God and Saviour.