Faithlife Sermons

The Benefits of Divine Direction

Wise Guy   •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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God revels how his chidlren can receive divine direction by trusting Him and Knowing Him

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Introduction|

Attention:
How many of you have ever received bad directions? You have asked someone for directions to a particular location. Their bad directions have led you astray because their instructions were not clear and concise. When it comes to your walk with Christ, lousy instructions are not good for your spiritual health and vitality.
Background:
Solomon is encouraging his son to pursue wisdom by pursuing the Lord. One of the critical aspects of seeking knowledge and understanding is learning to trust God. In , Solomon reminds his son of the benefits of keeping his instruction, trusting the Lord, fearing the Lord, honoring the Lord, and listening to the Lord.
Need Element:
Every Christian has a power struggle between trusting in the Lord or trusting in self. When we believe in ourselves, we take control of our life. Since we are finite and feeble, we often rely upon our understanding, which is marred by the lasting effects of sin. This fact leads us to a place of brokenness, discouragement, and even depression. However, if you would have trusted God, we would have experienced divine direction and guidance through His faithfulness. In our time together this evening, I want us to see from that God provides divine direction to His children.
Textual Idea:
Solomon urges his son to trust and know God which enables him to experience divine direction in his life
Big Idea:
God provides divine direction to his children!
Interrogative:
How can we experience divine guidance in our life?

Outline|

I. When we learn to trust God, He promises to direct our life (vv. 5)

Explanation:
First, Solomon urges his son to rely upon the Lord (vv. 5a). The word trust refers to a state of complete reliance, which produces confidence and security. Solomon begs his son to find confidence and security in the reliability of the reliable one—the Lord. Whenever you see LORD, you need to remember that it is a reference to the covenant keeping God. Solomon wants his son to rest in the fact that God is reliable and steadfast. He wants his son to trust the Lord with the totality of his being. In the mind of an ancient Hebrew, the heart represents the locus of humanity and the seat of his emotions and volition. Trusting God with one’s entire being means committing yourselves into the caring hands of God. We can make two observations from this fact: 1) trusting God requires an act of the mind—a choice and 2) trusting God requires resting in the faithfulness of God—the character of God. Secondly, Solomon urges his son not to rely upon the intelligence or insight of man (vv. 5b). The word lean carries two ideas in the original language: 1) from a physical standpoint, it suggests leaning upon something for support and (2) from a figurative standpoint, it carries the idea of relying upon someone or something for help or protection. It is almost a word-picture of crutching upon something for support. Solomon begs his son not to crutch upon “his understanding.” The word understanding refers to the intelligence or insight of man. Instead of crutching upon our finite human knowledge and insight, we must crutch upon the faithful one who never fails or falters.
The word trust refers to a state of complete reliance, which produces confidence and security. Solomon begs his son to find confidence and security in the reliability of the reliable one—the Lord. Whenever you see LORD, you need to remember that it is a reference to the covenant keeping God. Solomon wants his son to rest in the fact that God is reliable and steadfast. He wants his son to trust the Lord with the totality of his being. In the mind of an ancient Hebrew, the heart represents the locus of humanity and the seat of his emotions and volition. Trusting God with one’s entire being means committing yourselves into the caring hands of God. We can make two observations from this fact: 1) trusting God requires an act of the mind—a choice and 2) trusting God requires resting in the faithfulness of God—the character of God. Secondly, Solomon urges his son not to rely upon the intelligence or insight of man (vv. 5b). The word lean carries two ideas in the original language: 1) from a physical standpoint, it suggests leaning upon something for support and (2) from a figurative standpoint, it carries the idea of relying upon someone or something for help or protection. It is almost a word-picture of crutching upon something for support. Solomon begs his son not to crutch upon “his understanding.” The word understanding refers to the intelligence or insight of man. Instead of crutching upon our finite human knowledge and insight, we must crutch upon the faithful one who never fails or falters.
Illustration:
In high school, I broke my foot playing basketball with my brother in the driveway. Therefore, I was unable to put any weight upon my right foot for several months while the fracture healed. For the next several months, I was entirely dependent upon my crutches for my mobility. If I wanted something from the kitchen, I had to use my crutches. If I wanted to get from my car to the church, I had to use my crutches. When it comes to the Christian walk, we must entirely depend upon God for direction and guidance.
Argumentation:
Why shouldn’t we trust our wisdom?
Our understanding is finite, feeble, and sin-cursed. Even after salvation, our flesh is sinful and wicked.
God says: “the imagination of man’s heart is evil from his youth” ().
God also describes the feebleness of our human heart: “My heart panteth” ().
God, through his prophet Jeremiah, says: “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked” ().
Due to the finite, feeble, and sin-cursed understanding of our human mind, we need to rely upon someone who is steadfast, infinite, and sinless. Therefore, we must depend upon the faithfulness of the infinite one who is all-powerful, all-knowing, and faithful in his attributes and actions.
Application:
When you face trials, trouble and tribulation, do you turn to inwardly or upwardly?
This passage summons us to rest in the reliability of the Lord. It urges us to trust him with our troubles, trials, and temptations. However, more often than not, we turn to our understanding and wisdom instead of embracing the infinite wisdom of the faithful One. When you face financial trouble, you must learn to trust God. When you are facing situational discouragement, you must learn to trust God. When you are seeking direction and guidance for your life, you must learn to trust God.
Transition:
When we learn to trust God, we are given a beautiful promise that God will direct our steps. However, this truth brings us to our second observation.

II. When we seek to know God, he promises to direct our life (vv. 6)

Explanation:
Next, Solomon says: “in all thy ways, acknowledge him.” In the Old Testament, the word way/ways are often used metaphorically to describe a person’s life, conduct, or behavior. In every area of life, we must acknowledge Christ. The word acknowledge means to understand, recognize, or even perceive something or someone. An acknowledgment of Christ is a “mental awareness of who God is and the consequential submission to his lordship [which manifests itself through obedience].” One translation says: “in all of your ways, know Him” (, CSB). It has been said: “to know him is to obey him.” When you seek to know Him, you will trust and obey for guidance and direction in every situation and circumstance.
One translation says: “in all of your ways, know Him” (, CSB).
It has been said: “to know him is to obey him.” When you seek to know Him, you will trust and obey for guidance and direction in every situation and circumstance.
One writer says: “we are being told to recognize God’s presence with each step. He is … [the] Lord of every turn and detour, wanting us to acknowledge His presence.”
Now, Solomon leaves his son with a beautiful promise. First, God provides us with direction. When you trust God and know God, he will “direct your path.” The phrase shall direct refers to making a path smooth or straight. The majority of translators translate this section as “he will make your path straight” (ESV, CSB, NASB, and NIV). While the definition is essential, the stem of the Hebrew word helps with understanding the meaning. It comes from a piel yiqtol verb. The idea of a piel/yiqtol verb is an action with an ongoing result. However, the object (i.e., us) suffers the effects of the action (i.e., making our paths straight) caused by the subject (i.e., God). Once again, Solomon uses the word path to describe the life of the individual. Secondly, God provides a destination. God gives us a clear direction and destination. While God does indeed “make our paths straight,” this truth does not mean that the journey will be comfortable. Sometimes, God allows us to go through times of trial and tribulation. However, I can say that God’s direction and destination lead to a perfect goal—the image of Christ and the Will of God (). Walking with God leads to the Working of God, which in turn produces the Will of God.
Illustration:
Since I was a little boy, I have loved heavy machinery and large construction equipment. As I travel, I often pay close attention to road work because I love the equipment used to complete massive construction projects. When a construction company builds a road, they remove anything and everything to make road systems as straight as humanly possible. When we seek to Know and Trust Him, God will direct our steps in accordance with His perfect will.
Argumentation:
How does God direct our steps and make our path straight?
First, he uses the Holy Spirit to direct our steps.
Jesus says that the Holy Spirit: “will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come” ().
Secondly, He uses the Holy Scriptures to direct our steps.
The Psalmist declared: “Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path” ().
If you want to know the Will of God, you have to know the Word of God because the Word of God is the Will of God.
Application:
We must ask ourselves a simple question: are we seeking to know God?
As God’s children, we must seek to know Him through our relationship with Him. You can know Him by spending time in His word. You can also know Him by spending time with Him in prayer. summons us to trust God in faith and know him in obedience.
Transition:
God provides divine direction to those who learn to trust Him and know Him!

Conclusion/Application|

Visualization:
From a spiritual standpoint, self-reliance is like receiving bad directions. It only leaves you frustration and upset. When you learn to trust God, you will experience the benefits of perfect direction and guidance. God promises to “your paths straight” (, NIV). Instead of relying upon someone who is weak and feeble, you are trusting someone who is perfect and faithful.
Action:
God invites us to trust Him in faith. We can trust God because He is faithful and perfect in all of His ways and works. Tonight, I want to challenge you to stop relying upon yourself (your plan, your job, your gifts, your talents, etc.) and start trusting God’s power, plan, and purpose for your life. God also invites us to know him in faith. Tonight, I want to encourage you to grow in your relationship with your savior by spending time in the word and prayer.
Appeal:
Would you commit to start trusting Christ and stop believing yourself?
Would you also commit to growing in your relationship with Christ by spending time in the word and prayer?
While this process is not easy, it is beneficial for our spiritual health and vitality. Would you also commit to growing in your relationship with Christ by spending time in the word and prayer?
Would you also commit to growing in your relationship with Christ by spending time in the word and prayer?
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