Faithlife Sermons

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How good are you at finding your way?
Many years ago, long before cell phones and GPS devices, a lost motorist stops and asks a farmer for directions.
“Where is the main highway to Quincy?”             “I don’t know.”
“Well, where is the highway to Hannibal?”          “I don’t know.”
“Where does this highway go?”                      “I don’t know.”
“You don’t know much do you?”
“I know one thing for sure.”
“What would that be, old timer?”            “I know I ain’t lost.”[i]
*            *Most of us are pretty good at finding our way without much help.
But every now and then there are those times when a good guide comes in handy.
High schools have guidance counselors to help you reach your educational goals.
They help you choose which road to take to get you where you want to go with your education or career—everything from getting ready for college, to vocational training, to joining the military.
In college you get an academic advisor to help you be sure you makes sure you get all the classes you need for that Bachelor, Master’s, or Doctor’s degree.
When you get sick you make an appointment with a guide we call a doctor.
You show up in his office, and for a fee, he will give you guidance on how to get well.
He may write a prescription, or send you to a specialist, or run some tests, or even put you in the hospital.
You trust him to tell you what to do, to guide you back to being healthy again.
Legal matters often require you to seek out somebody to guide you through the complicated maze of rules and regulations we call /the law.
/You need to know if you have a case, what you can do about that delicate dispute, how you can handle that important business matter.
You need the services of a guide we call a /lawyer.
            Entire books are written to guide you and I through all kinds of difficult paths—from childrearing to marriage enrichment, from buying a house to choosing which stocks to invest in.
A wise person is humble enough to admit they need guidance.
And yet the best human guidance will often lead you astray, just because  well, we’re only human.
Your guidance counselor can’t see the future; your doctor doesn’t know everything; your lawyer may miss a loophole, the advice from the bestseller may not apply directly to your life.
We need somebody to guide us who sees it all, somebody who is never makes a mistake, who will never lead us astray.
We need God’s guidance in our lives.
At some point, if you want to stay on the right path, you need to admit you need God’s guidance.
But how does God guide us?
How can we know we’re being led by the Lord?
One place to discover the answer is found in *Prov.
3:5-6*, where God Himself gives us a principle for how He guides.
Let’s check it out this morning and maybe before you leave today, you might get some guidance you need.
*            *The book of Proverbs is all about wisdom—skills for living life successfully.
One of the most important life-skills you can learn is how to be led by the Lord.
These verses suggest 3 things to do if you want God as your Guide.
The first one is
A man slipped and fell off a cliff while hiking on a mountaintop.
Luckily he was able to grab a branch on his way down.
Holding on for dear life, he looked down to see a rock valley some 1500 feet below.
When he looked up it was 20 feet to the cliff where he had fallen.
Panicked, he yelled, “Help!
Somebody save me!”
A booming voice spoke up.
“I am here, and I will save you */if/* you trust me.”
“I trust you!
I trust you!
” yelled back the man.
“If you trust me, then you must do what I tell you to do.”
“Yes, I trust you!
I’ll do what you tell me to do!”
“All right, “the voice commanded, “let go of the branch.”
The young man looks up then looks back down, then looks back up again and shouts, “Is there anybody /else/ up there?”~*[ii]
/Do you trust me?
/How you answer that question depends on who is asking it, doesn’t it?
You cannot trust any or everybody.
Some people are treacherous.
Others are weak.
All of us are human.
You can’t trust a person just because they ask you for your trust.
Yet here the Bible tells us that if you want God’s guidance, you have to trust Him not just a little, not just a lot, but to trust Him completely /with all your heart.
/ How can you do that?
To begin with, trust is based on what you know about a person.
You may trust somebody because a friend vouched for them, or you may have done a little investigating on your own and discovered this person was~/wasn’t trustworthy.
You can look at their track record, check out what their friends and enemies say about them.
You want to know everything you can about them before you put your trust in them.
This is a good way to decide whether you can trust a mechanic, or a car salesman, but if you want to trust somebody with all your heart, you’ve got to be willing to take a little more risk.
You’ve got to begin to get a little closer, to spend a little time getting to know them a little more personally.
You’ve got to make a decision to trust them.
Think about how a husband and wife first meet.
They find out some facts about one another, but at some point they make a decision to pursue the relationship further.
Each of them decides to open up a little more, to trust a little more, until finally they express the ultimate trust of making marriage vows.
With every passing wedding anniversary, that trust deepens, and they trust each other /with all their hearts.
Does that mean there will never be times when their trust is tested?
There may come days when he may be tempted to doubt her love for him, or times when she wonders if he will really stick it out.
But they make it through those times by not leaning on their own feelings, but on the bond of trust that has been built between them.
This is a lot like what it means to trust God with all your heart.
Trusting the Lord begins with what you know /about /God.
The Bible tells us that God reveals Himself to each of us through His creation, through His Word, through His Son Jesus Christ, and even in our own hearts.
*Ps 97:6* /The heavens declare His righteousness, And all the peoples see His glory./
*Jn 1:18* /No one has seen God at any time.
The only begotten Son, who is in the bosom of the Father, He has declared Him./
If you really want to know /about /He has provided plenty of information.
But if you want to be led by the Lord, you’ve got to trust Him /with all your heart/.
You’ve got to go further and decide to personally trust Him.
The Bible says we begin trusting God with all our heart when we trust Jesus as our Savior.
Just as a marriage is the beginning of a new relationship, so also surrendering to Christ is the beginning of a new relationship with God.
As time goes by, you learn to trust Him more and more, as your trust Him with your whole heart.
Yes, there will be times when you will be tempted to /lean on your own understanding/, to wonder if God really knows what He’s doing.
It is during those times you remember that the same God you trusted in the past can be trusted in the present and the future to be faithful.
/Will you trust the Lord with your whole heart?
/He is worthy of your trust.
In spite of all the doubts and fears and worries that plague your heart, He really is the only Person Who deserves your wholehearted trust.
Will you let go of whatever branch of doubt you’re holding on to and trust Him? /
/If you want God as your Guide, you must trust Him completely, but you must also /
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