October 21, 2012 – October 27, 2012
“If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.” James 1:5.
Study Help: Selected Messages, Book 2, 325–328; That I May Know Him, 249–252, 268.
“We are to seek to know ‘What saith the Lord,’ yielding our lives to His guidance.” This Day With God, 140.
1 PRAYING FOR WISDOM
- When called to lead the army of Israel, how did Gideon obtain the extra guidance he desired? Judges 6:36–40.
Note: “Gideon dared not place himself at the head of the army without still further evidence that God had called him to his work, and that He would be with him. … [Judges 6:36, 37 quoted.] In the morning the fleece was wet, while the ground was dry. But now a doubt arose, since wool naturally absorbs moisture when there is any in the air; the test might not be decisive. Hence he asked that the sign be reversed, pleading that his extreme caution might not displease the Lord. His request was granted.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 548.
- How does our own attitude affect how much guidance we can expect from God? Psalms 25:9; 32:8–10; James 1:5–8.
Note: “[James 1:5–7 quoted.] This petition for wisdom is not to be a meaningless prayer, out of mind as soon as finished. It is a prayer that expresses the strong, earnest desire of the heart, arising from a conscious lack of wisdom to determine the will of God.” Testimonies, vol. 2, 131.
2 GUIDANCE FOR HEALTH
- When Manoah’s wife was told she would bear a son, how were the couple’s prayers for guidance rewarded? Judges 13:8–23. What can we learn from their example?
Note: “The Lord regarded instruction to the mother of such importance that He sent an angel, who veiled his glory, in order to give a direct message to the wife of Manoah, and prescribe the course of action which she should pursue. The instruction given to the wife of Manoah is the instruction that all mothers should follow in order that the prenatal influence may be of a right character.” The Signs of the Times, April 9, 1896.
“Christian parents should begin the education of their children in their infancy. They should, in view of their God-given responsibilities, pray most earnestly to know the will of God, and for strength to do it. … [Judges 13:8, 12 quoted.] If this prayer should go forth from the unfeigned lips of mothers, they would find that help would be given them from God.” Good Health, April 1, 1880.
“The words spoken to the wife of Manoah contain a truth that the mothers of today would do well to study. In speaking to this one mother, the Lord spoke to all the anxious, sorrowing mothers of that time, and to all the mothers of succeeding generations. Yes, every mother may understand her duty. She may know that the character of her children will depend vastly more upon her habits before their birth and her personal efforts after their birth, than upon external advantages or disadvantages.” The Signs of the Times, February 26, 1902.
- What is revealed in God’s word concerning health and temperance? I Corinthians 3:19; 9:27; 10:31.
Note: “In the selection of our food, we should not seek merely to please the taste, but should choose that which is most healthful. In dress, we should seek that which is simple, comfortable, convenient, and appropriate.
“He who will observe simplicity in all his habits, restricting the appetite and controlling the passions, may preserve his mental powers strong, active, and vigorous, quick to perceive everything which demands thought or action, keen to discriminate between the holy and the unholy, and ready to engage in every enterprise for the glory of God and the benefit of humanity.” Our High Calling, 270.
3 A DEPENDABLE PILOT
- What prayer of David reveals how he recognized the Source of his only hope of success? Psalm 31:1–3.
Note: “Every ship sailing the sea of life needs to have the divine Pilot on board; but when storms arise, when tempests threaten, many persons push their Pilot overboard, and commit their bark into the hand of finite man, or try to steer it themselves. Then disaster and wreckage generally follow, and the Pilot is blamed for running them into such dangerous waters. Do not commit yourselves into the keeping of men, but say, ‘The Lord is my helper’; I will seek His counsel; I will be a doer of His will. All the advantages you may have cannot be a blessing to you, neither can the highest class education qualify you to become a channel of light, unless you have the co-operation of the divine Spirit. It is as impossible for us to receive qualification from man, without the divine enlightenment, as it was for the gods of Egypt to deliver those who trusted in them. Students must not suppose that every suggestion for them to prolong their studies is in harmony with God’s plan. Let every such suggestion be taken to the Lord in prayer, and seek earnestly for His guidance—not only once, but again and again. Plead with Him, until you are convinced whether the counsel is of God or man. Do not trust yourself to men. Act under the divine Guide.” Fundamentals of Christian Education, 348.
- What is the main way that God can guide us? John 5:39. Why is our cooperation essential? Matthew 13:13.
Note: “Let the Word be your guide, your rule of conduct. It will teach you refined manners, godly conduct, and unerring judgment. Study the Word. When you are in perplexity, search the Word for instruction that is suited to your case. Seek the Lord for guidance. Never entertain that which the Lord forbids in His Word, and that which His Word requires, ever seek to do.” The Upward Look, 87.
“In the service of God there is no middle ground. Said Christ, ‘He that is not with me is against me’ [Matthew 12:30]. Let none expect to make a compromise with the world, and yet enjoy the blessing of the Lord. Let God’s people come out from this world, and be separate. Let us seek more earnestly to know and do the will of our Father in heaven.” The Review and Herald, June 15, 1886.
4 A GUIDE FOR LIFE
- What assurances are we given that God hears our prayers for guidance? Proverbs 3:5–8; 28:5.
Note: “We need not walk stumblingly, or in uncertainty. If we ask guidance of the Lord, the promise is, ‘Ye shall receive’ [Matthew 21:22]. The promise is yea and amen in Christ Jesus. ‘Seek and ye shall find’ [Matthew 7:7]. This is what we need to do every hour of our life; for if we seek the right way in sincerity, we shall find it. We must feel the need of help from the Lord, and seek for it in humble prayer.” The Signs of the Times, August 15, 1892.
- When we pray for guidance, what kinds of blessings can we count on receiving? Psalm 34:10; Isaiah 33:15, 16.
Note: “In God you can do valiantly. Tell it to the Lord in prayer, talk it to the Lord by the way. ‘Thee I seek; Thee I will follow; Thee I will serve. Under the shadow of Thy wings will I abide. Command me as Thou wilt; I will obey Thy voice.’ Yield always to the heavenly guidance. When trials come, possess your soul in patience. Wait on the Lord and have one purpose in view, to seek the eternal good of all those with whom you are connected, holding fast your integrity in the strength of your God.” That I May Know Him, 268.
“If we do not feel immediate answers to our prayers, we should hold fast our faith, not allowing distrust to come in, for that will separate us from God. If our faith wavers, we shall receive nothing from Him. Our confidence in God should be strong; and when we need it most, the blessing will fall upon us like a shower of rain.” Testimonies, vol. 1, 121.
- How does continual prayer for God’s leading affect our overall state of mind? Isaiah 26:3.
Note: “Those who take Christ at His word, and surrender their souls to His keeping, their lives to His ordering, will find peace and quietude. Nothing of the world can make them sad when Jesus makes them glad by His presence.” The Desire of Ages, 331.
5 CONTINUAL GUIDANCE
- When faced with perplexity, what are we ever to keep in mind? John 15:1–5.
Note: “There are many who get above the simplicity of Jesus Christ, supposing that they must do some great thing in order to work the works of God. Things of a temporal nature absorb the attention of others, and they have little time or thought for eternal realities. Wearied out with cares that draw their minds from spiritual things, they cannot find time for communion with God. Constantly they ask themselves the question, How can I find time to study and practice the Word of God? …
“Our first and highest duty is to know that we are abiding in Christ. He must do the work. We are to seek to know ‘What saith the Lord,’ yielding our lives to His guidance. When we have the Spirit of an abiding Christ, everything will take on a changed aspect. The Saviour alone can give us the rest and peace we so much need. And, in every invitation He gives us to seek the Lord that He may be found of us, He is calling us to abide in Him. This is an invitation, not merely to come to Him, but to remain in Him. It is the Spirit of God that moves us to come. When we have this rest and peace, our daily worries will not lead us to be coarse and rough and uncourteous. We shall no longer follow our own way and will. We will want to do the will of God, abiding in Christ as the branches in the vine.
“Christ declares Himself [to be] ‘the way, the truth, and the life’ (John 14:6). The way to heaven is represented as a narrow path, cast up for the ransomed of the Lord to walk in. But truth illuminates this path at every step. …
“Salvation means to us complete surrender of soul, body, and spirit. Because of the unruly elements of our nature our passions often gain the mastery. The only hope for the sinner is to cease from sin. Thus his will will be in harmony with the will of Christ. His soul will be brought into fellowship with God.” This Day with God, 140.
PERSONAL REVIEW QUESTIONS
1 What can we learn from Gideon’s attitude in prayer?
2 How must we follow the example of Manoah and his wife?
3 Why do we need to cooperate with God?
4 How can God’s promises help the moody person?
5 What are the keys to consistent guidance from God?
© 2003 Reformation Herald Publishing Association, Roanoke, Virginia. Reprinted by permission.