You guide me with your counsel, leading me to a glorious destiny.Psalm 73:24 (NLT)
Sometimes when I pray, I expect God to fix the mess that I’ve created for myself, or someone else’s actions have created for me. If He would just wave His mighty hand, work a miracle or two, everything would return to normal, or better. He’s God, after all. Miracles are kinda His thing. So, why then does it seem that most prayers aren’t resolved through a miraculous, God-sized feat? It’s actually a simple answer: He wants to use us.
In our lives, we actually have a part to play. I know, shocking! But, we often don’t sit back and ponder that thought. Though God created each one of us, we are still our own person. We make our own choices, and we experience the consequences of those choices. So, the majority of the time, God doesn’t wave His hand, He whispers in our ear to help us in those life choices. No, He doesn’t necessarily whisper literally – though it happens. Instead, God speaks to us through a thought, a voice, through others, a conviction that we can’t shake. He provides us with Godly input on the course that we should take in life. But, He doesn’t ever force us to follow His advice.
As our verse today states, “You guide me with your counsel.” This is how God leads each one of us. He looks at our state, our position at that moment in time, and He even looks to the future to determine the best course. He then gives us counsel, advice, with turn-by-turn directions. However, He never forces us to make the turns He suggests. We must choose to follow His guidance.
The enemy, Satan, is also speaking turn-by-turn directions to us. However, His suggestions are obviously not Godly. They are an attempt to lead us to destruction, not “a glorious destiny” as the Psalmist states.
So, how do we discern which voice is which? Test the directions. God’s directions will never contradict His word, the Bible. God’s directions will never be manipulative (He doesn’t guilt-trip us into doing something). God’s directions are always for our good, or the good of others. God’s directions don’t shame us for past failures. God’s directions are not devious. God’s directions give us peace as we follow. Satan’s? They are the opposite of these criteria.