The Leadership of God

Exodus 13:20-21


1.      God always leads – through good times and bad times.  When we see clearly and when we do not see clearly.  When we think he is leading and when we think he is not leading.  When we know he is with us and when we do not know he is with us.  I am thankful to know of many, many faithful people in Independent Baptist Churches all over this land.  These people have stood for the things of God, even if it means standing against some of their friends, and even their own families.  They have also received the blessings and benefit of God because of their stand for righteousness.  Example: {I did not give the names of these various churches, or the membership} (1) Ray Memorial Baptist Church, Cleveland, Mississippi, Pastor T. Hill.  This church had to stand for God against a deacon who made a sexual advance at another church member, but told the church he did not have to apologize to the church because it was none of their business what he did.  The church removed the man from being deacon and is not in good close fellowship with God and one another.  (2) Elkton Baptist Church, Elkton, Kentucky, Pastor Irvin Cummins.  I preached a week long meeting in this church in 2002 and again in 2005.  The first meeting revealed some disgruntled members, who left soon after the meeting.  The second meeting revealed the church in great fellowship with God and enjoying one another greatly.  (3)  Faith Baptist Church of Lynn, Arkansas would never stand for God against any of their own family or acquaintances.  The long term result is a very slow stead decline in the number of people on the church roll, the loss of testimony in the community, the loss of several God-called preachers and pastors until now no preacher will even consider the church to pastor because they have disagreed with all of their pastors, either firing them outright or making it impossible for them to stay and pastor.  It may be difficult to obey the Lord, standing for righteousness and against our friends and family, but it is easier than seeing the church of the Lord Jesus Christ destroyed and the sheep scattered.

2.      WEST BEFORE – God always goes before us.  He never asks us to do what he will not do.  PURPOSE – To lead where God wants them (us) to go.

3.      Exodus 14:1-2 – God gives us human leadership – like he gave Moses as human leadership – but he wants all of us to follow him.  Moses instructed Israel in all that God would do, but they did not believe him, and failed to trust him at the Red Sea, choosing instead to bitterly complain and fuss at Moses.

4.      Be sure to look up – Israel could not see the cloud or the pillar of fire if they did not look up.  In Genesis 13:10 – Lot did not look up to see the leadership of the Lord, but looked up to see the well watered plains of Sodom and Gomorrah.  In Genesis 13:14, Abraham was told by God to look up and see all the land God would give him and his children after him.  It is the look of faith that pleases God, not the look by sight.  Matthew 14:25-31 – Peter got discouraged when he was looking at the storm around him when he was walking on the water.  He was very close to Christ, when he took his eyes off Christ, then Christ reached forth his hand and caught him as he was sinking in the water.

5.      The pillar of fire is the leadership of God in times of trouble, when darkness is all around us and we cannot see the path God is leading us down.  If we take our eyes off the pillar of fire (the leadership of God) to look at the bad circumstances around us, we will be like Peter, who took his eyes off Christ, and began to sink in the stormy waters. 

6.      Exodus 14:19,20 – The pillar of fire is protection from our enemies.  Our place is to always obey the clear leadership of the Lord, even when the pillar of fire moves behind us and God’s instructions are for us to continue on ahead.  We need to learn to trust Christ because he always knows best.  Matthew 4:1 – Christ was led by the Holy Spirit of God into the wilderness to be tempted of the Devil.  The leadership of God may sometimes allow us to be put into the place of temptation, but even during the temptation, we should continue to look to Christ, never to the circumstances around us.  Remember the scripture and God will bring us through all temptation, making a way for us to escape. 

7.      The light in the cloud will show us the right way.  Psalms 119:105 – The word of God is a light to our path – Jesus is the light of the world, particularly of us if we will hear him.  Proverbs 4:18 declares that the path of the just is a shining light.  This path will get brighter and brighter the more we obey and trust God, but if we do not obey God, the path will get dimmer and dimmer because we will be looking for leadership with the eye of sight, not the eye of faith.  Faith is believing the Word of God, therefore if the Word of God is not personally studied and understood, there will be no faith at all.

8.      The cloud and the pillar of fire are symbols of the promises of God.  That he will always be with us and will never leave us.  II Peter 1:4 declares these are great and precious promises, and that by living the promises of God we will be partakers of the diving nature of Christ.

9.      It is possible to know the will of God if we follow the leadership of God, but it is impossible to know the will of God if you refuse to submit yourself to his clear leadership.

a.       Mark 3:35 – Those that do the will of God is the brother, sisters and mother of Christ.

b.      I Thessalonians 4:3 – It is the will of God that we all be sanctified.

c.       I Thessalonians 5:18 – It is the will of God that we give thanks to God for everything.

d.      I Peter 2:15 – For so is the will of God, that with well doing ye may pout to silence the ignorance of foolish men.

e.       Matthew 5:43-48 – It is the will of God that we love our enemies.

f.        I Timothy 2:4 – It is the will of God that all men be saved.