<PRE>What is God's leading today?
(From a sermon of Bro. Julius Adewumi - 8/8/97)
I was reading the story of Samson and I pondered on some points. Samson went to Timnath of the Philistines. The bible said it was God who moved him to do it. This is what I want to talk about today. (Judges 14:4). I want to point out one important warning: we cannot continue to live upon old meal. Many ministers of the gospel in recent years have given out this same warning.
We cannot rely on yesterday's leading. It is very essential. We servants of God cannot rely on yesterday's leading. God can lead you one way yesterday. But this morning, don't think you have to go in the same direction, or the same strategy you were given yesterday. He may want to lead you in another direction today. We cannot rely on yesterday's leading.
A brother gave a testimony long time ago how he was converted and born again in one church. After a while in the same church the excitement was gone the word being taught was old meal to him. He has outgrown the teachers. He started wondering: "is that all there is?" While he was in that state of mind, someone gave him a literature from the end-time message ministries of certain prophetic ministry, and when this brother read it, he was excited. Before he got the literature, all around him was like routine worship without fire. When the prophetic ministry was introduced to him he was fired up again for Jesus. This is an example of why I said we cannot rely nor be complacent with old meal nor yesterday's inspiration. Because God moves on! Some believers are living in "Gilgal", going round and round in a circle, listening to the same old tape of the ministers of yester-years, not aware of what the Lord is doing today. God moves on! We have to keep our eyes open, watching the Lord.
In Judges chapter 14, it was God that led Samson the first time to go after a Philistine woman. "And Samson went down to Timnath, and saw a woman in Timnath of the daughters of the Philistines. And he came up, and told his father and his mother, and said, I have seen a woman in Timnath of the daughters of the Philistines: now therefore get her for me to wife. Then his father and his mother said unto him, Is there never a woman among the daughters of thy brethren, or among all my people, that thou goest to take a wife of the uncircumcised Philistines? And Samson said unto his father, Get her for me ; for she pleaseth me well. But his father and his mother knew not that it was of the Lord, that he sought an occasion against the Philistines: for at that time the Philistines had dominion over Israel." (Judges 14:1-4)
I underline verse 4. That was the only time the bible said it was of the Lord for Samson to go after a Philistine woman. We know that the marriage he tried to do ended up in violence and the death of the woman and her family, and Samson became an enemy of the Philistines because they killed the woman he wanted to marry. But that was the only time it was recorded that "it was of the Lord" for Samson to go after a Philistine woman. However it is very tempting for human being, after the Lord leads us one way, to try the same way presumptuously without getting new leading from the Lord. People assume it must have been God's will for them to do something the same way over and over again.
This is seen in Samson: after the first engagement was dissolved, Samson came to Philistia again and again looking for women. God has already obtained what he wanted to get by the first engagement of Samson to the Philistine woman, because he had already become an archenemy for the Philistines. Samson himself said "Now shall I be more blameless than the Philistines, though I do them a displeasure." (Judges 15:3). After the first engagement, Samson went in to an harlot in a city of the Philistines - he was invincible, no one can conquer him! But the bible did not say those subsequent steps were of the Lord. This was what caught my attention: Hey, Samson, did God give you a blanket approval to pursue Philistine women anyway? If it was of the Lord the first time, what about the second time and the third time? Were those of the Lord? The bible did not say those were of the Lord.
This is why I say we cannot continue to rest on yesterday's leading. We need fresh leading of the Lord each day. Similarly when we come to a level in our spiritual growth, the teachers who are teaching us become stale. King David even said "I have more understanding than all my teachers", "I understand more than the ancients". (Psa.119:99,100).
In the physical world, you cannot stay forever in grade school. You've got to move on to high school, and to college. The same with spiritual things. We cannot live on old meal otherwise, we won't know what God is doing in our day. That is what make the Baptists, the Methodists, the Episcopal and so on. They were still living in the old and past revival. They believe so much and no further. Another example was seen in king David which points out that we just cannot live on yesterday's leading. We must get a new leading everytime from the Lord. In 2Sam.5:19, the Philistines came against Israel, "and David inquired of the Lord saying, shall I go up to the Philistines? wilt thou deliver them into my hand? And the Lord said unto David, Go up:, for I will doubtless deliver the Philistines into thy hand".
That was the first time, and David routed them. In verse 22, The next verse was the key: David inquired of the Lord again. He did not say "we will just do as we did the last time."
"And when David enquired of the Lord, he said, Thou shalt not go up; but fetch a compass behind them, and come upon them over against the mulberry trees." (2Sam.5:23).
We have got to get the leading of the Lord every time. We cannot rest on yesterday's leading. We are fighting an enemy that could have changed his strategy, we must get the new direction from the Lord for the day. It's very important. There are some things that are basic which does not change, but there are some manouvers that will have to change with the day. Remember we are fighting a spiritual warfare. We are fighting the enemy who could regularly change his strategy. God will be ahead of the enemy, but we must listen to his leading.
I have been in a christian camp meeting and had seen believers in a frustration mood, like sheep without shepherd, visibly fed up with the spiritual meal that was being served. Famine for the word of God was visible among them. I passed by and gave a brother one of my literatures and another brother saw me and ran after me to get one of the literatures; he was ready to buy it but I was giving them out free. People are longing for strong meat of the word of God. Believers had been saved for years, they gather in a camp meeting, and they are still preached to about salvation, etc. Where is the strong meat spoken of by apostle Paul? (Heb.5:14). There is a stage when folks have to move on.
Another example is seen in Joshua. Joshua destroyed Jericho and it was done right. Now they came to another city, Ai. They said, it was a small city, all of us did not need to go. "Let's send 300,000 people to destroy Ai." So they did. But the men of Ai drove them away and killed some of the Israelites. You see, things have changed! Joshua and the people did not enquire of the Lord before they sent the soldiers against Ai. They came back, defeated and cried unto God: "why Lord?". Then the Lord told Joshua, there was sin in their camp. Each day is a different day! Things have changed without Joshua's knowledge, but God knew. We have got to get new leading each time. We cannot continue to live on old revelation; we must get new direction from the Lord each time. It is very important to keep listening unto the Lord.
One more example in the new testament. God told Paul and Barnabas to go and evangelize the gentile world. And they went from city to city. Paul came to a point, he wanted to go into one city, and the Spirit did not let them. "After they were come to Mysia, they assayed to go into Bithynia: but the Spirit suffered them not." (Acts. 16:7). The Holy Ghost already forbade them to preach in Asia. Then a vision appeared to Paul in the night; "There stood a man of Macedonia, and prayed him saying, Come over into Macedonia, and help us."
You see, God wants to lead us step by step. It is very important to get new direction each time. God may want to change the strategy because the enemy has changed his strategy. God moved Samson to go get the woman of Philistine the first time but not the second time when he went there looking for an harlot, and definitely not the third time when he went there looking for Delilah. We cannot continue to live on yesterday's leading. Let's pray that the Lord will help his body to hear him closely especially in these days.I pray that the Lord will grant to every one of us the grace to wait patiently on the Lord and to hear his leading daily in our lives, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. Amen!
Bro. Julius Adewumi.
Gospel Distribution Ministry