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Guides surround us. Some are good, others not so. God would have all of us use godly discernment as we choose which leaders best to follow.


Our daily guide

Without an experienced guide, one could get lost in the vast Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness. I and ten others spent a week there, guided by an experienced, young outdoorsman. He kept us from losing our way and we returned to camp safely.

On another trip, hiking with some friends to a northern Wisconsin waterfall, we became lost for hours. The leader hadn’t walked our trail for over 20 years. During that time, the woods had changed so much that it didn’t take long before he began to lead us in circles. His intentions were good, but he lacked the updated knowledge necessary to find the waterfall he had visited as a youngster.

We all need guidance as we mature. The trouble is, we sometimes choose the wrong guide. Today the world’s uncertainties make it easy for us to follow the wrong leader. Many so-called leaders have ulterior motives and offer tantalizing rewards. We all need godly discernment to correctly filter all the information and lies that surround us.

Jesus, the Good Shepherd, is our best guide along life’s path. “I am the good shepherd; and I know My sheep, and am known by My own. As the Father knows Me, even so I know the Father; and I lay down My life for the sheep. And other sheep I have which are not of this fold; them also I must bring, and they will hear My voice ….” (John 10:14-16).

We can become a part of His flock, but we must be able to recognize His voice and distinguish His from other voices. The only way to discern a counterfeit is to know the original personally. For instance, we may decide to follow those who focus only on God’s love and grace but not on those who teach about His holiness and justice. Or we may listen to a guide who tells us that eternal life with God is received by our good works alone. Still another may be those who promise there are many ways to receive God and He would not send anyone to Hell. Many other counterfeit, spiritual guides exist. Some may be hard to avoid. God, however, will guide us through His powerful, trustworthy Word. When we meditate on it daily, we can’t help but recognize His voice as the one to follow. As His “sheep,” we are promised His righteousness, peace, and joy, among many other blessings.

Lord, thank You for being our Good Shepherd who guides us. Help us focus on You and Your Word so we can hear Your voice above all others. In Jesus’ name, amen.

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