The believer who inquire from the Lord enjoys the benefit of being guided by God.
Text: 1 Samuel 23:1-12, 30:7-8; Numbers 27:1-7; Joshua 9:3-15
Anyone living in this world is confronted daily with the issues of life. Some of these issues may be normal experiences of human beings while some occur suddenly or unexpectedly.
Whether usual or unusual, many of these issues of life require decisions, actions to be taken and choices to be made. It is at such moments that the limitation of man’s knowledge becomes evident. Certainly, the knowledge of man is grossly limited concerning the past, present and future of both himself and the situations around him.
The objectives of this study are:
- Knowing what it means to inquire from the Lord.
- Understanding how to inquire from the Lord.
- Appreciating the importance of inquiring from the Lord.
- Recognizing some of the situations when we need to inquire from the Lord.
Q1. WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO INQUIRE FROM THE LORD? Numbers 27:5
The word ‘inquire’ as defined in the Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English means “to ask someone for information”. On arriving to a city, a traveler may inquire or seek information from people in regards as to how he can get to his desired destination. A student in a class may seek to know from his teacher the proper books he may need so as to excel in his study. These examples appear simple and ready answers are available. However, there are issues of life for which answers may not be readily available. Also, in some of such situations answers based on man’s knowledge become inadequate and at times complicate matters when followed.
The believer is therefore expected to cultivate the habit of inquiring from the Lord in all situations of life, inclusive of matters we consider simple or complex as human beings. It is good for us to know His mind and follow it. In Numbers 27:1-7, Moses was confronted with a situation in regards to the inheritance of Zelophehad. Zelophehad died without a son but he had
daughters. The daughters came to Moses to ask that the inheritance of their father be passed to them. This looked
like a difficult request because by the law the inheritance was meant for sons. The Scripture says, “and Moses brought their cause before the Lord”, Numbers 27:5. Moses went to inquire of the Lord on what to do. The Lord gave him an answer. “The daughters of Zelophehad speak right: thou shalt surely give them a possession of an inheritance among their father’s brethren; and thou shalt cause the inheritance of their father to pass unto them”, Numbers 27:7.
Therefore, to inquire from the Lord means asking the Lord for direction on what to do in a particular situation. It involves seeking information from Him concerning a particular situation. It also implies seeking His counsel on a particular matter. Thus, the purpose of inquiring from the Lord is to receive guidance in regards to what to do in any situation.
Q2. How do we inquire form the Lord?
Some of the ways we may inquire from the Lord include:
- Studying HIS word, the Holy Bible. God’s mind is revealed in HIS word, the Holy Bible. In 2 Timothy 3:16-17, we read ‘All scripture is given by inspiration ofgod, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness; that the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works”. As we search the scriptures, we will find guidance on matters relating to general issues of life and our Christian practice. It is not just enough to read the Bible; obedience must accompany the reading of scripture. It is those who read, study and obey that are blessed of the Lord and usually guided by HIM.
- Communion with GOD in prayers: Prayer is meant to be atwo-way communication between GOD and the believer. In prayer we speak to GOD and HE speaks to us. Therefore, we can receive direction from Him when we sincerely open our hearts to HIM in prayer.
- Being Sensitive to the Holy Ghost. The HOLY SPIRIT promised by the LORD resides today in the believer and in HIS church. A major benefit of the presence of the HOLY GHOST with us is that HE will teach and guide us into all truth and will bring to our remembrance all that the LORD said, John 14:26; 15:26. The believertherefore is encouraged to be sensitive to the promptings of the HOLY SPIRIT. As we depend on HIM and inquire from HIM concerning the issues of life, HE will tell us what to do and work out, perfect, God’s will in our lives.
- Attending Christian meetings (fellowships). The meetings, or fellowship, being prescribed or referred toere are not the common “ego-boosting” gatherings today in which leaders promote themselves and their families. The meetings being referred to are those ones in which God’s name and presence are held in reverence and the HOLY GHOST has the preeminence. In such meetings it is possible for the individual to hear a message from the LORD through the preaching or through the exercise of the gifts of the HOLY GHOST such as prophecy, word of wisdom, word of knowledge, discerning of spirits, etc., 1 Corinthians 12:7-11. This ought to be normal or common occurrences in Christian meetings.
- Seeking Counsel from Christian Leaders or Brethren: The assumption here is that the person being approached for counsel knows and lives by the word ofGod; but Divine guidance is necessary. Experienced believers may be able to give counsels that are in line with the word of GOD to others and by so doing guide people in the way and will of the LORD. However, the problem is that many who claim to be leaders today are ignorant of GOD’s word and rely more on “sense and knowledge” than on revelation form GOD’s word. It is inappropriate to receive counsel from such persons. The LORD says in HIS word that if the blind lead the blind, both of them will fall into a ditch, Matthew 15:14.
Q3. Why is it important for the believer to inquire from the Lord?
When an individual becomes a Christian, his life is totally surrendered to the LORD JESUS. The implication is that he makes CHRIST his example as he lives in this world. Truly we become sons of the FATHER and equally true also is the fact that we become slaves of the MASTER. As sons we have access to the FATHER an as slaves we yield our will to HIS own. Therefore, it becomes important that we inquire from HIM as we make choices, decisions and embark on actions in this life. Our aims, desires, aspirations, etc., should not be seen to be conflicting with HIS own. When we inquire from Him, such conflicts will be avoided. Also, GOD has HIS plans and purpose for all HIS children. When we inquire from HIM and follow HIS directions we will be fitting perfectly into HIS plans and purposes for us. Apart from individuals, it is also important that groups, fellowships, denominations should inquire from the Lord concerning programs, projects, etc., they wish to embark on. If this is sincerely done, we may witness less of the ‘empire building’ tendencies prevalent today in Christian denominations and circles and more of GOD’s power and revelation in our meetings.
Q4. Examples of situations when we need to inquire from the Lord?
It is good for a believer to cultivate the habit of inquiring form the Lord in his day to day activities. Some of the situations we need to ask GOD for direction by inquiring from HIM include:
- Choice of Life Partner. The decision of who to marry and spend the remaining part of one’s life on earth with is an important decision which requires ‘forethought’. The believer therefore must seek GOD’s counsel and guidance in reaching this decision.
- Choice of Career, Job, Business, Vocation. The natural tendency of human beings is to go into careers, jobs, businesses, etc., which they perceive as lucrative. Some believers, who followed this natural tendency in making their decisions on choice of careers, job, business, etc., regretted their decisions latter. It is therefore wise as a disciple of CHRIST to seek HIS guidance before entering into any vocation, career, business or job. When you do this, GOD will be with you and HE will ensure victory and success in your labors.
- When threatened by the enemy. It is clear that the enemy the believer has is Satan who uses various means including human agents in his activities against the believer. The fact of scripture is that the believer is a potential victor in CHRIST in over the devil. It is however necessary to inquire from the LORD when faced with the enemy’s threat so as to know the specific steps/ directions to follow to appropriate the victory we already have in CHRIST.
- Choice of Christian Leaders: It is important to inquire from the LORD when choosing Christian leaders. This was the practice in the Bible. Christian groups, denominations, fellowships, etc., should prayerfully select their leaders following GOD’s prescription in HIS word. It ought to be stated and sounded clearly that in our dispensation, leadership in GOD’s assembly is not based on family inheritance or lineage. This is what obtained the New Testament church.
- Other situations: The Sunday school class should further discuss the necessity of inquiring from the LORD in regards to purchase of land, where to live or settle, choice of business partner, number of children to have in a marriage, etc.
Proverbs 3:5-6 – “Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct thy paths”.