1 Kings 12-13, Discerning Your Next Steps

1 Kings 12-13, Discerning Your Next Steps
1. Seek Wise And Godly Counsel For Direction (1 Kings 12:1-28)
2. Receive Prophetic Direction From Others (1 Kings 12:21-24)
3. Receive Direction From God Personally (1 Kings 13:1-10)
4. Require Similar Revelation Before Changing Direction (1 Kings 13:11-26)

Pastor Jerry Simmons teaching 1 Kings 12-13, Discerning Your Next Steps

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Jerry Simmons shared this Verse By Verse Bible study from 1kings on Monday, November 29, 2021.

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Well as we dive into First Kings Chapter 12 and 13, we're jumping into the nation of Israel in a time where there is unprecedented things taking place the nation up to this point has been led by a singular king.

Started with King Saul.

Then LED into King David.

Then the Kingdom was passed onto Solomon, the son of David.

And so for the 1st 3 kings of the nation, there was a unified and solid nation.

Under these 3 Kings, now of course, before that there was other things.

The times of judges, the leading of Joshua.

The leading of Moses different things, but for the past 120 years the nation of Israel has experienced a stability of 1 King, one leader over the whole nation, either under Saul or David or Solomon.

But now as Solomon has died and now that Kingdom has been handed off to his son Rehoboam.

There is going to be a dramatic change and it's going to be a new season for things that they have never experienced before.

The Nation of Israel is about to be split into two nations.

There's not exactly going to be a civil war, but there is going to be a definite division, and so the northern tribes refer to as the 10 tribes.

They will hold on to the name Israel and be their own nation with their own king, and then the Southern tribes referred to as the tribes of Judah.

They will hold on to their own national identity under a King King Rehoboam and will retain the name Judah, and so now from this point forward in the history of Israel.

There's going to be 2 Kingdom.

Israel and Judah, the northern Kingdom and the southern Kingdom, and so they're entering new territory now where they're they're facing things they've never faced before.

They don't really know how to navigate these seas.

Rehoboam asking for the first time he's challenged right off the bat.

And what is going to take place?

What is going to happen I?

I was reading through this this week and considering how it relates to us in unprecedented times, right?

There's so many things about today and the the society that we live in, the things that are happening around us that there's not a direct pattern.

We're not like in the middle of the 120 years of a singular king of Israel, where it was, you know, you could kind of expect the next generation could expect to the things that the previous generation experience and there was a a couple generations that got to experience that kind of stability until now. And for us as a nation. Of course there is.

Always change happening.

There's things going on, but as we've often been saying over the past couple years like we never experienced this kind of thing before, it's new territory.

New ground for us, and so there's a lot for us to work through and relate to as we consider these chapters this morning.

And so I've titled them.

Message as we face unprecedented times as we consider these things, I've titled the message this morning.

Discerning your next steps.

Discerning your next.

Steps as we look at how these guys navigated their situations and their unprecedented events, and tried to figure out what path they were to take going forward.

We get to learn some lessons and make some observations about our own hearts and about what God wants for us and how he wants to direct us.

In times and seasons like.

This, and so there's four things we look at as we consider their example four points to help us discern what God wants us to do next.

The next steps that he wants us to take the first point, we'll look at, it's here in First Kings Chapter 12 and versus one through 28. Now we're not going to read and cover all of those verses.

But you can look at those generally kind of encapsulating the different points and passages that will consider here in this point.

Here's point number one seek wise and godly counsel for direction seek wise and godly counsel.

For direction now in the first few verses here at First Kings Chapter 12 Rehoboam is just taken the throne.

He has met with all of Israel at this place called Shechem a few miles north of Jerusalem, and at this meeting this kind of a coronation ceremony.

The children of Israel and specifically.

The northern Kingdom comes and talks to rehab him and begs for some relief from the taxes that Solomon had laid on them.

And so Rehoboam, here's the request he receives it, and he says, you know, give me a couple days to think about this, to figure out what my answer will be to this request.

This relief of taxes that you're asking for, and so we pick up in verse 6 where Rehoboam goes with this and let's read verse.

Six through 10 here at First Kings 12 it says then Rehoboam consulted the elders who stood before his father Solomon while he still lived.

And he said, how do you advise me to answer these people?

And they spoke to him, saying, if you will be a servant to these people today, and serve them, and answer them, and speak good words to them, then they will be your servants forever.

But he rejected the advice which the elders had given him and consulted the young men who had grown up with him who stood before him.

And he said to them, what advice do you give?

How should we answer this?

People who have spoken to me, saying lighten the yoke which your father put on us.

Then the young men who had grown up with him spoke to him, saying thus, you should speak to this people who have spoken to you, saying your father made our yolk heavy.

But you make it lighter on us, thus you shall say to them.

My little finger shall be thicker than my father's waist.

Here's Rehoboam gets a couple days to consider this request.

He uses those days to seek out counsel.

To seek some advice to get some words of wisdom from people around him.

And Rehoboam seeks counsel from two groups.

And as you can see from the text, it was one group too many, right?

He seeks counsel from first of all, a group of elders who served his father Solomon.

But then he seeks a group that is his.

Acquaintances or peers, his friends that had grown up with him, and that had known him that the young men who had been with him while he was growing up in the palace.

And so, as he seeks counsel, of course, we can look at this and consider the wisdom of seeking council and how that is good.

But also we see some.

Foolishness and the way that he's receiving counsel.

And so I've decided to put together some Council for receiving counsel.

And so here's three things that will consider my council for receiving council on how to receive counsel.

That the first thing that I would encourage us in is we consider this.

That we need to.

To choose our counselors carefully.

The first group of counselors that he refers to inverse in six and seven is the elders who stood before his father Solomon.

Now that's something interesting to consider.

The wisest man, whoever lived apart from Jesus, the wisest man.

Whoever lived Solomon had a group of counselors.

In one way you could say why would Solomon ever need counselors?

He was already the wisest person, whoever lived, but also you can take note the wisest person who ever lived was why?

Why is enough to have around him?

People who would give counsel and be able to advise him on courses and matters and directions?

And give insights into situations as they unfolded and so here we see first of all, Rehoboam goes to these elders and says, what do you guys think about this situation?

And they gave him good counsel.

They advised to listen to the people.

Give them relief.

It would make sense.

There's a lot of you know things that we could talk about in relation to this that.

Rehoboam was not Solomon, right?

So for him to just carry on the same taxation and same mode of things as his father had done.

Would it really make sense that Solomon built the temple and had you know all of these things happening in his life and the people were brought onto that vision, but that vision is completed now and fulfilled it, say.

New season and new phase in their Kingdom.

And so it would make sense for Rehoboam to change the taxes and to not burden the nation so severely as Solomon did.

And so the elders said, look, we can live off much less than what's coming in.

That's not a problem.

We're not, you know, damaging ourselves or putting ourselves in jeopardy.

We should listen to them.

We should respond favorably to this request, and it would build a bridge.

It would make a really solid relationship for our nation.

Would be a really good thing now as you.

Imagine all the you know ways that that would be fulfilled and carried out.

You could imagine and understand this was some good counsel, and so he made a wise choice to seek out the elders.

Of Israel, the advisors to Solomon.

But then inverse eat, it tells us that he rejected the advice.

Which the elders had given him, and so this gives me my second.

Tip for receiving council.

That is, to determine to listen before you ask.

Determined to listen.

If you're going to go seek out counsel, you first of all.

Be careful who you choose.

Choose wise counselors.

And when you choose wise counselors, then be determined ahead of time.

That you will hear and heed the counsel.

That is given.

We can see that ribbon.

He was not determined to listen to these guys.

He's about to go ask the younger guys what they think, right?

But before he hears what the younger guys say, he's already decided.

I don't want to.

Listen to that he hasn't heard a better option yet, but he's already decided.

I don't know what I want to do, but I know that's not what I want to do, right like.

He is determined ahead of time.

He's not going to be.

He's not going to listen.

He wasn't really seeking their advice so that he could heat it so that he could listen to it.

He was seeking their advice so that if it resonated with him, or if he liked it if he agreed with it, well, then he would follow through.

But there's a there's a fault there in approaching council in that way.

If we're just asking advice.

From those who will confirm what we already want or think.

We're already asking council the wrong way.

We're already going about this the the with the the wrong intent and the wrong approach.

Rebone had already made up his mind.

And so I would encourage you.

Don't ask counsel from people if you're not going.

To follow it.

Now, maybe there's a little bit of a caution flags going up in your head right now.

Because, well, how can I know if I should follow it?

How do I know if it's good counsel if I haven't heard it yet?

I mean, I gotta ask for the Council to hear it and that way I can evaluate it.

If it's bad council, like, yeah, I don't want to be committed to doing that, right?

And we can wrestle with that in our minds.

How can I know if it will be good counsel?

Here's what I would.

Say if you don't already trust.

The people to give you good counsel then don't ask them for council like like.

That go back.

To .1 and make sure that you choose your counselors carefully.

So that when you come to them and deliver a situation layout, yeah, something that you're wrestling with some decision you have to make and some things that you're considering along the way that that you already have a trust in them that you can trust them to provide for you.

Insights that are worth considering and worth taking heed to.

And if you don't know if you don't trust.

People in that.

Way then don't.

Seek them for council.

Don't listen to them in that way.

Don't come to them for that kind of direction.

We until you've established that relationship and and to to know that you can trust them and then.

You can in the future lay out those requests and seek counsel.

In that way.

But Rehoboam rejected the advice.

He didn't have that intent.

He didn't have that mindset.

He wasn't trying to really find the best course.

He was trying to find support for the course he wanted to take, and so that gives us the third thing to consider.

Third tip.

For receiving counsel, don't shop for different council.

Verse 8 tells us he rejected the advice which the elders had given him.

But he didn't just reject the advice he went and found new advice.

Conversate also goes on to say he consulted the young men who had grown up with him who stood before him.

Don't shop for different council.

Similar 2.2 right if if you receive counsel and you don't like it.

Then don't.

Try to go find someone who will tell you council that you will like.

No, and said go back back back all the way to the top, OK?

Make sure you've chosen your counselors wisely.

Who is it that is authorized to advise you and to really speak into your life and to give you guidance and counsel and the things that you face?

If you're not willing to be.

Open to the correction and teaching that they want to provide you as you seek counsel with them.

Then don't seek them for council.

Don't go and seek for that advice, but but if you do go, then listen to them.

Don't take it and say I don't like that I want to go find a different type of council, a different message, a different.

Direction that I can agree with.

Now I think as Christians we would.

Wrestle with this a bit.

Because we know there's a scripture somewhere that talks about the multitude of counsel, right?

We need a multitude of counsel, so we should be shopping around for Council.

We might tell ourselves.

Well, I I would ask you to consider that those passages a little bit more closely.

First of all, these are from the the books of or the.

Book of proverbs.

Proverbs 11 proverbs 24.

Where there is no Council, the people fall, but in a multitude of counselors there is safety.

Proverbs 24, six for by Wise counsel you a wage, your own war, and in a multitude of counselors there is safety.

The multitude there is referring to the counselors, not to the opinions.

OK, so the idea here is not get a multitude of opinions about a single situation.

No, the idea here is surround yourself with a multitude of people who are wise and can provide you counsel for the situations that you face.

It's not get, you know everybody opinion or get you know from all these different people that the Council that you need.

But but the idea is surround yourself.

Fill your life.

Going back to .1.

Choosing your counselors carefully fill your life with people that you have carefully chosen to speak into your life that you don't just allow anybody that you don't even just allow your friends to speak into your life, but but that you have your counts.

Rulers who who you can trust that you can know that they will give you good guidance and you're not shopping around and trying to find asking everybody.

What do you think?

What do you think?

What do you think what do?

You think here's what I think.

Here's what.

I think here's what I think that that that's not what we're to be doing, but.

But instead we have around us.

And I'm not saying that there's never a case you know, for us to get a second opinion or anything like that, but but I think these things kind of reveal the condition of our heart that we're not necessarily seeking counsel genuinely many times.

But we're just seeking for someone to confirm what it is that we like, what it is that we want.

The scriptures is not.

Saying get guidance from everybody you.

Can the Scriptures are encouraging us?

To have people in our lives.

That we can trust and get guidance from to listen to.

Take heed to and be submitted to.

Pastor David Guzik puts it this way.

There's a common phenomenon today.

He says what some call advice shopping.

The idea is that you keep asking different people for advice until you find someone who will tell you what you want to hear.

This is an unwise and ungodly way.

To get council.

It is better to have a fruit, a few trusted counselors.

You will listen to you even when they tell you what you don't want to hear.

This is what we need more than a multitude of counsel.

We need those counselors in our lives.

That will tell us the truth and give us godly advice, even when it's different than what.

We want to hear.

Who will instruct us and point us back to the things of God even when our hearts are string and and that's the point, is that we need those kinds of restraints.

Those kinds of people in our lives who will help keep.

US on course.

Because our hearts are prone to wander.

And so rehab on.

Was shopping around for council.

He wanted something different and so he turned to.

The young men that grew up with him.

And I would encourage you to.

Consider that a little bit.

Choosing your counselors carefully.

He consulted with the young men who had grown up with him who stood before him.

There's a very good chance.

That your friends.

Are not providing the best council.

The people you grew up with.

Friends and family perhaps?

These are people that we know people that we love and people that we trust.

But we need to be careful because there is built into that a bias.

There's built into that, uh, a mindset that is from the same perspective.

And if we don't seek counsel outside of our immediate circle, we can easily fall into this trap just like Rehoboam did.

Please understand please.

Wrestle with this a little bit, your friends.

I'm going to say it this.

Way are probably not giving you good counsel.

It happens all the time.

I hear it.

In the workplace.

I hear it in family gatherings.

It's a common thing for us because, well, we have a bias because of our relationship with one another.

And so when so and so comes talking about with this other so and so did to them.

And we have guidance.

You know, it's from a particular perspective.

Because we're.

Protecting our friend, that one that we love we we are not going to see the whole picture clearly.

Even if we have the best intentions, listen if I'm your friend.

And you come to me for council.

I I can confidently say at this moment.

I won't deliberately deliberately give you bad council.

I wouldn't do it on purpose.

But I can also say I might give you bad council if I'm your friend.

I I'm not always going to.

Take in the perspective of God on a situation I might be clouded by my emotions.

Because I'm emotionally invested, I'm invested in a way that distorts my perspective.

And sometimes our friends give us the worst council.

I mean you don't have to go far.

We're going to hit it next year and it's always a little bit challenging, but it's really an important exercise for us next year in the Bible.

In three years, we'll be working our.

Way through one of the books of the Bible is.

Anybody know where I'm?

Going yet, the book of job.

And listen, I've heard job friends at living water.

Telling people you must be insane because this happened in your life.

Echoing the Council echoing the words of jobs, friends, listen, there's a lot of bad council that our friends give us.

Not all of it, and that's not saying.

Never listen to your friends, but.

But be careful that we don't.

Reduce our counselors to just those who we've known and grown up with, and have been good friends with.

Their perspective is always going to be limited and different.

They will be invested emotionally differently.

Than an elder who will be able to have the overview and have God perspective on a situation.

It takes some discipline to have God perspective on a situation and not every friend is able to do that to to seek the Lord and to take the overall perspective and not just be governed by the emotions in the midst of it.

And so choose your counselors carefully.

We can see that point reiterated a little bit later on in First Kings Chapter 12.

Where Jereb on seeks advice Jeroboam he's now the King of Israel.

So Rehoboam the son of Solomon.

He takes over the southern Kingdom.

Judah jeroboam.

Who is not related, but the Lord had told him that he would be the king of these tribes, that separated and so now it is fulfilled.

Here in Chapter 12 he is the king.

But now he's concerned the nations have split.

And he's concerned that, well, people are going to go back to Jerusalem, which is in the southern Kingdom, and it's going to cause some issues with his rain, and so he decides.

You know what?

I think I need to set up a new system of worship so that people stay here in my Kingdom rather than going back down to the southern Kingdom to worship.

And so it tells us in First Kings chapter 12.

Therefore the King asked advice, made two calves of gold, and said to the people, it is too much for you to go up to Jerusalem.

Here are your gods of Israel, which brought you up from the land of Egypt.

And I don't have a lot to say on this verse other than to say they're in the first part.

It says the king asked advice.

And after asking advice after seeking council, then he made two idols and called people to worship in idolatry rather than continuing to worship the true and living God at Jerusalem.

And it reiterates the point.

Choose or counselors carefully, because some people will counsel you and advise you.

Into idolatry, and we'll keep you bound in something that is not of God, not from God.

And this is the point that we need to understand.

Just because we've sought counsel doesn't mean we have the best answer.

Hopefully, if you've chosen carefully your counselors, then you've sought counsel and you have good insights that you're able to implement in your life.

But at the same time, we need to.

Be careful that we don't just blindly accept the Council that is given counsel is just Council.

It's not a guaranteed blessing from God.

Pastor Warren Wiersbe puts it this way.

There's safety in a multitude of counselors, provided they're walking in the Lord, but there's no certainty that you have the will of God.

Just because a committee approved it, let's say you put together the best counselors the world has ever seen.

And maybe even Solomon is on the panel and you bring your situation to them and they weigh in and give you their council.

That is something to consider seriously.

You way that Council and you you listen to it, you take heed to it.

But with the understanding that doesn't necessarily reveal the will of God.

The best council in the world does not necessarily reveal the will of God unless there's a prophetic element to it and there is, you know, someone who is prompted by the Lord and the Lord speaks through the counselors that that's a little bit different scenario.

We'll talk about that in a second, but.

But generally speaking, people who are offering their opinions, their advice, their council direction on things as they see it, that's really good and we need to listen to that.

But with the understanding that that doesn't necessarily reveal the will of God, just because a committee approves it, everybody agrees this is the best course.

Doesn't mean that's the course that God wants for us, and so we need to seek wise and godly counsel.

Ultimately understanding.

It's just council.

Until the Lord speaks, and so that gives us point #2 this morning back to our main message and that is discerning your next steps.

First of all, we need to seek wise and godly counsel for direction.

Secondly, we need to receive prophetic direction from others.

Check out.

Verses 21 through 24 it's.

As and when Rehoboam came to Jerusalem, he assembled all the House of Judah with the tribe of Benjamin 180,000 chosen men.

Who were warriors?

To fight against the House of Israel so that he might restore the Kingdom to Rehoboam, the son of Solomon.

But the word of God came to Shemya, the man of God, saying.

Speak to rehab and the son of Solomon, King of Judah.

To all the House of Judah and Benjamin, and to the rest of the people, saying thus says the Lord, you shall not go up, nor fight against your brethren.

The children of Israel, that every man returned to his house, for this thing is from me.

Therefore they obeyed the word of the Lord, and turned back according to the word of the Lord.

Considering the Council of people in point number one.

We need to understand it's just council, but.

If God speaks.

And this is one of the things that makes it a little bit of a challenge for us sometimes, but.

God does speak to you through other people.

God does speak prophetically.

The idea of speaking prophetically is someone speaking on behalf of God.

They are directly retelling what God has given them to say.

And sometimes.

Speaking prophetically involves the future because, well, God knows the future.

He's able to declare the future and so.

In times past, you can see throughout the scriptures.

He chose to speak about the future through these profits.

It wasn't any in them to know the future, but it was because God was speaking to them.

They were able to bring forth the message from God and many times it included those future elements.

But to speak on behalf of God does not have to be limited to the future.

Sometimes speaking, on behalf of God is instruction.

Here's what God says.

Here's what God wants you to do.

Here's the course to take, sometimes speaking, on behalf of God is encouragement.

You can do this, and God is with you, and he's going to enable you to overcome.

And to help you, he's going to, you know, and the that exhortation that encouragement.

To to be strengthen your faith and trust in God.

Sometimes speaking on behalf of God is going to be all about comfort because he is the God of all comfort.

Who's able to comfort us through others who have undergone other things and and God is able to bring forth comfort through other.

People in our lives.

And so prophecy can be any of these things.

All of these things, it is a mixture of anything that God wants to say through somebody else.

Paul tells us in First Corinthians chapter 14 to pursue love and desire spiritual gifts, but especially that you may prophesize

Paul says, look, I expect this type of ministry to continue.

Prophecy is going to happen in your gatherings as you meet together with God, people and and not only is it going to happen, but he says you should seek it.

You should desire spiritual gifts and desire to prophesied to receive from the Lord something he wants to say to somebody else.

Around you.

And it's part of our love for one another because I love you.

I'm seeking God.

I'm asking God I'm begging God God please allow me to help influence.

Their lives in a.

Way that honors you and glorifies you.

God because I love them.

Please give me words of comfort God because I love them.

Please give me words of exhortation and instruction.

Lord because I love them.

I want to be used by you to make an impact in their lives and so this is what the idea that Paul is.

Expressing here pursue, love and desire spiritual gifts, especially that you may prophecy.

And then he summarizes prophecy.

In verse three, he prophesize, speaks edification and exhortation and comfort to men.

Now the contrast here is speaking in tongues which he is going to be addressing, as this is primarily edifying yourself.

It's a spiritual gift.

It's important it's good.

It's primarily personal prophecy.

By its nature is not primarily person.

No, it's primarily relational, and it's about our relationships with each other as the body of Christ and when we prophesied when God uses us in this way.

There's edification, there's the building up, it's it's strengthening its shaping.

It's helping it's exhortation again.

It's that and encouragement that lifting up its comfort.

It's it's that healing and that.

Soothing of those hurts and pains that we experience in this life.

God uses people in our lives for these purposes.

He speaks prophetically through others around us to edify us, to exhort us.

And to comfort us.

And so again, the point to consider this morning is that we need to be open to receiving.

Prophetic direction from others.

Now Rehoboam sought counsel.

He said I don't like that council.

He sought counsel again from his friends.

They gave him really bad council. He followed it. It split the Kingdom. He's upset. Now he goes home and he builds an army in verse 21 it talks about 180,000 chosen men who were warriors.

So the Kingdom is split.

There wasn't a civil war, but Rehoboam is about to start one.

He's going to go to battle to try to force those northern tribes to be submitted to his Kingdom and his reign.

But God intervenes in verse 22 the word of God came to Shemya. Notice it's the word of God.

It's a prophecy because God spoke to Shemya a message for ribbon.

Here's the message.

Don't go to battle.

Don't go fight against your brethren.

Everybody go home.

And what's remarkable about this, I think, is in verse 24. Therefore they obeyed the Lord and turn back according to the word of the Lord.

Although we could faults ribbon for his actions and decisions up to this point.

Here we find something interesting.

He listens.

As the word of God comes forth.

I mean, try to.

Picture the scenario a little bit.

At first everybody gathered in the earlier versus.

Requiring or asking for a relief in their taxes.

He says, no.

I'm going to be hard and firm and my little finger is going to be thicker than my dad waste 'cause that's what the young guys advised him to say and he likes.

It resonated with him, and so he's like I'm going to be bold.

This is my first act as king, and here I am, decreeing it and everybody going to be impressed at my boldness.

But instead the Kingdom is split, he goes home and he builds an army.

Now this doesn't happen in 5 minutes.

This doesn't happen in a couple hours.

How long does it take to?

Gather 180.

1000 people for battle.

There's some time.

And people are gathering and now Rehoboam has this army behind him.

And he's ready to go.

He's ready to March into battle.

I mean, he is fully committed to this course.

Until this one guy shows up.

And he says God spoke to me.

Don't go to battle.

Don't go to battle and Rehoboam at this point receives.

That prophetic direction, I mean, that is impressive.

That is impressive.

How many times do we make a decision?

And even if we know afterwards it was a bad decision, we are determined to.

Carry on the core.

Chris to not look so bad about the decision that we made to try to protect you know our reputation in that decision we made and.

Try to insist.

So we're right, even though we know it's a bad decision.

But but we try to persist in that course no matter what.

But here Rehoboam was, willing to listen.

When the prophet of the Lord came and said, here's what God says.

Don't go to battle.

He listened, I mean, how hard was it? It was much harder to dismiss those 180,000 men than to gather them. Don't you think, right, like?

He's admitting faults here, right?

He's submitting to God.

This is really difficult, but really good.

Really impressive that Rehoboam would listen at this point.

Good example for us even when you want to be entrenched in your decision and stuck in your ways.

When God says something different, receipt.

In it.

Let God talk you out of those things that you're so firmly committed to.

When God says something different, receive prophetic direction from others.

Now that doesn't mean blindly receive it, just like the Council.

In first Corinthians chapter 14, where I quoted from earlier about desiring spiritual gifts, especially that you would prophesy.

Paul goes on in the chapter in verse 29 at 1st Corinthians 14.

To say.

Let two or three prophets speak and let the others judge.

That is, let the others discern.

Let the others evaluate the prophecy that is given that there is the need for us.

The room for us to evaluate.

When someone says here's what the Lord spoke to me for you.

We need to receive that we need to be willing to receive that even if we've got 180,000 people behind us on the course that we're on, we need to.

Be willing to.

Receive that, but at the same time.

With the understanding.

There is room for evaluation and for discernment in receiving that.

What is the criteria by which we discern by which we evaluate?

Of course.

It is.

The word of God.

Is how we judge.

Whether or not.

A word is from the Lord.

It's how we discern it's how we understand Isaiah.

In addressing the nation dealing with false prophets, he says when they say to you, seek those who are mediums and Wizards.

Who whisper and mutter.

Should not have people seek their God should they seek the dead on behalf.

Of the living he.

Say look people are going to be encouraging you and counseling you to see.

Ideas and seek direction and all kinds of ways, even reaching out to those who have already gone into the next life.

But he goes on to verse 20 to say to the law and to the testimony if they do not speak according to this word, it is.

Because there is no light in them.

Go back to the word of God.

Check the prophecy by the word of God, God, not going to contradict himself.

He's not going to speak something different.

He's not going to call you to sin.

He's not going to call you.

To a life that is opposed.

To the things that he has already revealed.

And so receive prophetic direction from others.

Check it, but be willing to receive it and and checking it against the word of God is not the major point here.

The major point is, even if you've got 180,000 people behind you and you are fully entrenched in this course.

If God says something different, have a heart that says God, look. I've got $180,000 invested in this let's say right, but if you say.

Something different, I'll let it all go.

Like we need to be willing to receive.

Direction from God in that way, and God will speak to us many times.

Through people around us through the people he's placed in our lives.

While continuing on the Third Point, we're gonna move now into Chapter 13.

.1 comes from versus one through 10. Again, we're not going to cover all of these verses, but just hitting some of the highlights here.

First Kings chapter 13. Let's read verses one through 5. It says MB.

A man of God went from Judah to.

Bethel by the word of the Lord.

And Jeroboam stood by the altar to burn incense.

Then he cried out against the altar by the word of the Lord, and said, oh, alter, alter thus says the Lord.

Behold a child.

Josiah, by name shall be born to the House of David, and I knew he shall sacrifice the priests of the high places who burn incense on you.

And men bones shall be burned on you.

And he gave us signed the same day saying this is the sign which the.

Lord has spoken.

Surely the altars shall split apart.

And the ashes on.

It shall be poured out.

So it came to pass when King Jeroboam heard the saying of.

The man of.

God, who cried out against the altar in Bethel that he stretched out his hand from the altar, saying, arrest him.

Then his hand which he stretched.

Out toward him withered.

So that he could not pull it back to himself.

The altar also was split apart and the ashes poured out from the altar.

According to the sign which the Man of God had given by the word.

Of the Lord.

Here in Chapter 13, the Kingdom is split, Jeroboam has set up his new false religion with the two idols at the northern and southern tips of the Kingdom.

And God stirs up a profit.

And anonymous man of God.

We don't know his name.

We don't know much about him other than.

What is recorded here?

But he sends him with a message.

It says because you've turned away.

This is going to be destroyed now.

This man of God heard from God directly.

And again, as we consider the idea of discerning.

The steps that God wants us to take the next steps that he has for us.

Following the the pattern here, we seek wise and godly counsel that's important to have those that we trust around us, that we are open to and receive a message from the Lord from others around us.

When God desires to bring it that way.

But that we also pursue.

A relationship with God in a way that allows us to receive from God personally and just as God spoke to this anonymous guy directly gave him a message, gave him instruction.

Just as God spoke to this guy, God desires to speak to us.

God desires to lead us and guide us and give us direction in a similar way that it would be a a personal experience.

A personal relationship with the Lord.

In verse one it tells us the man of God went from Judah to Bethel by the word.

Of the Lord.

He heard from God the word of the Lord came to him, and then he put it into practice and begin to live it out.

This is a work that God desires to do in every one of us that we would have our own connection to God, our own opportunity to hear from God that as we spend time as.

I've been encouraging you thinking about 2022. How does God want you to spend time with him? This is the fruit that I would expect from that.

That as we spend time with God in his word and in prayer, and we follow his direction on how he wants us to walk with him and relate to him that he is going to.

Call us to do things by the word of the Lord.

He's gonna give us steps to take by the word of the Lord.

He's gonna give us things to say by the word of the Lord.

There's so many times in our lives where we are.

Trying to get a word from the Lord, but it's kind of like we're trying to get like this precise like I don't want to hear about that, and I don't want to hear about that.

I don't wanna hear about that, but Lord I have this little thing here on my heart on my mind.

It's just like really I'm focused on like I want to hear about that.

And it's not the right approach to trying to hear from God.

I would encourage you to think about hearing from God.

Like getting fruit from a tree, not getting fruit from a grocery market where you can go.

Go let me.

See, let's dig through the pile here.

Like oh, there's one that I want.

That's the fruit that I want.

That's what I was looking for.

No, no you planted tree.

To get fruit from a tree, you don't target a branch.

And you don't get fruit overnight.

You cultivate it.

You plant it.

You water it.

You feed it.

Make sure it gets the appropriate amount of sunlight.

And then the fruit is produced naturally, and if you will develop a relationship with God.

Then you will be doing an abundance of things by the word of the Lord, because there will just be this fruit.

That grows that develops that blossoms in your life and you will be walking in that and have the.

Opportunity to carry that out.

And so here's this prophet who is moving.

By the word of the Lord.

He gave them this message about the altar and it's going to be fulfilled 300 years later. First Kings chapter 23. I think it is. Or yeah, actually at Second Kings chapter 23.

This prophecy will be fulfilled, but what's interesting about this is that God didn't just give him the message.

He gave him specific instructions about his conduct as well.

Jeroboam and hearing this tries to get the guy arrested.

God strikes his arm.

Jeroboam asks for mercy and.

The guy the man of God praise and his arm is healed.

And so then Jeroboam says, why don't you come over for lunch in verse 7?

Then the king said to the man of God, come home with me and refresh yourself, and I will give you a reward.

But the man of God said to the king, if you were to give me half your house, I would not go in with you.

Nor would I eat bread nor drink water in this place.

For so it was commanded me by the word of the Lord, saying, you shall not eat bread or drink water, nor return by the same way which you came.

He invites him over for lunch and the anonymous man of God says no thank you.

Because when God gave me this message, he also gave me instructions with it.

Here's how I'm to.

Behave I'm not to partake of bread or water.

I'm not supposed to go back the same way that I came.

I'm supposed to do something different.

He had.

Received direction from God personally.

Again when God

Has this place in our lives where we are walking with him?

There's going to be like a fruit tree.

It's going to be bearing fruit.

And it's going to be messages things that God desires for us to pass on to others around us.

It's also going to be instruction.

Here's how God wants me to behave in this situation, and in that situation that we need to develop the kind of relationship with God that bears this kind of fruit.

It hit me recently that I tend to think.

Of this famous scripture, a little bit backwards.

Psalm 105 I'm sorry 119. Verse 105.

Your word is.

A lamp to my feet and a light to my path.

It just kind of struck me that I realized as I was thinking about this verse came to mind.

I was meditating on it thinking about it.

I was thinking about I.

I think I.

I tend to think of this my natural reaction to this verse is.

To think about it backwards.

In that I'm thinking, OK, here's my path and as I'm going along my path, I'm trying to use the word of God like a flashlight to light it up.

As in, the word is a help.

As I'm on my path to guide my way.

To light up the path that I'm already walking down, but I think it would be worthwhile to consider this.

The opposite way.

I don't know the path.

Until the word lights it up, it's not like here's the step I'm taking now.

Let me look at it, right it's

Lighting the step ahead of time.

I don't know the path.

I don't know the direction.

Until the word illuminates it.

It's not that I'm choosing a course and then hoping for additional insights.

A little bit of extra on the side.

You know that that God will give me no, it's.

I don't even know the.

I don't know the direction.

Until the word of God illuminates it, for me, this is how we are to walk with God.

Receive direction from God personally.

Allow him through his word to light your path before you.

Not just to give confirmation to the steps you're already taking, right, but to to give you the direction ahead of time that that you would go in the way that he wants.

You to go.

Well, I want to finish with one final point point #4 here discerning your next steps is to require similar revelation before changing direction.

Looking at verses 11 through 26, again not going to cover all these verses, but here's what happens. This anonymous man of God delivers this message faithfully. Does exactly what God told him to do.

Moves on his way just like God told him to.

But then there's this old prophet who hears about him.

It describes him as an old prophet.

He used to be used by the Lord.

He was inactive ministry.

He hasn't been.

We don't know for how long or for why, but here he is.

He hears about this situation.

His son tell him about it.

And he says.

Oh, which way did he go?

And he finds out his way.

He goes and he catches up with the man of God.

He finds him he, he catches up with him.

He finds him sitting down and he says why don't you come back and have a meal with me?

I'm a prophet too.

Like I said, no, no no I can't.

The only told me not to, but check out verse 18 here in First Kings 13.

He said to him, I two and the profit as you are, and an Angel spoke to me by the word of the Lord, saying, bring him back with you to your house.

That he may eat bread and drink water.

Notice the parentheses he was lying to him.

This old profit catches up with him.

The guy says I can't come back with you and he says Oh no, no no.

I'm profit to an Angel appeared to me.

Instead, bring him back but.

It was all made up.

Point #2 right is receive prophetic direction from others. Here's.

The balance to that.

Some people are lying to you.

And I would encourage you to to really let that sink in a little bit.

Some people are lying to you.

Some people are just making up stuff.

To accomplish their purpose, their desire, what they want.

They use the name of the Lord, and perhaps they used to speak the word of the Lord.

But they're lying to you.

They're not telling you the truth, they're using the right words.

They sound great.

But they're not really speaking on behalf of God.

And I would encourage you to consider that when God has spoken to you.

When you have heard from the Lord a direction, a path, and you've taken steps forward.

You should require that same level of revelation.

Before you deviate that course.

Don't change a course that got us set you on for a lesser revelation.

This man of God didn't have someone an old profit.

Go to tell him hey to go deliver this message and here's instruction for how to behave when you deliver that message.

He had.

The Lord spoke to him directly, personally, given him this instruction.

And so to change course and to do something different than what God had initially said.

Well, it should require nothing less than that same level of revelation than was initially given.

Pastor Warren Recipe says other believers can use the word to encourage us warn us and correct us.

But beware of letting other believers tell you God will for your life.

The father loves each of his children personally and wants to convey his will to each personally.

This guy.

Believes the lie he believes this prophet, who is now a false prophet.

Lying in the name of the Lord.

And he goes home.

With him during the meal, the old Prophet gets revived.

He gets called into active duty.

His pager goes off message from the Lord.

You're going to die.

Anonymous Man of God because you deviated from the instruction that I gave you.

Now we would argue, well that old profit deserves death.

More than that guy, right?

But that's for God.

To deal with.

God says you disobeyed, you turned away, I gave you clear instructions and God holds him accountable for disobedience even though he was deceived by an old profit.

Listen, if you're deceived by someone lying to you.

When you have previously Godsword revealed to you got hold.

You accountable for that?

You don't just get to say well, they told me that.

I mean, that's what I was supposed to do.

They said God told them.

God says I told you.

And then you let.

Tell you different.

And you didn't hear from me.

You didn't let me redirect.

You didn't let.

You didn't wait for me to change it you.

Were moved.

Buy something lesser.

I was thinking about Abraham when God tested him in Genesis 22 and called him to sacrifice his son Isaac.

It wasn't some friend or family member that said.

No you can't.

Do this, it's crazy and DRAM said OK, yeah, you're right then God bless him.

No, that's not.

What happened right the?

Lord spoke to Abraham same level of revelation.

To intervene in the sacrifice.

As what began initialize the sacrifice you think about Peter and acts Chapter 10 in.

11 called to the Gentiles and going to ministry to the Gentiles.

God went through great lengths to deliver a message in a way that Peter would know he had a vision three times.

The perfect timing of the messengers.

The spirit spoke to him internally and told him to go.

Then the Holy Spirit fell as he spoke to the household of Cornelius, and then he says, I remembered.

The the word which the Lord had said in advance, and so there was the confirmation of the scriptures, the work of God that was outside of his control.

The internal confirmation of the Holy Spirit.

The exact perfect timing of the messengers and this vision from God and then all combined OK.

Now I'm going to change my opinion.

About God desire to reach the Gentiles through the gospel without them.

Being converted to.

Jews like that was a really dramatic encounter with the Lord to help him change.

That's that's what it should require.

When God has spoken.

Make sure that you require that same level.

If God puts you in that job and you're like I know God put me in that job like that's my case, right?

Like I know God giving me this role.

This position I don't know why.

I'd rather do something else, but this is where God has me.

I can't just because Harvey says I don't know if you should have that job.

You know God told me you should quit and I was like, OK, I'll quit 'cause that's what I want to do anyways, right?

No until God tells me.

He's the only one.

He he, you know, he's that that final authority.

He's the one who gave the direction.

He's the only one who can cancel that direction.

He can.

Cancel that direction.

He can change it anytime he has that authority.

But we need to be careful.

God still has your number.

He still knows how to reach you.

And if you want something different, he'll tell you something different.

Require similar revelation before changing direction.

This is something I always encourage during pre marriage counseling.

If you're going to marry someone.

This should be the thing that you know the most in your whole life.

Second only.

To your salvation the the thing that you.

Should be most certain about.

Above and beyond everything else, is that you're supposed to marry that person aside from salvation in Jesus Christ.

Like it should be that level.

This is a lifelong commitment that you're making right.

It should be that degree.

You should require that level of revelation from God.

For the person you're.

Going to marry.

Whenever God speaks.

When you're making decisions when you're shaping your course and taking steps.

We need to be willing to receive counsel.

We need to seek it out, seek wise and godly counsel.

We need to be open to God speaking to us from people around us.

But we need to be pursuing that personal relationship with.

The Lord that.

Allows us to be in a place where we bear fruit of direction from God personally.

And as we have the combination of that personal.

Interaction with the Lord prophetic words from others wise counsel.

As those things align.

We get some sturdy steps to move forward.

And then we need to hold the course.

And don't be shaken.

Don't be moved.

And so God raises the level of revelation to that same level to change the direction.

Hold fast to the things that God has said.

Discern your next steps.

Let's pray, Lord, we pray for our hearts.

Lord, there's a lot to process here.

A lot to digest and Lord, I pray that you would help us to do so as we face so much uncertainty and so many things changing around us and new paths ahead.

Lord, that you desire to work in our lives.

God, I pray.

That you would give us discernment, Lord, that we would be able to recognize when the Council that we're receiving is from you or not from you, Lord, when the prophetic words are the truth, that you're revealing or lies that are being told.

Old load when we're receiving from you, I pray that you would help us to have such a real connection with you, God, that you would be speaking to our hearts each day.

Lord, that you would be giving US guidance and direction each day and help us God to stay the course to not deviate to not be convinced or persuaded.

Buy something that is not from you and not your voice, but help us to be seeking you and your will continually for our next steps.

I pray this in Jesus name.