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Read Introduction to 1 Thessalonians

 

“Now may our God and Father Himself, and our Lord Jesus Christ, direct our way to you“
 
direct our way to you.
 
The word “direct” comes from two words: down and straight. “Direct” literally means to make straight, lead, set right, guide aright. Paul prays that God would direct a straight path back to Thessalonica. In his second book to the Thessalonians, Paul asks God to lead their hearts to love for God and patient waiting for the Rapture.
 
“Now may the Lord direct your hearts into the love of God and into the patience of Christ” (2 Thessalonians 3:5).
 
Believers need God’s direction in ministry. Paul prayed for open doors so that God would direct him to certain situations. Paul placed his plans into the hands of God because he knew that he was incapable of managing his ministry by himself.
Paul sees God as managing the universe. If God sovereignly supervises events and people, then Paul can place his life into the hands of a sovereign God. This is what it means to have faith. We place faith in God’s management of the universe. We do not have to know the future; we only have to know the One who does.
“O LORD, I know the way of man is not in himself;
It is not in man who walks to direct his own steps” (Jeremiah 10:23).
“I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go;
I will guide you with My eye” (Psalm 32:8).
“Commit your way to the Lord,
Trust also in Him,
And He shall bring it to pass” (Psalm 37:5).
“The steps of a good man are ordered by the LORD,
And He delights in his way” (Psalm 37:23).
“Trust in the LORD with all your heart,
And lean not on your own understanding;
In all your ways acknowledge Him,
And He shall direct your paths” (Proverbs 3:5-6).
On the basis of the book of Acts (chapter 17; 18:18, 19:10; 20:31), Paul did not return to Thessalonica for at least five years. God finally answered his prayer in Acts 20:1.
“After the uproar had ceased, Paul called the disciples to himself, embraced them, and departed to go to Macedonia [province where the city of Thessalonica was located]” (Acts 20:1).
God does not give us immediate answers to our prayers. Only He knows His plan. God does not work by our plan.
Principle:
We cannot dictate to God our plan.
Application:
God orders our steps and stops. At times He gives us the green light, at times the caution and yet at other times the red light. If we run God’s red lights, we might have a calamity. We obey God’s signals so that we know for sure His direction for our lives.
We must pray that God will direct our ways and open doors.
“For a great and effective door has opened to me, and there are many adversaries” (1 Corinthians 16:9).
“Furthermore, when I came to Troas to preach Christ’s gospel, and a door was opened to me by the Lord…” (2 Corinthians 2:12).
And to the angel of the church in Philadelphia write,
These things says He who is holy, He who is true, ‘He who has the key of David, He who opens and no one shuts, and shuts and no one opens: “I know your works. See, I have set before you an open door, and no one can shut it; for you have a little strength, have kept My word, and have not denied My name’” (Revelation 3:7-8).
We cannot trust ourselves when it comes to the will of God. The Devil has many clever counterfeits of God’s will. He loves to imitate God’s plan.
“For God is my witness, whom I serve with my spirit in the gospel of His Son, that without ceasing I make mention of you always in my prayers, making request if, by some means, now at last I may find a way in the will of God to come to you” (Romans 1:9-10).
We cannot make our plans and expect God to bless them. We need God’s guidance. We get our marching orders from God’s Word. Therefore, we must know the principles of God’s Word if we are going to know His will.
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