My Lord Knows The Way

Title: My Lord Knows The Way

Bible Book: Romans 8 : 14

Author: Franklin L. Kirksey

Subject: Leadership of God; God's Will



Dr. A. T. Pierson (1837-1911) recounts, “To go as I am led, to go when I am led, to go where I am led; it is that which has been for twenty years the one prayer of my life.”1

John Constantine, my Sunday School teacher at Bethany Baptist Church, when I was in the sixth grade, recently shared the following:

“God is delighted to say what His ‘plan for my life’ is,...

one day at a time, one step at a time, even one action at a time.

Faith is, not knowing the ‘plan’, but knowing God.

Sometimes, I get the feeling that we're not clear with God about that.”

Dr. Richard C. Halverson (1916-1995) former Chaplain of the United States Senate, declares, “God has led. God will lead. God is leading!”2

Romans 8:14 reads, “For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God.”

In the words of Fanny J. Crosby:

All the way my Savior leads me;

What have I to ask beside?

Can I doubt His tender mercy,

Who through life has been my Guide?

Oswald Chambers (1874-1917) writes, “God's order comes in the haphazard, and never according to our scheming and planning. God takes a great delight in breaking up our programs.”3

Early one morning, several weeks ago, three statements suddenly came to my mind:

My Lord knows the way through the wilderness;

My Lord knows the way around the wickedness; and

My Lord knows the way into the wideness.

Let’s explore them one at a time.   

I. My Lord knows the way through the wilderness.

Exodus 13:18 reads, “So God led the people. . . .”  Exodus 13:21-22 reads, “And the Lord went before them by day in a pillar of cloud to lead the way, and by night in a pillar of fire to give them light, so as to go by day and night. He did not take away the pillar of cloud by day or the pillar of fire by night from before the people.” God guides His people!

While there is a legitimate wilderness experience to go from Egypt to Canaan, it should not be the rest of your life.  What should have taken days ended up taking decades after the children of Israel left Egypt.  Dr. Warren W. Wiersbe explains, “An eleven-day journey turned into forty years of wandering and death.”4 On Numbers 14:11-38, Dr. Warren W. Wiersbe writes, “God's judgment was threefold: (1) The nation would wander for thirty-eight years, thus making forty years in the wilderness, one for each day the spies had explored the land; (2) During that time, the older generation, twenty years and upward, would die and not enter the land, except for Caleb and Joshua; (3) The ten unbelieving spies died because of the evil report they delivered (vv. 36-38).

The Jews had lamented that they wanted to die in the wilderness (v. 2), and they had complained that their children would die in Canaan (v. 3); but God declared that their children would live in Canaan and the adults would die in the wilderness! Out of their own mouths, God passed judgment. Be careful what you say to God when you complain, because He may take you up on it! After all, God's greatest judgment is to let people have their own way.

Moses led the world’s longest funeral march, and Caleb and Joshua watched their generation die. But Caleb and Joshua would be encouraged by God's promise that both of them would enter the land and enjoy their inheritance. This assurance alone would sustain them during the trying days of the nation's march, a discipline that wasn't the fault of either Caleb or Joshua. So the blessed hope of Christ's return encourages God's people today in spite of the trials we experience on our pilgrim walk.”5

1 Corinthians 10:11 reads, “Now all these things happened to them as examples, and they were written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the ages have come.” My Lord knows the way through the wilderness then and now. Dr. F. B. Meyer (1847-1929) explains, “We often make a great mistake, thinking that God is not guiding us at all, because we cannot see far in front. But this is not His method. He only undertakes that the steps of a good man should be ordered by the Lord. Not next year, but tomorrow. Not the next mile, but the next yard. Not the whole pattern, but the next stitch in the canvas. If you expect more than this you will be disappointed.”6

My Father’s way may twist and turn,

My heart may throb and ache,

But in my soul I’m glad I know

He maketh no mistake.7

Major W. Ian Thomas (1914-2007) laments, “The sad thing is that it is all too possible to become accustomed to living in the wilderness, especially when we are surrounded by wilderness Christians. . . .”8

II. My Lord knows the way around the wickedness.

Exodus 13:17-18a reads, “Then it came to pass, when Pharaoh had let the people go, that God did not lead them by way of the land of the Philistines, although that was near; for God said, ‘Lest perhaps the people change their minds when they see war, and return to Egypt.’ So God led the people around by way of the wilderness of the Red Sea.”

Two passages provide comfort for believers contemplating wickedness.  Psalm 103:14 reads, “For He knows our frame; He remembers that we are dust.”  1 Corinthians 10:13 reads, “No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it.”

The Philistines were very wicked and they were notorious for their pagan worship practices.  Rev. Matthew Henry (1662-1714) shares the following on Judges 15:1-8: “When there are differences between relations, let those be reckoned the wisest and best, who are most forward to forgive or forget, and most willing to stoop and yield for the sake of peace. In the means which Samson employed, we must look at the power of God supplying them, and making them successful, to mortify the pride and punish the wickedness of the Philistines. The Philistines threatened Samson's wife that they would burn her and her father's house. She, to save herself and oblige her countrymen, betrayed her husband; and the very thing that she feared, and by sin sought to avoid, came upon her! She, and her father's house, were burnt with fire, and by her countrymen, whom she thought to oblige by the wrong she did to her husband. The mischief we seek to escape by any unlawful practices, we often pull down upon our own heads.”9  God promised to destroy the Philistines in Amos 1:8 and Zephaniah 2:5.

Remember there was wickedness present in the land of Canaan. John 15:19 reads, “If you were of the world, the world would love its own. Yet because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you.” 1 Corinthians 5:9-11 reads, “I wrote to you in my epistle not to keep company with sexually immoral people. Yet I certainly did not mean with the sexually immoral people of this world, or with the covetous, or extortioners, or idolaters, since then you would need to go out of the world. But now I have written to you not to keep company with anyone named a brother, who is sexually immoral, or covetous, or an idolater, or a reviler, or a drunkard, or an extortioner—not even to eat with such a person.” 2 Corinthians 6:14-18 reads, “Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? And what communion has light with darkness?  And what accord has Christ with Belial? Or what part has a believer with an unbeliever? And what agreement has the temple of God with idols? For you are the temple of the living God. As God has said: ‘I will dwell in them And walk among them. I will be their God, And they shall be My people.’ Therefore ‘Come out from among them And be separate, says the Lord. Do not touch what is unclean, And I will receive you.’ ‘I will be a Father to you, And you shall be My sons and daughters, Says the Lord Almighty.’” Dr. Albert Barnes (1798-1870) comments, “They who are about to make a profession of religion should resolve to separate themselves from the world, verses 14, 15. Religion [i.e. Christianity] cannot exist where there is no such separation, and they who are unwilling to forsake infidel [i.e. unbelieving] companions and the [worthless, foolish] amusements and vanities of life, and to find their chosen friends and pleasures among the people of God, can have no evidence that they are Christians…there must be an effectual line drawn between the friends of God and the friends of sin…While we do not refuse to mingle with them as neighbours and citizens as far as we can without compromising Christian principles, still our chosen friends and our dearest friendships should be with the people of God. For, his friends should be our friends; and our happiness should be with them, and the world should see that we prefer the friends of the Redeemer [Christ] to the friends of gayety, ambition, and sin.”10  Dr. Barnes reiterates, “They who are about to make a profession of religion [Christianity] should resolve to separate themselves from the world…and to find their chosen friends and pleasures among the people of God.”11

Make certain you have dealt with sin God’s way!

III. My Lord knows the way into the wideness.

Dr. James Mahoney recounts, “Seldom do I teach about the bountiful blessings of the Promised Land without conversing with someone who mistakenly thinks he is there.  He will approach me after the service to remark something like this: ‘I know what you mean about entering the Promised Land of God’s blessing.  God has certainly been good to me. He has guided me all these years.  I have never gone without.  God has always put food on my table and clothing on my back.  I remember when our Johnny was little; the doctors had almost given up on him, but God miraculously healed him.  I remember almost losing my business, but God came through with another miracle.

Stop right there!  Review the things he mentioned: guidance [Exodus 13:21], food [Exodus 16:35], clothing [Deuteronomy 29:5], and miracles [Exodus 14, 17:6].  These things do not designate the Promised Land.  God provided this well for those in the wilderness.”12

Dr. Mahoney concludes, “The wilderness certainly beats Egypt.  But it is a far cry from the Promised Land because you will lack the faith to appropriate God’s fullness.”13  It is helpful at this point to consider “Spiritual Geography.”

Are you in Egypt, the place marked by bondage and fear? 

This is the general situation of the natural man.

Are you in the wilderness, the place marked by burdens and frustration?

This is the general situation of the carnal man.

Are you in Canaan, the place marked by blessing and fullness?

This is the general situation of the spiritual man.

Sadly, many Israelites missed the window of opportunity to enter Canaan (Deuteronomy 1:19-45).  Hebrews 3:16-19 reads, “For who, having heard, rebelled? Indeed, was it not all who came out of Egypt, led by Moses? Now with whom was He angry forty years? Was it not with those who sinned, whose corpses fell in the wilderness? And to whom did He swear that they would not enter His rest, but to those who did not obey? So we see that they could not enter in because of unbelief.” Hebrews 12:12-17 reads, “Beware, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief in departing from the living God; but exhort one another daily, while it is called ‘Today,’ lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin. For we have become partakers of Christ if we hold the beginning of our confidence steadfast to the end, while it is said: ‘Today, if you will hear His voice, Do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion.’ ‘Pursue peace with all people, and holiness, without which no one will see the Lord: looking carefully lest anyone fall short of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up cause trouble, and by this many become defiled; lest there be any fornicator or profane person like Esau, who for one morsel of food sold his birthright. For you know that afterward, when he wanted to inherit the blessing, he was rejected, for he found no place for repentance, though he sought it diligently with tears.”

Dr. John Phillips (1927-2010) warns, “A wrong choice is usually serious. A wrong spiritual choice is disastrous. The Hebrews trusted God to bring them out of Egypt; they failed to trust God to bring them into Canaan.  At Kadesh-barnea they made that fatal choice which condemned the nation to forty years of wilderness wanderings and a whole generation to a second-class life and ultimate death.  Many a believer has his personal Kadesh-barnea—the place where a decision is made that leaves a mark on the rest of life.  Kadesh tells us it is possible to have a saved soul but a lost life. . . . Israel was without excuse at Kadesh-barnea.  Think of all the people should have learned of God. The plagues on Egypt, the Passover, the guiding pillars of God, the song of Moses, the experiences of Marah and Elim, the lesson of the riven rock and the outpouring water, the provision of the manna, the victory over Amalek, the Law, the tabernacle—all these were lessons intended to mature the people. They should have been ready for the giants.  God always prepares us for the battles ahead.”14

Deuteronomy 3:21-29 reads, “And I commanded Joshua at that time, saying, ‘Your eyes have seen all that the Lord your God has done to these two kings; so will the Lord do to all the kingdoms through which you pass. You must not fear them, for the Lord your God Himself fights for you.’ ‘Then I pleaded with the Lord at that time, saying: ‘O Lord God, You have begun to show Your servant Your greatness and Your mighty hand, for what god is there in heaven or on earth who can do anything like Your works and Your mighty deeds? I pray, let me cross over and see the good land beyond the Jordan, those pleasant mountains, and Lebanon.’ ‘But the Lord was angry with me on your account, and would not listen to me. So the Lord said to me: ‘Enough of that! Speak no more to Me of this matter. Go up to the top of Pisgah, and lift your eyes toward the west, the north, the south, and the east; behold it with your eyes, for you shall not cross over this Jordan. But command Joshua, and encourage him and strengthen him; for he shall go over before this people, and he shall cause them to inherit the land which you will see.’ ‘So we stayed in the valley opposite Beth Peor.’” Deuteronomy 4:1 reads, “Now, O Israel, listen to the statutes and the judgments which I teach you to observe, that you may live, and go in and possess the land which the Lord God of your fathers is giving you.” Joshua 1:2-3 reads, “Moses My servant is dead. Now therefore, arise, go over this Jordan, you and all this people, to the land which I am giving to them—the children of Israel. Every place that the sole of your foot will tread upon I have given you, as I said to Moses.”

Dr. James Mahoney writes, “The curtain is drawn up for you to accompany the next generation of Israelites as they finally make it out of the wilderness.  This time you approach Canaan from the east.  The desert is behind, as your caravan rises gradually on the plateau of Moab to a great ridge, about two miles long and one-half mile broad.  With abruptness, the ridge drops 2,600 ft. down the Jordan Valley.  There it is! Before you lies the Promised Land.  It stretches out in front of you like a wide green ribbon, between the ridge and the Mediterranean Sea.  The view is breathtaking.  The land is a wealth of agricultural productivity, a startling contrast to the desert wastelands.  There is certainly no doubt that you have arrived!”15 Dr. Melvin G. Kyle (1858-1933), former Professor of Biblical Theology and Archaeology and president of Xenia Theological Seminary explains, “The two things that stand out clearly at the entrance of Israel into the promised land are the strength of the invaders and the weakness of the land.  The wideness of God’s providence, ‘like the wideness of the sea,’ took in both the sin of Israel on the one hand and the Canaanite national disintegration on the other.”16

Would you believe there were some who did not want to enjoy the wideness of the promised land?  Two and one half tribes settled on the east side of the Jordan and did not possess the land that could have been their land.  There are some today who do not want to enjoy the wideness of God’s blessing.  Ephesians 3:16 reads, “That He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with might through His Spirit in the inner man.” In his book titled, The Strength You Need, Dr. Robert J. Morgan shares a message on this verse titled, “Live Like the Rich Person You Are.”  This is not the prosperity gospel!  


Dr. Joseph H. Gilmore (1834-1918), son of a Governor of New Hampshire, shares the following testimony:

“As a young man who recently had been graduated from Brown University and Newton Theological Institution, I was supplying for a couple of Sundays the pulpit of the First Baptist Church in Philadelphia. At the mid-week service, on the 26th of March, 1862, I set out to give the people an exposition of the Twenty-third Psalm, which I had given before on three or four occasions, but this time I did not get further than the words ‘He Leadeth Me.’ Those words took hold of me as they had never done before, and I saw them in a significance and wondrous beauty of which I had never dreamed.

It was the darkest hour of the Civil War. I did not refer to that fact—that is, I don’t think I did—but it may subconsciously have led me to realize that God’s leadership is the one significant fact in human experience, that it makes no difference how we are led, or whither we are led, so long as we are sure God is leading us.

At the close of the meeting a few of us in the parlor of my host, good Deacon Watson, kept on talking about the thought which I had emphasized; and then and there, on a blank page of the brief from which I had intended to speak, I penciled the hymn, talking and writing at the same time, then handed it to my wife and thought no more about it. She sent it to The Watchman and Reflector, a paper published in Boston, where it was first printed. I did not know until 1865 that my hymn had been set to music by William B. Bradbury. I went to Rochester to preach as a candidate before the Second Baptist Church. Going into their chapel on arrival in the city, I picked up a hymnal to see what they were singing, and opened it at my own hymn, ‘He Leadeth Me.’”17

Dr. Gilmore wrote in part:

Lord, I would clasp Thy hand in mine,

Nor ever murmur nor repine;

Content, whatever lot I see,

Since 'tis my God that leadeth me.18

My Lord knows the way through the wilderness.

My Lord knows the way around the wickedness.

My Lord knows the way into the wideness.

May you be able to say, my Lord knows the way.

1Robert J. Morgan, The Red Sea Rules (Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson, Inc., 2001), 68.

2Edythe Draper, Draper's Book of Quotations for the Christian World, (Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, 1992), 290, Database © 2009 WORDsearch Corp.

3Oswald Chambers, Run Today's Race: A Word from Oswald Chambers for Every Day of the Year (Grand Rapids, MI: Discovery House, 2015), July 5 Reading.

4Warren W. Wiersbe, With the Word: The Bible Chapter-by-Chapter Bible Handbook (Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson, 1991), 107-108.

5Warren W. Wiersbe, The Bible Exposition Commentary – Old Testament– Pentateuch, 334. Database © 2007 WORDsearch Corp.

6F. B. Meyer, The Secret of Guidance (New York, NY: Fleming H. Revell Company, 1896), 16.

7A. M. Overton, “He Maketh No Mistake” (1932).

8Major W. Ian Thomas, The Saving Life of Christ (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 1989), 119.

9Matthew Henry, A Commentary Upon the Holy Bible: Joshua to Esther (London: The Religious Tract Society, 1835), 2: 102.

10Albert Barnes, Notes on the New Testament, II Corinthians (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Book House, 1985), 162.


12James Mahoney, Journey Into Fullness: From Bondage to Conquest in the Christian Life (Nashville, TN: Broadman Press, 1974), 99.

13Mahoney, Journey, 100.

14John Phillips, 100 Sermon Outlines from the Old Testament (Chicago, IL: Moody Press, 1979), 33.

15Mahoney, Journey, 109.

16Melvin Grove Kyle, The Deciding Voice of the Movements in Biblical Criticism (Oberlin, OH: Bibliotheca Sacra Company, 1912), 254.

17Robert J. Morgan, Then Sings My Soul Special Edition: 150 of the World's Greatest Hymn Stories (Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson, Inc., 2010), 145. 

18Joseph H. Gilmore, “He Leadeth Me, O Blessed Thought!” (1862).


Dr. Franklin L. Kirksey, pastor First Baptist Church of Spanish Fort 30775 Jay Drive Spanish Fort, Alabama 36527

Author of Don’t Miss the Revival! Messages for Revival and Spiritual Awakening from Isaiah and

Sound Biblical Preaching: Giving the Bible a Voice [Both available on in hardcover, paperback and eBook] & / [email protected]   / (251) 626-6210

© April 23, 2017 All Rights Reservede

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