This classic hymn celebrates how lovingly and personally God leads His children. Through the joys and trials of this life, God helps us to be peaceful and strong in our thinking, guiding us with wisdom higher than our own. Please give this song a sing-along listen, then come back for a chat about getting into our right minds.
Learning how to NOT see God
Years ago I read an insightful book by Betty Edwards called “Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain”. I am one of those people who would draw a tree with a straight rectangle trunk topped with a puffy cloud-shaped ball of leaves. There — a tree. It looked like a kid’s drawing of a tree. It represented the idea of a tree, but it didn’t look like any real tree I had ever seen. That book explained why I drew with such limits in terms of “left brain” and “right brain”. Left brain is “logical”. Right brain is “intuitive”.
“Trees have trunks. Trees have leaves. My drawing includes those parts. It is a tree.” That was my left brain talking. The book demonstrates how to engage the right brain to see other details — contour, texture, shape and more — that a better drawing would include. The tree was not hiding anything I needed to know to draw it well. My problem was that I was using my mind in a way that filtered out important information about “reality”. I needed to get into my right mind.
A sage named Nicholas Butler is credited with saying, “An expert is one who knows more and more about less and less until he knows absolutely everything about nothing.” Funny, but also something to consider as we grow and learn. Humans were designed to be able to use logic and facts to serve our thinking. As Adam and Eve discovered, this ability — which was designed to be man’s servant — is a treacherous master. On one hand, God had told them not to eat of the tree of knowledge of good and evil. On the other hand, the tree looked good, and it made sense and seemed logical to get the knowledge to know good and evil for themselves. The way they used their minds filtered out important information about “reality”.
The wisdom of God is higher than man’s wisdom. One reason it might not seem sensible or logical to us to do what God says is simply because we don’t know everything. We can’t know everything — but God can and does. Now that is important information we must not filter out of our thinking! We need to get into our right minds and learn to see “reality” the way God reveals it.
It is not logical that we can pray and get results. It is not logical that giving would lead to prosperity. What human logic enables someone heal a person by ministering to them? What advanced academic course enables a person to call for an angel’s help and get it?
The path to success in this life includes learning that if God says it, then it is wise. God’s wisdom is higher than ours. So how do we learn to see and hear God’s wisdom?
Learning to see God’s wisdom
God tells us to be transformed by renewing our minds — by lifting our thoughts up to His thoughts. He has not created us and then abandoned His creation. He knows how our lives can work the best, and He wants to lead us in our thinking. How does God communicate all this to people? Here are three important avenues available to everyone:
God leads through scripture
“He magnified his word above all his name” the Psalm declares. The importance of scripture is impossible to overstate. Here is a wonderful promise from 2 Timothy: “Consider what I say, for the Lord will give you understanding in everything.”
God leads through ministers
Apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers lead through teaching and encouraging. Also note — even people not publicly ordained to these ministries are able and encouraged to lead. Seek and you will find — often where you expect to find, but many times from some other direction. Help is abundant!
God leads through revelation
The new birth includes everything God says it includes. He says it includes the ability to receive revelation from Him. Revelation from God will never contradict the written revelation in Scripture. The well is not dry. God is real-time. His wisdom is available real-time.
Follow the Lord’s lead
“He Leadeth Me” recognizes and celebrates the truth that we need to be led, and God is faithful to lead. The lyrics remind us that not everything in this life is smooth and peaceful — the seas roar, the shadow of death looms. God’s lead does not extinguish all the bad from this fallen world. Rather it guides us through challenges to peace and victory, until we finally cross our “Jordan” and enter our Promised Land. Through the Bible and through history the Lord has led many. Read biographies about people the Lord led, and be amazed. You’ll find yourself thinking, “He led them — surely I, too, can live by His wisdom in this life as He leads me.”
God bless you lots,
LYRICS: He Leadeth Me
Text: Joseph H. Gilmore, 1862
Tune: William B. Bradbury, 1864
He leadeth me, O blessed thought!
O words with heav’nly comfort fraught!
Whate’er I do, where’er I be
Still ’tis God’s hand that leadeth me.
He leadeth me, He leadeth me,
By His own hand He leadeth me;
His faithful foll’wer I would be,
For by His hand He leadeth me.
Sometimes ’mid scenes of deepest gloom,
Sometimes where Eden’s bowers bloom,
By waters still, o’er troubled sea,
Still ’tis His hand that leadeth me.
Lord, I would place my hand in Thine,
Nor ever murmur nor repine;
Content, whatever lot I see,
Since ’tis my God that leadeth me.
And when my task on earth is done,
When by Thy grace the vict’ry’s won,
E’en death’s cold wave I will not flee,
Since God through Jordan leadeth me.
Let’s stay in touch
Each time I post a new song and lesson here I send a brief, cheerful note to friends of this song site. The note gives a quick description of the song and lesson along with a link to the new song’s page. It is super-easy for you to get a note from me, too. Just click the green “Song of the Week” button below and you are almost there.
To sweeten the deal, you will also get instant access to the “Music Box” where I put all the free resources and downloads that go along with these song pages. Check it out now! Good stuff. (Side note — I still post announcements on social media, too, even though I have learned it is terribly unreliable at getting the message out and keeping us connected. Email gets that job done where social media fails. We do well to connect this way, and avoid getting throttled by social media.)
Share your wisdom with other readers ...
Please feel free to add your thoughts to this conversation in the “Leave a reply” spot below.
First posted April 27, 2019. New video and updated article posted June 2, 2023.