Jeroboam went up against God and it is not going to go well for him. The LORD sent a prophet to deliver the bad news to Jeroboam. The man of God (prophet) delivered the message as instructed by God.
But the man of God said to the king, "Even if you gave me half of everything you own, I would not go with you. I would not eat or drink anything in this place. For the LORD gave me this command: 'You must not eat or drink anything while you are there, and do not return to Judah by the same way you came.'" So he left Bethel and went home another way. (1 Kings 13:8-10 NLT)
The prophet (man of God) had only three things he was instructed by The LORD to do: 1) deliver the message to Jeroboam, 2) do not stay and eat/drink anything, and 3) do not return the same way you came. So far, this man of God (prophet) is doing exactly what The LORD commands.
As it happened, there was an old prophet living in Bethel, and his sons came home and told him what the man of God had done in Bethel that day. They also told their father what the man had said to the king. The old prophet asked them, "Which way did he go?" So they showed their father which road the man of God had taken. "Quick, saddle the donkey," the old man said. So they saddled the donkey for him, and he mounted it. Then he rode after the man of God and found him sitting under a great tree. The old prophet asked him, "Are you the man of God who came from Judah?" "Yes, I am," he replied. Then he said to the man of God, "Come home with me and eat some food." "No, I cannot," he replied. "I am not allowed to eat or drink anything here in this place. For the LORD gave me this command: 'You must not eat or drink anything while you are there, and do not return to Judah by the same way you came.'" But the old prophet answered, "I am a prophet, too, just as you are. And an angel gave me this command from the LORD: 'Bring him home with you so he can have something to eat and drink.'" But the old man was lying to him.
(1 Kings 13:11-18 NLT)
I don’t know about you, but I get uncomfortable when someone says “I have a word from The LORD for you.” That may have made sense back in the days when God only gave out the Holy Spirit to specific people in specific circumstances. But now the Holy Spirit has been poured out on “all nations.” All of us who have come home to the Father through the Son have received the Holy Spirit. The curtain was torn open and we have been given direct access to the “Most Holy Place.” God went to great lengths to open up a direct communication line with each of us. We don’t need prophets to give us messages anymore. We have direct access to God.
So they went back together, and the man of God ate and drank at the prophet's home. Then while they were sitting at the table, a command from the LORD came to the old prophet. He cried out to the man of God from Judah, "This is what the LORD says: You have defied the word of the LORD and have disobeyed the command the LORD your God gave you. You came back to this place and ate and drank where He told you not to eat or drink. Because of this, your body will not be buried in the grave of your ancestors." (1 Kings 13:19-22 NLT)
I share all these thoughts because we are essentially in the same position that the man of God was in. We have God’s Word so we know what has been revealed in the past. We also have the Holy Spirit so God can give us specific wisdom or instruction. This protects us against lies, whether they come from the world in general, other people specifically, or even demons or Satan himself. We can recognize the lies because they go against the Truth given to us from God. That is how we can avoid being deceived and turning against God.
After the man of God had finished eating and drinking, the old prophet saddled his own donkey for him, and the man of God started off again. But as he was traveling along, a lion came out and killed him. His body lay there on the road, with the donkey and the lion standing beside it. People who passed by saw the body lying in the road and the lion standing beside it, and they went and reported it in Bethel, where the old prophet lived. When the prophet heard the report, he said, "It is the man of God who disobeyed the LORD's command. The LORD has fulfilled His word by causing the lion to attack and kill him."
(1 Kings 13:23-26 NLT)
This is an important concept for us to understand and follow. God wants what is best for us. God wants to help us. God wants to help us experience a Garden Walk. That’s why we can trust God, and only God, to lead us into an abundant life in this life and eternal life in the next.
How about you? Do you know how to let God lead you? Do you know how to make sure it is God? Then, do you follow God?