“He guides me along right paths, bringing honor to His name” (Psalm 23:3)
According to David, the final element of God’s guidance and direction is that it honors Him. So a valid question to consider with each step we take in life is to ask “What honors God?” God leads us in ways that preserve his character and reputation. His leadership will always be consistent with Scripture and consistent with God’s nature.
Think of it this way. Suppose a child comes to his parent and asks if its ok to only candy at each meal. The sensible parent will deny the request for two reasons. First, the parent will consider his or her reputation and character as a parent. The parent might reflect on the request and think, “What kind of parent would I be if I granted this request?” or even “What would others think of me as a parent if I permitted my child to only eat candy?” Second, the parent will take into consideration what is best for the child. Because the parent has wisdom and experience, the parent will realize that in theory eating nothing but candy sounds good, but it will carry some negative effects over the course of time. Over time, the child may become sick, malnourished, experience tooth decay, or more dramatically, diabetes. Having evaluated these things, the parent provides guidance to the child based on his or her own nature and character as well as consideration for the health and well being of the child.
God guides us “for His name’s sake.” He will behave in ways that are consistent with his character and that glorify himself. But the glory of God brings with it the joy and benefit of his children. Its not either-or. God’s guidance is both-and! God’s glory = our good!