Many people say they are led by the Holy Spirit.  The problem is, sometimes those same people fail to pray before making important decisions, or else they listen to their own emotions or wisdom and fail to follow the Lord’s instruction once He has spoken to them.  Today I will need to use a lot of scripture to make my point about the importance of not only hearing the voice of the Lord, but also being obedient to follow His instructions.  The text I will use is from 1 Kings Chapter 13.

1Ki 13:1  And, behold, there came a man of God out of Judah by the word of the LORD unto Bethel: and Jeroboam stood by the altar to burn incense.
1Ki 13:2  And he cried against the altar in the word of the LORD, and said, O altar, altar, thus saith the LORD; Behold, a child shall be born unto the house of David, Josiah by name; and upon thee shall he offer the priests of the high places that burn incense upon thee, and men’s bones shall be burnt upon thee.
1Ki 13:3  And he gave a sign the same day, saying, This is the sign which the LORD hath spoken; Behold, the altar shall be rent, and the ashes that are upon it shall be poured out.
1Ki 13:4  And it came to pass, when king Jeroboam heard the saying of the man of God, which had cried against the altar in Bethel, that he put forth his hand from the altar, saying, Lay hold on him. And his hand, which he put forth against him, dried up, so that he could not pull it in again to him.
1Ki 13:5  The altar also was rent, and the ashes poured out from the altar, according to the sign which the man of God had given by the word of the LORD.
1Ki 13:6  And the king answered and said unto the man of God, Intreat now the face of the LORD thy God, and pray for me, that my hand may be restored me again. And the man of God besought the LORD, and the king’s hand was restored him again, and became as it was before.
1Ki 13:7  And the king said unto the man of God, Come home with me, and refresh thyself, and I will give thee a reward.
1Ki 13:8  And the man of God said unto the king, If thou wilt give me half thine house, I will not go in with thee, neither will I eat bread nor drink water in this place:
1Ki 13:9  For so was it charged me by the word of the LORD, saying, Eat no bread, nor drink water, nor turn again by the same way that thou camest.
1Ki 13:10  So he went another way, and returned not by the way that he came to Bethel.
1Ki 13:11  Now there dwelt an old prophet in Bethel; and his sons came and told him all the works that the man of God had done that day in Bethel: the words which he had spoken unto the king, them they told also to their father.
1Ki 13:12  And their father said unto them, What way went he? For his sons had seen what way the man of God went, which came from Judah.
1Ki 13:13  And he said unto his sons, Saddle me the ass. So they saddled him the ass: and he rode thereon,
1Ki 13:14  And went after the man of God, and found him sitting under an oak: and he said unto him, Art thou the man of God that camest from Judah? And he said, I am.
1Ki 13:15  Then he said unto him, Come home with me, and eat bread.
1Ki 13:16  And he said, I may not return with thee, nor go in with thee: neither will I eat bread nor drink water with thee in this place:
1Ki 13:17  For it was said to me by the word of the LORD, Thou shalt eat no bread nor drink water there, nor turn again to go by the way that thou camest.
1Ki 13:18  He said unto him, I am a prophet also as thou art; and an angel spake unto me by the word of the LORD, saying, Bring him back with thee into thine house, that he may eat bread and drink water. But he lied unto him.
1Ki 13:19  So he went back with him, and did eat bread in his house, and drank water.
1Ki 13:20  And it came to pass, as they sat at the table, that the word of the LORD came unto the prophet that brought him back:
1Ki 13:21  And he cried unto the man of God that came from Judah, saying, Thus saith the LORD, Forasmuch as thou hast disobeyed the mouth of the LORD, and hast not kept the commandment which the LORD thy God commanded thee,
1Ki 13:22  But camest back, and hast eaten bread and drunk water in the place, of the which the LORD did say to thee, Eat no bread, and drink no water; thy carcase shall not come unto the sepulchre of thy fathers.
1Ki 13:23  And it came to pass, after he had eaten bread, and after he had drunk, that he saddled for him the ass, to wit, for the prophet whom he had brought back.
1Ki 13:24  And when he was gone, a lion met him by the way, and slew him: and his carcase was cast in the way, and the ass stood by it, the lion also stood by the carcase.
1Ki 13:25  And, behold, men passed by, and saw the carcase cast in the way, and the lion standing by the carcase: and they came and told it in the city where the old prophet dwelt.
1Ki 13:26  And when the prophet that brought him back from the way heard thereof, he said, It is the man of God, who was disobedient unto the word of the LORD: therefore the LORD hath delivered him unto the lion, which hath torn him, and slain him, according to the word of the LORD, which he spake unto him.
1Ki 13:27  And he spake to his sons, saying, Saddle me the ass. And they saddled him.
1Ki 13:28  And he went and found his carcase cast in the way, and the ass and the lion standing by the carcase: the lion had not eaten the carcase, nor torn the ass.
1Ki 13:29  And the prophet took up the carcase of the man of God, and laid it upon the ass, and brought it back: and the old prophet came to the city, to mourn and to bury him.
1Ki 13:30  And he laid his carcase in his own grave; and they mourned over him, saying, Alas, my brother!
1Ki 13:31  And it came to pass, after he had buried him, that he spake to his sons, saying, When I am dead, then bury me in the sepulchre wherein the man of God is buried; lay my bones beside his bones:
1Ki 13:32  For the saying which he cried by the word of the LORD against the altar in Bethel, and against all the houses of the high places which are in the cities of Samaria, shall surely come to pass.

 Now, there are several things I wish to point out here, so PLEASE bear with me:  One of the most important ones is the fact that the prophet from Judah definitely heard from God.  He was sent “by the Word of the Lord”.  When King Jeroboam rebuked the prophet and stretched out his hand and said to take him, the King’s hand withered so he could not pull it back to him.  That was a supernatural sign from God that He had endorsed the words of the prophet.  And when the prophet prayed for the restoration of the King’s hand, God answered with another supernatural sign further validating the words of the prophet. 
 When the King entreated the prophet to return with him and receive a reward, or an offering as we would say today,  the prophet made it clear he was not in it for the money, and that the Lord Himself had charged him not to eat or drink there, or to return the same way he had come.
 This is cut and dried instruction from the Lord and the prophet knew it without a doubt.  But here’s where it all goes south.  The prophet left the King to return another way.  But an old prophet from Bethel came and found him and invited him to his home, and again, the prophet out of Judah repeated the Lord’s instructions that he was not to eat, drink or return by the way he came.  Nevertheless, even though the prophet from Judah KNEW the will of the Lord, he let another “prophet” talk him out of it.  Here it says in verse 18 the prophet from Bethel lied to him! 
Once you have heard from the Lord, the issue is settled.  Do you think the Lord is double-minded or something, that He changes his mind?  We are warned that there are many “false prophets” in the world, and guess what happens when we listen to them?  Yep!  We get ourselves in trouble.
Just today a dear friend heard from a “prophetess” who was a complete stranger, asked her for a sum of money.  My friend, being a cheerful giver said ok, but told me she had a check in her spirit about it.  She heard a warning from God, but listened to her mind instead.  When I learned of it, I asked her, DID YOU ASK THE LORD FIRST?  Well…….
You see, this is where the prophet from Judah made his mistake.  He didn’t ask God if He had changed His mind.  He let the “credentials” of another “prophet” take precedence over what he KNEW he had heard from God.  Was it just a light thing that he didn’t test the Spirit as we are told?  In the case of this prophet from Judah, it cost him his LIFE!!!!  You see, there is ALWAYS a price to pay for disobedience, and it will always be more than you want to pay.  No doubt, if the prophet from Judah had it all to do over again, he would have passed up the offer of a meal.
I told my friend of this account in the Bible and told her how important it is to not only HEAR from the Lord, but to OBEY Him as well.  I knew in the Spirit that the request the “prophetess” or “profitess” had made of her was really a test of both her ability to hear the Holy Spirit, and her obedience to Him.  My wife and I both immediately knew our friend should not give this stranger her money.  I told our friend, You go pray and ask God what you are to do, and don’t let me or anyone else influence what God tells you.  You obey the Lord, no matter what.  Guess what?  The Lord told her not to give the lady a cent.  It was hard for her to go back and say no to the lady, but Thank God, she did, and she passed her test.  Later in the day, the Lord showed her she needed that money to replace bad tires on her car which had the cord showing, and had she given it away, she would not have been able to fix her car.  Making matters worse, she could have had a wreck or worse had the Lord not revealed the condition of the tires to her.  God only knows what could have happened if the tires had not been replaced today.
Another point:  if our friend was supposed to give this “prophetess” the money, the Lord would have told her so ahead of time, the prophetess would not have needed to call her and ask for it.  I don’t know how many times I have prayed to the Lord with a need, and someone would call me or come up to me and say, The Lord told me to give you this, and the need was met.  We need to learn to ask the Lord for what we need, and let Him supply that need as He sees fit.
God gave us who are Believers the Holy Spirit to guide us. So we should let Him guide us.  Would it make any sense to go to a foreign country and hire a tour guide, then not listen to him nor stay out of the places he said to avoid? Of course not!  So much more the people of God need to not only HEAR His voice, but OBEY it.  And now you know why!