The Christian Life

Guidance

Our greatest need is to hear from heaven !  We all face situations where we need God's guidance.  We have to make many decisions that affect our future. Some are crucial (like who we marry). Others don't seem so important but we underestimate their impact for one thing leads to another, e.g:- where we live can make a huge difference as does just being at the right place at the right time. If we learn to be led of the Lord in smaller things, we will be more sensitive when it comes to bigger decisions. We will save much trouble, money and even our life by learning to hear God. This isn't just for crises but for everyday life.

 

How do we receive guidance?

 

1. Realise that if we trust ourselves we will mess up. 

'O LORD, I know that the way of man is not in himself: it is not in man that walks to direct his steps' (Jeremiah 10:23).   Take 'GOD' out of 'GOOD' idea  and you have a big '0'  We know so little about the future and what's best for us but God sees all.  He knows what's best for us. 

'I will instruct you and teach you in the way which you shall go: 

I will guide you with My EYE' (Psalm 32:8).

 

We see so little, but God's eye from above sees all and knows what is the right way. We see only today-God sees all our tomorrows, what and who will come along.   He sees ahead. He knows what we'll face  He sees all the consequences of our choices.  He wants to use this information to guide us. But we must ask and trust the Lord to guide our steps. 

 

'Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not to your own understanding...be not wise in your own eyes' (Proverbs 3:5).

 

2. Realise the Lord has a good plan and perfect will for our life. 

'For I know the plans that I have for you, says the LORD, 

plans for good, and not evil, to give you a future and a hope.' (Jeremiah 29:11). 

'We are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God has before ordained for us to walk in.' (Eph 2:10) 

 

God has a plan for us and enables us to fulfil it.  But it's not automatic. 

We are responsible to seek God's will (Jer 29:12,13) and walk in it. The closer we walk to the centre of God's will for us the more of God's purposes and blessings will be fulfilled in our life.

 

3. Realise the Lord is guiding you. 

'This God is our God for ever and ever: He will be our guide unto death.' (Psa 48:14) 

'The LORD shall guide you continually' (Is 58:11) 

'The steps of a good man are ordered of the Lord.' (Ps 37:23) 

 

The Lord is always speaking to us.  The question is are you tuned in? If your radio isn't playing Radio1 it isn't because they're not broadcasting.   Tune in your receiver to the right wavelength!   God warns christians of impending dangers (Psa91:3,10) and guides our steps to avoid them (v11,12) thus He preserves our life.(v16)    But this is only effective if we are close enough to Him to hear and heed His warnings, and trusting Him to protect us and guide our steps.(v1,2,9,14,15)  How often do we ignore and override the still small voice within, the deep inner hunches because we think we know best?  

 

Get into faith that He is guiding you and confess (acknowledge) that: 

'The LORD IS MY SHEPHERD; I shall not want.. 

He LEADS ME beside the still waters... 

He LEADS ME in the right paths' (Ps 23:1-3) 

 

This is a good way to start and continue the day: 'In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths.' (Prov 3:7).

 

Now as you through your day He'll lead you to the right people, places and jobs at the right times. You'll have Divine Appointments!  Often this happens unconsciously for by trusting Him you've put yourself in His hands.  Other times He'll clearly direct you so you must be flexible enough to change your routine and plans.

 

3.  Realise that you (as a Child of God) can hear the voice of the Lord. 

'His sheep follow him (The Good Shepherd) for they know his voice.'(John 10:4) 

'Understand what the will of the Lord is.' (Eph 5:17)  

'As many as are led by the Spirit of God, are the sons of God' (Rom 8:14)

 

4.  Realise there is the GENERAL WILL and the SPECIAL WILL OF GOD. 

  

The General Will of God is God's will for everyone. We don't need special guidance to tell us walk in love. God's general will is in His WORD, the Bible.  This covers 90% of lifeís decisions. 

 

'What do I do in this mess?' 

Answer: 'In everything give thanks: for this is the will of God concerning you'(1Thes 5:18) 

We don't need to pray for a revelation to do this, we just need to obey the Bible. We don't need special leading to be baptised (Mark 16:16) pray in tongues (1Cor 14:5) or go to church (Heb 10:25). God may give a baby christian (who has little knowledge) extra help but He expects us to mature by getting to know and do His Word. 

  

The Special Will of God is His specific will for each of us. Things like jobs, houses, mates aren't in the Word (though it gives general guidelines) In these areas we're all different and need special guidance for our individual situations. God has given us his indwelling Spirit to be our Guide.  He knows each of us intimately and the personal guidance we need.  'If I go not away, the Comforter (Guide) won't come to you; but if I depart, I will send Him to you... when He, the Spirit of truth, is come, He will guide you into all truth... and He will show you things to come.' (John 16:7,13).  The Holy Spirit firstly guides us into the Word (the truth, the general will of God) and secondly 'shows us things to come' (God's special will for our future). 

  

Being in God's General Will is of first importance.  Doing God's will starts by knowing His Word. 'I delight to do Thy will, O God: yea, Thy law is within my heart' (Ps 40:8).  We can't walk in God's special will for us if we ignore His general will (His Word). 

 

God never guides us in a way that differs from the Word (what's already generally revealed). 'The Spirit and the Word agree.' (1John 5:7)   

Test all special guidance by the Word.

 

5. Do God's revealed will diligently. 

We must be faithful in what has already been given or revealed to us before we can expect to be entrusted with more.

 

6.  You must WANT God's will 

We must trust God that He loves us and knows what's best for us. 

If we seek His will we'll find it. We won't find it unless we seek it. 

'I know the plans I have for you, says the LORD, plans for good, and not evil, to give you a future and a hope... you shall call on Me, and pray to Me, and I'll hear you and you'll seek Me, and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart.' (Jer 29:11-13)

 

We must get to the point where to do His will is more important than what His will is. We all have preferences and opinions but we must lay them down. 'Trust in the LORD with all your heart; and lean not to your own understanding... Be not wise in your own eyes' (Prov 3:5). 

 

Get into neutral. Jesus preferred not to go to the cross but prayed: 

'Father if You're willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but Yours, be done' (Luke 22:42). He set His will by praying this again and again.  With this heart attitude it's easy for the Lord to show us His will.  'If any man WILL to do His will, he will know if the words be of God, or of the flesh' (John 7:17). When we lay our will down then God's will comes through and we'll know it's of God. Our guidance is an inner COMPASS that points to true North if not overriden by the MAGNET of our own wishes. If we don't dedicate to God's will, all we hear is our own wishes.

 

'Delight yourself in the LORD and He will give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the LORD; trust in Him and He will bring it to pass' (Psalm 37:4,5) 

 

As we keep rededicating and committing our way to God in faith, our wrong thoughts and desires fade out and He puts His desires in our heart and gives us the ability to bring them to pass (Phil 2:13).   The desire to do His will gets stronger. His desires become our desires.  This submission to God is called meekness.  

 

God guides the meek: 'The meek will He guide in judgement and the meek will He teach his way. Who fears the LORD?  him will He teach in the way that He chooses.. The secret of the LORD is with them who fear Him.' (Ps 25:9)

 

7.  Pray for Guidance 

'If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, Who gives to all liberally and it (guidance) shall be given Him.' (James 1:5) 

'Trust in the LORD with all your heart. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He'll direct your paths.' (Prov 3:5-7).

 

Start the day acknowledging Him, looking to Him in faith to guide you. 

Acknowledge your need for Him and that He's with you to guide you. 

'Lord, You are my Shepherd.  I trust you to lead and guide me today. Thank you for giving me wisdom for this decision.'

 

8.  For big decisions-take special time out to seek God. 

'They who wait on the LORD shall renew their strength ...they shall rise up with wings as an eagle (seeing the situation from above, through God's viewpoint)' (Is 40:31).  Waiting on the Lord involves taking time to seek Him, to delight in Him, to lay one's decisions before Him and dedicate to His will.  It is essential we hear God in these issues. 

'They'll not be ashamed who wait for Me.' (Isa 49:23).

 

Fasting reinforces Prayer (Acts 13:1-4). 

 

A. PRAYER builds up the inner man,making us sensitive to the voice of the Spirit. 

 

PRAY IN TONGUES:  'He who speaks in tongues speaks to God...in the spirit he speaks mysteries' (1Cor 14:2).   Thus we pray out God's secret plan for our life and after time illumination (the interpretation) comes to our mind (v13-15) 

 

 B. FASTING shuts down the flesh so that its voice doesn't drown out the voice of the spirit. It's not to make God speak -but to help ourselves hear God better. Fasting isn't dieting (giving up food) but replacing eating by extra prayer. It only has spiritual value in reinforcing prayer.

 

 

9. GOD'S SPECIAL GUIDANCE 

In both Old and New Testaments special guidance is by the Holy Spirit, but the Mechanics changed. The Old emphasises external guidance through Prophets, angels, and the High Priest (with the Urim and Thummim = lots) 

The New emphasises the Holy-Spirit guiding each believer personally from within (this more intimate guidance wasn't possible before). He still may guide us by a spectacular method but we mustn't miss the supernatural for looking for the spectacular. 

 

Normally the Spirit guides us through our spirit, by a 'knowing' in our spirit: 'The spirit of man is the candle of the LORD' (Prov 20:27). Guidance is not by outward circumstances which satan can influence (2Cor 4:4). Supernatural guidance can seem normal like the Spirit bringing a word of scripture to our remembrance (John 14:26). 

  

A.  THE INNER WITNESS 

'The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God' (Romans 8:16). 

'Let the peace of God rule (as an UMPIRE) in your hearts' (Col 3:15).  

 

An umpire just says: 'Yes' or 'No'. We abide by the umpire's decision.  The inner witness corresponds to the Urim and Thummin in the Old Testament- it's like a red or green light.  You either get a check in your spirit meaning 'no' or ''wait', or you get a peace or release meaning 'yes'.   Be guided by PEACE not PRESSURE.  Worry impedes guidance because it is based on peace. 

 

So: 'Be anxious for nothing; but in everything by prayer with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God (cast it all on Him) and the peace of God (which will guide you), that passes all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.' (Phil 4: 6,7) 

  

B. THE INNER VOICE is stronger.   This is when the Spirit speaks words into your spirit. Always check special guidance (prophecies, visions, impressions) against scripture and if necessary with mature christians).   Any external guidance must be confirmed by your inward witness (peace) Just because you get a prophecy doesn't mean you have to accept it.  You must test it.  You have the Holy Spirit.  He will witness to it.  If it is of God, it'll confirm what Godís already told you. The prophecy is given to encourage you to move on into God's Will. 

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