[Papercut Press Publishing]1997-09-30 - Guidance

How can I know God's will? This is a BIG Question a lot of people ask a lot of times. A discussion group I am in has been asking this sort of question for the last week. Really the topic has been, "How do I know if God is speaking to me, and its not from ourselves or satan?" While the questions are not the same, they are similar. I will sum up the responses, {although, I do not do them justice here, and do not speak for every person who has contributed, (Have I covered myself?)}, as, "If you have a good feeling about it and it brings you peace in your heart, it probably is the will of God."

I am going to suggest that we use the plumb line of, "Is the action or decision agreeable to the Word of God." This is unsatisfactory, because it helps little when I am wondering if I accept my job transfer to another state or quit. How to know the will of God is, at best, a mystery for us in questions like this. We have our rational capacities, but the will of God often supersedes reason and circumvents "normal" laws that govern our everyday experience here on earth. The Bible has a lot to say about Divine guidance. Ps. 25:9, "He leads the everlasting in justice, And He teaches the everlasting His way." Is. 58:11, "And the Lord will continually guide you, and satisfy your desire in scorched places, and give strength to your bones; And you will be like a watered garden, and like a spring of water whose waters do not deceive." Ps. 78:52, "But He led forth His own people like sheep, and guided them in the wilderness like a flock." These few examples can be multiplied all throughout the Bible. God looks after His people and guides them, it is His promise to us. I would like to suggest what my 17th century buddy John Flavel said concerning knowing God's will as an example worthy of following.

"If therefore, in doubtful cases, you would discover God's will, govern yourselves in your search after it by these rules: 1. Get the true fear of God upon your hearts; be really afraid of offending Him. 2. Study the Word more, and the concerns and interests of the world less. 3. Reduce what you know into practice, and you shall know what is your duty to practice. 4. Pray for illumination and direction in the way that you should go. 5. And this being done, follow Providence as far as it agrees with the Word, and no farther."

"In the light of God, human vision clears." James Philip

Soli Deo Gloria,
Tim