How does God guide us?

Christians have always been fascinated by this question and there is no shortage of weird and wonderful teachings on the subject.

We’re interested in the question because decision-making is such a big part of our lives.  We make hundreds of choices every day.

Every time we make a choice we receive the consequences of that choice – intended and unintended.

Often our seemingly most insignificant decisions have the biggest consequences.

We could make the choice to leave 5 minutes early for work and be in a terrible car accident that affects the rest of our lives.

Because we don’t know the future, making decision-making can be tough.

How should we make decisions? How do we hear God’s voice? How does God Guide us?

God’s providence

In God’s sovereignty and all-powerfulness, he guides us behind-the-scenes without us even knowing.

God may cause us to feel a certain way about a course of action.

God may cause us to miss an appointment.

God may cause a letter to get lost in the post.

God may cause you to meet just the right person at just the right time.

Nothing is too big or too small for God to use to providentially guide us towards what is for our good i.e. that we grow in righteousness and be conformed to the image of Jesus (Romans 8:28-29).

If we are Christians, God is orchestrating the entire universe for our good.

God’s Word

God speaks to us today through the Bible.  God speaks through what he has spoken (2 Timothy 3:16-17, Hebrews 3:7-9).

Hebrews 1:1-2 is an important passage:

Long ago, at many times and in many ways, God spoke to our fathers by the prophets, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son…

God spoke in the Old Testament in many, many ways – including though a donkey and writing on a wall.  But now, God has spoken his decisive, ultimate Word to us through Jesus.

In Jesus, we see God’s character and hear God’s commands.

God’s will is not learnt through Mohammed, the Ancestors, the psychic medium or the latest so-called prophet – but through Jesus, the living Word, and the Bible, the written Word.

Jesus himself viewed the Bible as our highest authority (e.g. Matthew 19:1-10) and therefore our ultimate guide as to what is pleasing to God.

Should I sleep with my girlfriend?

The Bible says flee from sexual immorality. 1 Corinthians 6:18

Should I have I affair?

The Bible says keep the marriage bed pure. Hebrews 13:4

Should I fudge my tax-return?

The Bible says do not steal, including from the government. Exodus 20:15

Should I give towards gospel ministry?

The Bible says God loves a cheerful giver. 2 Corinthians 9:7

Should I care for my parents in their old-age?

The Bible says honour your mother and father. Exodus 20:12

We don’t have to wonder what God’s will for our lives is. God’s will is on public record, written in black and white.

God’s will is that we submit to Jesus as King and then seek to obey God’s commands as best we can.

Our common sense

God has given us brains for many reasons. One reason is to make decisions.

We pray to God for wisdom and then use the minds God has given us to decide.

Within the boundaries of God’s Word, God gives us a lot of freedom.

The problem is we don’t like to make decisions.  We want God to make our decisions for us.

The comforting truth is that God uses all things, even our bad decisions, for our good and his glory.

Ask God to help you from today to make good, wise, God-honouring decisions – which starts by trusting Jesus as King.

How can a young man keep his way pure?

  By guarding it according to your word.

 With my whole heart I seek you;

    let me not wander from your commandments!

I have stored up your word in my heart,

    that I might not sin against you.

 Blessed are you, O Lord;

    teach me your statutes!

(Psalm 119:9-12)

The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.

    He makes me lie down in green pastures.

He leads me beside still waters.

    He restores my soul.

He leads me in paths of righteousness

    for his name’s sake.

(Psalm 23:1-3)