WRONG! Subjective view: “God spoke to me” Feelings, impressions, ‘fleeces’ and the Bible One Plan View: “God has a wonderful plan for your life.” God through the Bible, prayer, circumstances, the wisdom of others, feelings, impressions, ‘fleeces’ and etc. will show you the one true path for you. RIGHT? Traditional view #1: “Just Do Something! ” Follow the moral, ethical and theological teachings of the Bible and live for God. Traditional view #2: “God Told Me” Listening to God through the Bible, prayer, circumstances, the wisdom of others and etc.
1.God has spoken and continues to speak through the revelation of Scripture alone. 2.God speaks through the Bible as well as through people, actions, dreams, visions, promptings, ideas, events, laying out fleeces, casting lots, and so on. This latter school of thought will generally use the Bible to test the various vehicles through which divine guidance comes so as to ensure the guidance doesn’t oppose what God has already revealed in Scripture.
How does God guide his people? Psalm 25 gives us some of the answers. When we turn to God, seek forgiveness and desire to live in His truth he will guide us. God will guide His children if we are walking in His Word, will and ways.
1 To you, O LORD, I lift up my soul; 2 in you I trust, O my God. Do not let me be put to shame, nor let my enemies triumph over me. 3 No one whose hope is in you will ever be put to shame, but they will be put to shame who are treacherous without excuse. 4 Show me your ways, O LORD, teach me your paths; 5 guide me in your truth and teach me, for you are God my Savior, and my hope is in you all day long.
1.Trust & Hope – Confident faith in God’s authority and trustworthiness. 2.Unashamed - Confident in living God’s way 3.Teachable – Willing to learn and follow God’s will and God’s ways. “Teach me your paths; guide me in your truth and teach me.”
6 Remember, O LORD, your great mercy and love, for they are from of old. 7 Remember not the sins of my youth and my rebellious ways; according to your love remember me, for you are good, O LORD. 11 For the sake of your name, O LORD, forgive my iniquity, though it is great.
8 Good and upright is the LORD; therefore he instructs sinners in his ways. 9 He guides the humble in what is right and teaches them his way. 10 All the ways of the LORD are loving and faithful for those who keep the demands of his covenant.
12 Who, then, is the man that fears the LORD? He will instruct him in the way chosen for him. 13 He will spend his days in prosperity, and his descendants will inherit the land. 14 The LORD confides in those who fear him; he makes his covenant known to them. 15 My eyes are ever on the LORD, for only he will release my feet from the snare.
1.Trusting in God’s Mercy – Seeking forgiveness and being repentant. 2.Obedient to God - Humbly conforming our lives to living God’s way. 3.Intimacy – God will show you His will and His ways. “Who, then, is the man that fears the LORD? He will instruct him in the way chosen for him.”
16 Turn to me and be gracious to me, for I am lonely and afflicted. 17 The troubles of my heart have multiplied; free me from my anguish. 18 Look upon my affliction and my distress and take away all my sins. 19 See how my enemies have increased and how fiercely they hate me!
20 Guard my life and rescue me; let me not be put to shame, for I take refuge in you. 21 May integrity and uprightness protect me, because my hope is in you. 22 Redeem Israel, O God, from all their troubles!
1.Seek God when times are bad. 2.Seek God when times are good. 3.Seek purity and integrity in times of trouble. 4.Cry out for God to intervene for your good and His glory.
1.God’s secret will (or will of decree) is ordained from all of time—a will that is going to come to pass and that no man can thwart. 2.God’s revealed will (will of desire) is his will as revealed in Scripture—a will we sometimes obey and at other times disobey. 3.God’s will for our lives (will of direction) is the one that answers those questions we have about jobs and spouses and houses and all the rest.
1.The Bible 2.The Preached Word 3.Individual Prayer 4.Corporate Prayer 5.Inner Prompting of the Holy Spirit 6.Casting of Lots 7.Putting out a Fleece 8.Spiritual Direction from Others 9.Circumstances 10.Dreams and Visions 11.Passions and Peace 12.Human Wisdom and Advice
“Does God have a secret will of direction that He expects us to figure out before we do anything? NO.” “God does have a specific plan for our lives, but it is not one that He expects us to figure out before we make a decision.” “Trusting in God’s will of decree is good. Following his will of desire is obedience. Waiting for God’s will of direction is a mess.”
“If there really is a perfect will of God we are meant to discover, in which we will find tremendous freedom and fulfillment, why does it seem that everyone looking for God’s will is in such bondage and confusion?” – Kevin DeYoung The solution is simple: We are to have confidence in God’s hidden will, we are to search out and believe and obey God’s revealed will, and we are then to use wisdom to make decisions that God will bless. We are to use “sanctified reasoning.”
“So go marry someone, provided you’re equally yoked and you actually like being with each other. Go get a job, provided it’s not wicked. Go live somewhere in something with somebody or nobody. But put aside the passivity and the quest for complete fulfillment and the perfectionism and the preoccupation with the future, and for God’s sake start making some decisions in your life. Don’t wait for the liver-shiver. If you are seeking first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, you will be in God’s will, so just go out and do something.” – Kevin DeYoung
Too Simple or Too Complex? The key to either approach is intimacy with God! We are to bathe ourselves in His Word. We are to commit ourselves to prayer for any decisions. We can use ‘sanctified reasoning’ but we can also have our eyes and ears open to what God is doing in our life.
Intimacy with God – Seek to be a Christ follower; living in trust and hope. God’s Paths – Commit to learning and living in His will and His ways. God’s Forgiveness – Commit to living a life of spiritual cleansing. God’s Mercy – When times are tough pray, crying out for mercy, and commit to live a life of purity and integrity before the Lord.