July 14, 2010

Martha Peace on Guidance

I can see and hear myself from years past saying, "I have peace about my decision;" or "I feel led;" or "There is no doubt in my mind that God wants me to . . ." Now I hear myself saying, "This is an area in which I have freedom;" or "What do the Scriptures say?" or "Lord, as best I can determine You want me to do . . .;" and lastly, "If You have a different plan I know You'll make it clear." I have heard others say, "The Lord told me to . . . " or "I saw a vision," or "The Lord spoke to me last night in a dream." There are almost as many views of guidance from God as there are Christians! The reason I chose this particular topic . . . is because the issue of guidance directly relates to knowing the will of God. The will of God is affirmed in our lives as good and acceptable and perfect to the degree that we have been "transformed by the renewing of [our] mind[s] . . . " (Romans 12:2, adaptation added).

If your view of how God guides you is not true to the Scriptures then you could wrongly discern His will and not even know it. You also could be giving out very definite advice and directing other people's lives in an unbiblical way that God never intended. . . . Is God speaking directly to us through a still, small voice? Does He lead us through our emotions and feelings such as "I feel led" or "I have peace"? Is He guiding us at all or simply leaving us to fend for ourselves?

When we consider how God guides us, we also must remember that our hearts deceive us. We are capable of believing and feeling that God is guiding us when really our consciences may have been taught error instead of truth. The only for sure way to know God's will is to go to the Scriptures.

It is a mark of maturity as a Christian to honor God by relying on what we know for sure rather than depending upon other methods of guidance which at the very best are unsure and dependent on using Scripture out of context. None of us can be transformed in our thinking if we are out of His will. The only way to know His will confidently is to embrace a biblical view of guidance and to trust God's Word and His providence instead of trusting some vague, mysterious impression, "check," or still small voice that we think we may have heard or felt. If we are to be renewed in our thinking and attitudes then it follows that we must "not be foolish but understand what the will of the Lord is" (Ephesians 5:17; emphasis added).

Excerpts from Attitudes of a Transformed Heart by Martha Peace pages 101 and 109. Copyright 2002 Focus Publishing, Inc. ISBN 1-885904-28-2.

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