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Guidance

How Does God Guide People?


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God's primary means for giving us guidance is the Bible. "Jesus answered, 'I tell you the truth, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless he is born of water and the spirit'" (John 3:5).

The Bible is our rule book of faith and practice. If we know and understand the scriptures, we will be well on our way to having His guidance. He never guides His people contrary to the clear principles of His written Word.

Second, guidance comes from a knowledge of God Himself. We need to know what pleases Him and what displeases Him. There is no substitute for walking with God, sharing with Him, and talking to Him daily. "The man without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him, and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually discerned" (I Corinthians 2:14). When you do that, you will experience His direction and His correction. You will come to know what His desire is. "If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land" (II Chronicles 7:14). "Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up" (James 4:10). This relationship develops over a long period of time, not instantaneously. Through constant use, your senses become sharpened so that you know good from evil. "Humility and the fear of the Lord bring wealth and honor and life" (Proverbs 22:4). Spiritual maturity forms a basis for guidance.

A third key to God's guidance is found in the book of Proverbs, where we read: "Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding: in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths." "But he gives us more grace. That is why Scripture says: "God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble" (James 4:6). This means that you are not only to know God, but to trust Him implicitly. Every aspect of your life is to reflect His sovereignty over you. "In all your ways acknowledge Him," means in your work, in your family, in your personal life, in your thought life, in your recreation, in everything you do, you acknowledge that God is in control of you. Then, lean not on your own understanding. If you think you know all the answers, if you have everything all figured out, then you are leaning on your own understanding. If you trust God, acknowledge Him in the way that you live, and do not lean on your overconfidence or past experience. Let Him guide you.

You must have knowledge of the scriptures, a personal knowledge of God, and the knowledge that you are living each day in tune with Him, expecting His guidance. Finally, to have His guidance, you need to be filled with His Spirit. The Bible says, "As many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are the sons of God." "Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven" (Matthew 5:3). Jesus said that the Holy Spirit will lead you into all truth. "For the sins of their mouths, for the words of their lips, let them be caught in their pride" (Psalm 59:12). "To fear the Lord is to hate evil; I hate pride and arrogance, evil behavior and perverse speech" (Proverbs 8:13). "Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall" (Proverbs 16:18).

"A man's pride brings him low, but a man of lowly spirit gains honor" (Proverbs 29:23). In the book of Acts, there are recorded instances where the Holy Spirit gave personal guidance. He said to do this or not to do that. He gave revelations. And He still does all these things. He guides by means of specific scriptures that suddenly come alive for you. He guides by bringing people to you providentially to give you advice and counsel. He guides through circumstances. But you must be filled with the Spirit.

There are many other ways that God can guide you. If your heart and life are centered on God, His Word, and His Holy Spirit, you can rest assured that He will direct your path.

Excerpts taken from Answers To 200 Of Life's Most Probing Questions, by Pat Robertson. Published in paperback by Bantam Books, Inc. and available at your local Christian bookstore.

Scripture references are taken form the New American Standard translation of the Bible.

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