Stanley: Real Guidance for Life's Journey
By Linda Green
Who doesn't want to walk through life wisely? There are those careless
ones who disdain any approach to life that smacks of restraint. But most of us
want to avoid foolish pitfalls. And now renowned Christian leader and author Charles
Stanley has provided a road map.
His book Walking Wisely: Real Guidance
for Life's Journey is a practical handbook on the subject.
is the capacity to see things from God's perspective and to respond to them according
to scriptural principles," writes Stanley.
Drawing heavily on Proverbs,
Stanley devotes the first half of the book to telling us why we want to walk wisely
and to teaching us the basics. The rest of the book addresses specific situations
where wisdom is desperately needed.
In making his case, he compares earthly
wisdom to Godly wisdom, emphasizing that information and knowledge are not wisdom.
In fact Godly wisdom can appear downright foolish by earthly standards.
wisdom is doing what comes naturally," he writes. "Godly wisdom is doing
what the Holy Spirit compels us to do."
Note the word "compels."
The prodding of the Holy Spirit may lead us into unwelcome territory. Wisdom comes
in verifying that leading and then obeying.
If you need any convincing,
Stanley draws a nasty picture of the repercussions of earthly wisdom -- power
struggles, greed, envy, lust, blasphemy, heresy and more.
But if you seek
Godly counsel, you have the creator and ruler of the universe on your side.
benefits? A gain in knowledge of God. Clear guidance from God. God's divine protection.
God's strength and power. Genuine joy and contentment. A good self-image. Whole-person
prosperity. Good health and a long life.
Stanley then offers a step-by-step
plan for laying hold of these treasures.
First, we must be determined, not
turned aside by naysayers or directions from God that seem out of whack. "One
of the main admonitions for acquiring wisdom is that we seek it. This requires
diligence that is unwavering."
We must ask God in prayer for
we must consciously and intentionally ask the Lord daily
to reveal His wisdom in every area of challenge, difficulty or opportunity that
we face." And we must meditate on God's Word. But we can't stop there. We
must actively apply and obey God's Word.
Another essential is sensitivity
to the prompting of the Holy Spirit. A prompting "is like a flash of lightening
in a person's spirit that creates an almost immediate knowing of
respond. The prompting comes with a deep assurance and confidence that the choice
or decision is right." You'll make some mistakes, Stanley concedes, but recognizing
these promptings gets easier with practice.
Next, we must observe God at
work in the world. Learn from nature, from events and from the lives of other
The people to focus on in your friendships are those who have already
displayed skill in walking wisely. "Don't just accept people into your life
solely because they live close to you, you have known them a long time, or you
feel obligated by them to be a friend or colleague." Rather, focus on character
and commitment to Christ.
Walking wisely doesn't come naturally, and it's
not easy to master. It requires time and discipline. But Stanley argues persuasively
that it's worth the effort.
Do you need wisdom for confronting temptation?
For choosing friends and business associates? For building deep, lasting, Godly
friendships? Do you need to heal a damaged relationship? Counter conflict and
criticism in your life? Do you want a deeper relationship with God?
tackles all these situations with detailed advice on how to deal with each wisely.
may think that you know all this, but I encourage you to read Stanley's advice.
It can prompt some valuable soul searching.
I thought I was walking wisely
but was forced by Stanley to trace some trails I blazed on my own that led to
dead ends. I am now more energized to undertake the walk with conscious discipline.
My heart will be more sensitive to the promptings of the Holy Spirit and my will
more attuned to following through.
I gain my resolve from the simple truth
expounded by Stanley. It really is possible to walk wisely with God.
Charles Stanley is well known through his In Touch radio and television ministry.
He is pastor of the 15,000-member First Baptist Church in Atlanta. He is also
the author of many books. He received his bachelor of arts degree from the University
of Richmond, his bachelor of divinity degree from Southwestern Theological Seminary,
and his master's and doctor's degrees from Luther Rice Seminary.
an interview with Dr. Charles Stanley by CBN.com's Craig von Buseck
Wisely: Real Guidance for Life's Journey
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