“Guidance is basically; hearing God’s voice and obeying it. The ultimate goal of guidance is conforming to Jesus Christ and not just specific instructions. Therefore, we can say that the underlying principle of God’s guidance is Christ-likeness.” (C.S. Lewis)
3 PRINCIPLES IN HEARING GOD’S VOICE
1. It is tied to the primary purpose of Christlikeness
God’s purpose for our lives is under-girded by the overarching theme of Christlikeness.
“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters. And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified.” (Romans 8:28-30)
This passage establishes the ultimate purpose of God for us which is “to conform us to the image of Christ” or — to become like Christ.
2. It is for the primary purpose of obedience
“Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is.” (Ephesians 5:17)
This verse means that it is imperative that we know God’s will so that we may obey and walk in it. We must obey His moral will as revealed in the Scriptures and be observant of what God is engineering in His providence.
Unfortunately, we are often so caught up in seeking His specific will that we forget the most obvious – to obey His revealed moral will in the Bible. It is pointless to know if we should go to India for missions if we are not obeying the Great Commission right here at home.
It is useless to try and know if we should go into full-time ministry if we are not using our gifts and talents in the local church.
3. It involves making Godly choices
Each of us is special to God and we know that God has a plan and purpose for us. However, we have a free will, so we are not locked into a predetermined programme or fate.
We have the unique privilege of choosing between cooperating with God and hindering the fulfilment of His plan.
Therefore, divine guidance does not exempt us from continual choices that will either hamper or forward God’s will and purpose. Each decision we make is an act of creation, bringing into the universe new factors.
We are often so caught up in seeking His specific will that we forget the most obvious – to obey His revealed moral will in the Bible.
God in His sovereignty works within our choices to fulfil His purpose. At times, we end up with His permissive will rather than His perfect will.
We are like L-plate drivers navigating through life with a driving instructor by our side. He will let us navigate and drive, but when there is danger, he has another brake pad that he can use to override whatever we are doing.
That is why we have security in the sovereignty of God
The Bible promises us God’s specific guidance in our search for His specific will.
- “The Lord will guide you always; he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land and will strengthen your frame. You will be like a well-watered garden, like a spring whose waters never fail.” (Isaiah 58:11)
- “The Lord makes firm the steps of the one who delights in him; though he may stumble, he will not fall, for the Lord upholds him with his hand.” (Psalm 37:23-24)
- “I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my loving eye on you.” (Psalm 32:8)
Biblical guidance is not about having to go to God for every single, minute detail of our lives such as what to eat for breakfast or what colour socks to wear.
God has given us common sense and the general revelation of His Word for many day-to-day things of life. These are amoral areas of life where God has given us the free will to decide according to our preferences without displeasing Him.
A young man was unemployed for several months and growing increasingly anxious, he went to speak to his pastor.
As he poured out his heart to the pastor, he said angrily: “I begged and begged God to speak to me but He never did. Why doesn’t God answer?
The old pastor who was sitting across the room spoke something so softly that the young man could not hear so he moved nearer to him and asked: “What did you say?”
The pastor repeated himself but again in a soft voice. The young man moved nearer again and asked: “What did you say?”
Finally, the young man got so near to the pastor that their heads were almost touching. The pastor then said: “Sometimes God whispers so that we will move closer to Him.”
The ultimate purpose of divine guidance is so that we may grow closer to Him, and in drawing near, we are transformed into His likeness.
To find out more about “Discerning the Will of God”, Pastor Benny Ho’s book on the topic, visit his resource page to find out more.