The Guidance of God (Part 5)

by Sep 21, 2007

sudoku.jpgThe Holy Spirit is an invaluable channel of God’s wisdom for the everyday choices we make, as well as the major decisions we agonize over. But God has also given us a chest full of tools that he wants us to use with the Holy Spirit’s guidance.

Scripture
The Bible might seem like an obvious source of God’s counsel, but I’m continually amazed at how most Christians completely ignore the treasure trove of wisdom available to them in a book they probably have in five different versions all over their house. If my friend’s wife (see Part 1) had seriously studied the Bible the way she told others they needed to, she would have seen that God is sovereign and can accomplish his will even if we make mistakes (like choosing the wrong person to marry, as she believed she had). Just as Paul boasted in his weakness so that God could receive greater glory, we can trust that God will glorify himself all the more through our blunders.

Logic
God gave us logical minds, and it wasn’t just so we could solve Sudoku puzzles. He expects us to use them in the process of making decisions in concert with the influence of the Holy Spirit. When the early church leaders were faced with the question of which restrictions should be placed on Gentiles joining the church, they based their decision on what “seemed good to the Holy Spirit and to us” (Acts 15). Most of the time, the Spirit’s guidance just adds up, even if it’s going to be extremely difficult to follow. And it should go without saying that God-inspired logic will never contradict the clear revelation of Scripture.

Wise Believers
The biggest factor in the decision the church leaders made in Acts 15 was the input of Peter, Barnabas, and Paul. They had already dealt with the issue personally. It was not abstract and theoretical to them, as it was to some of the church leaders. If you’re having trouble making a decision, there’s probably at least one other believer you know who has already faced a similar issue. They’ve already experienced the consequences of the decision they made, and if they’re spiritually mature enough, they’re probably humble enough to admit their mistakes so you can learn from them.