View from the Pew – Where to, Lord?
Our growth group is currently working through the Matthias Media study book, “Where to Lord?“, which is on the topic of guidance.
For those of us currently facing difficult life challenges, these studies are providing a helpful context and biblical approach to what seem to be important decisions facing us. Others might mistakenly feel that the big or important decisions in life are behind us so that seeking God’s guidance is not now so important.
The studies outline several key principles aimed at bringing clarity to the confusion. Some of these are briefly as follows:
- Recognise that God has a plan for his world, that he is in control of everything and nothing can thwart his plan of bringing all people under the Lordship of Christ, and for each Christian to be made more like Christ and to inherit his eternal kingdom. Not even our poor decisions can thwart God’s plan.
- Our response to God’s plan must be based on repentance and faith (trust). We have to decide to listen to God, turn our lives around and obey Him. And, we should not see faith as some unattainable mystical substance or rare commodity, but rather an ordinary ability that we all have: to trust in someone or something based on what we know.
- We need to listen to and hear the word of God. This means turning to Jesus who reveals the Father and speaks the truth. He speaks to us today through the Scriptures as his Spirit applies them to our hearts and minds. The Bible is the only place we can hear a sure and certain word from God. The wise counsel of other Christians may be helpful, but is not an alternative.
- To rely on circumstances, strong feelings, inner voices and so-called “words” from God, should never usurp the Bible as the source of our knowledge of God. Experience and circumstances are ambiguous. We are not privy to God’s behind-the-scenes guidance, but we are given God’s clear word in the Bible. So we should trust God, speak the truth, love our enemies, be kind and generous etc.
- The bible helps us to recognise which things are matters of righteousness, which are matters of good judgement, and which are trivialities. If a decision is a matter of righteousness, then do what is right. If it is a triviality, don’t waste time over it. But matters of good judgement often cause problems. Seeking God’s wisdom is looking for that knowledge we need to live well in His world. With that wisdom we can make decisions in matters of good judgement with better consequences.
So God’s will for us is not some secret or hidden thing, it is out in the open and revealed in the Scriptures. The Bible is more like a compass than a map and it will always point us in the direction of righteousness and holiness in Jesus Christ every day of our lives.
Jim Williams, 5pm congregation
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