Ch. 7: Practical Application of Doctrine: Guidance

Attitudes of a Transformed Heart

by, Martha Peace

Ch. 7: Practical Application of Doctrine: Guidance

  • if your view of how God guides you is not true to the Scriptures then you could wrongly discern His will and not even know it p.101
  • if we are truly going to understand how God guides us to know His will for us, then we need to begin with what we can know for sure p.102:
    • God is sovereign: He is constantly, actively, providentially working in His creation to accomplish His will p.102
    • God guides us to His will as it is revealed in Scripture p.102
  • What we know from Scripture about God’s Will pgs.103 – 104:
    1. It is God’s will that you be Spirit-filled (Ephesians 5:17-18; Colossians 3:16)
      • the Spirit-filled life is living every moment being controlled by the Holy Spirit
    2. It is God’s will that you be morally pure (1 Thessalonians 4:3; 1 Corinthians 6:20)
      • what we do with our bodies… [and] what we allow to cross our minds either glorifies God or it does not
    3. It is God’s will that you suffer as a Christian (1 Peter 4:14-16, 19; 2 Timothy 3:12; Philippians 1:29)
      • because the darkness hates the light, unbelievers persecute believers for their beliefs and faith… somehow God uses the persecution of Christians to glorify Himself and to help mold them into greater Christlikeness (an example of God’s sovereignty)
    4. It is God’s will that you be submissive (1 Peter 2:13-15; Acts 5:29)
  • We also know that God is guiding us through His providential care p. 104
    • this is God’s activity through His unlimited power and knowledge to fulfill His purpose for the whole creation, including man (Proverbs 16:9) p. 104
    • one example of God working providentially is how He “causes all things [both good and bad] to work together for good tot hose who love God” Romans 8:28 p. 105
    • we need to know all about God’s character to know what kind of power He has. Like the example of God working all things for good to those who love God; if you didn’t know that power about God then you wouldn’t let Him direct your life in that way because it is not something you know – this comes back down to the importance of knowing God’s Word
  • What we cannot know for sure pgs. 105-108:
    1. Let your conscience be your guide (2 Timothy 1:3)
      • certainly it is possible for God to convict us and cause us to feel guilty about sin, but whether we feel guilty or not is not a good way to ascertain God’s guidance because our consciences may have been wrongly influenced
    2. “I feel led” (Romans 8:9-14)
      • when we assume that a desire or feeling… is the Spirit of God leading us, we open ourselves and others up to confusion and error. Whenever our feelings become the standard instead of God’s Word, we move dangerously away from what we know for sure
      • I like what she said at the beginning that now she says “Lord, as best as I can determine you want me to… p.101” This should be the replacing statement after analyzing what we know for sure not on the feelings we get
    3. I must “let go and let God” (Isaiah 40:31; Romans 6:15-18; Ephesians 4:31-32)
      • instead of sitting back and “letting God,” we are responsible to work at mortifying the flesh and putting on virture
      • look at all the Scriptures that talk about “diligence” and diligently doing this or that in our sanctification process. Look at this Scripture “be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. Resist him, steadfast in the faith.” 1 Peter 5:8-9a. People who let go and let God are not being vigilant and steadfast, they are leaving open a foothold for Satan
    4. Three others agree with me so it must be God’s will (Matthew 18:18-19; 18:15-17)
      • the context is clearly and directly the subject of church discipline
    5. God has given me an open door so it must be His will (2 Corinthians 2:12-13)
      • as well as I can know for sure from Scripture, this opportunity is one that I have freedom from God to pursue. If the Lord has other plans, I trust Him to make it obvious
  • when we consider how God guides us, we also must remember that our hearts deceive us – “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked.” Jeremiah 17:9 p. 109
  • it should be a joy knowing that God is working in our lives and guiding us clearly through His Word and secretly through His providential care (Philippians 4:6-7) p. 109

Application Questions:

  1. What principles from God’s Word have you learned that show you about His providential care and have helped you in trusting Him in directing your will? (An example being what she said about God using all things to work together for good to those who love Him. If you know this Scripture then it will change your outlook about certain experiences and how they are a part of God’s will).
  2. Can you think of an example from your life where you let your conscience or feelings lead you in the wrong direction?
  3. Why is it such a battle to not let our feelings lead us and not trust our hearts but instead look to the clairty of Scriptures and where there is not clarity to trust in God’s providential care for us?
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