Friday, January 11, 2008

Some Guidance on Guidance

By Lydia Brownback @

Struggling with a hard decision? Confused about what God wants you to do? In order to help us with a biblical perspective, Ray Pritchard shares four wrong ideas on God's guidance:

Myth #1: God wants you to know the future.
We start down a road, and because we are going a certain direction we think the destination is certain. It is rarely God's will for you to know your personal future. God wants to teach us to trust him step by step.

Myth #2: God wants you to have 100 percent certainty before you make a decision.
After all, if you are facing a life-changing decision--a potential marriage, a cross-country move, a new career, which college to attend, whether or not to begin chemotherapy--you'd like to know in advance beyond any doubt that you are doing what God wants you to do. . . . In our search for certainty, we end up paralyzed by an inability to make up our minds. Doing God's will means taking the next step--whatever it is--without a definite promise about the end result. Many times you won't have 100 percent certainty; but when the moment comes to decide, you must make the best decision you can, trusting God for the results.

Myth #3: God's highest goal is my happiness.
If your personal happiness is not God's highest goal for you, then what is God's will? It is his will for you to be holy. It is God's will for you to be like Jesus Christ. It is God's will for you to be in a place of maximum usefulness for the kingdom of God.

Myth #4: God makes his will hard to find.
Many people struggle unnecessarily in this area. . . . God says, "Trust me." God wants you to know his will more than you want to know it. God is more committed to showing you his will than you are to discovering it. He takes full responsibility for getting you from here to there step by step. He has said, "I will never leave you" (Heb. 13:5), and he won't.

Pritchard sums up:
We want a formula; God wants a relationship. Do you want to know the secret of knowing the will of God? Here it is: In everything you do, know God. We're hung up on the decisions of life. Should I go here? Should I go there? Should I take the job or say no? God is much less concerned with what you do than with what kind of person you are. The question is not, who should I marry, but what kind of person am I going to be no matter whom I marry? We focus all our energy on decisions. But God says, "Know me, and I will take care of the details."

(All from Ray Pritchard, Discovering God's Will for Your Life, Crossway, 2004.)

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