Summary: How do we find God’s will for our lives? How does God guide?
Guidance. WBC 10 July 2005 pm. Ps 32:6-9
A man lived in a very low-lying area near a river. A man in a jeep drove up one day and said, "This area is about to be flooded. You need to get out of here!" The man replied, "I’ll just stay here and trust the Lord to take care of me." And very soon the water was swirling around his front porch as he sat in his rocking chair.
Soon after that, a man came by in a boat, saying, "You need to get out of here. The water is getting higher and higher." The man replied, "I’ll be okay. I’m just going to trust the Lord."
Finally, the man ended up on his roof because of the rising water. It had already flooded his house. Suddenly, a helicopter appeared overhead and lowered a chair so he could be taken to safety. He shouted back, "It’s okay. I’ll stay here. I’m trusting the Lord to take care of me."
Well, the man drowned and in heaven, he complained to the Lord that He hadn’t take care of him. And the Lord said, "Hey! I sent you a jeep, a boat and a helicopter. WHAT ELSE DID YOU WANT ME TO DO?"
You know- I believe this is an issue we get far too uptight about as Christians!
- because we want to please God, of course
But I just wonder if we
- have far too small a picture of God
- have been bred to be far too insecure or paranoid (rather than being secure in Him like we should be)
o so, we call it ’faith’ and determination to know God’s will
o but actually it can be more like ’fear’
" we are frightened things will go desperately wrong
" that God is there waiting to catch us out… punish us
What loving Father is wanting to do that?
- with my dear kids, I’m not looking to punish them! On the contrary! And really there are no such things as mistakes, rather: opportunities to learn!
Illustr: Remember being struck by one of my early chats with Robert Teare. I suggested we prayed before a joint funeral, and just launched in (sensitive like). He said- that was good, young man- but remember: I committed my day to the Lord this morning and I am walking as though He is with me. (like ’talisman’, ’touch wood’ prayers weren’t needed)
When it comes to the issue of guidance, you have to think about the general picture of what God wants for people in the Bible
- one of the questions people ask is ’why didn’t God create people so all these atrocities wouldn’t/couldn’t happen’
- the answer to that is: God wanted beings with free will, not automata
o (and He made people like this having planned from the start that HE would pay the price)
So- over the HUGE issue like suffering God planned for free will…not automatons
- how much more so over the smaller issue of guidance
Consider another picture: the one of creation and the animals
- GE 2:19 Now the LORD God had formed out of the ground all the beasts of the field and all the birds of the air. He brought them to the man to see what he would name them; and whatever the man called each living creature, that was its name.
- Even with regard to Adam’s wife. One verse on
22 Then the LORD God made a woman from the rib he had taken out of the man, and he brought her to the man.
GE 2:23 The man said,
"This is now bone of my bones
and flesh of my flesh;
she shall be called `woman,’
for she was taken out of man."
Do you get the overall picture of scripture?
- it’s not one of God dictating minutiae (from our perspective). He does work in all things- but He’s not overruling in all things
- look at the general sweep of scripture. God DOES intervene sometimes, direct, give a sign- but it’s really not all the time. It’s a few crucial times over decades of ’Acts’.
o (be cautious! Some will try and make out that this happens all the time and God tells them what shoes to wear, but it’s not born out by the weight of scripture)
No- what God wants is real, live, loving, free, obedient people! Secure people! Mature people
- he wants people who learn to make good, right, mature decisions
o (how else can we judge angels?!)
- people who have the ’mind of Christ’. 1 Cor 2:16
o who have been ’transformed by the renewing of their minds’ Roms 12.
o who know the word of God
" as it is the vocab of God and shows the moral will of God