• Wayne Fox

Trusting God For Guidance

Trusting God For Guidance

There are times when we are making plans that we asked the question; can I trust God to guide me in this plan? Or what if I make a mistake and don’t follow the plan? To answer these questions, we must distinguish between God’s guidance and finding the will of God. David said to God: Psalm 23:2–3 He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters. 3 He restores my soul. He leads me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.

The imagery is that of a Shepherd leading his sheep. The Shepherd must determine the places for water and determine the best places for grazing. The Shepherd guides a flock as he thinks best. Our Shepherd, God has committed Himself to guide us in the ways that He knows to be best for us. God’s sovereignty guides our lives so that we do indeed live out in our daily experiences all the days ordained for us. Discovering God’s will or making wise decision is a different, though somewhat related subject. This refers to a “fork in the road” or a decision.

There are several views on the subject. We are not going to enter that discussion at this time. What we want to look at now is God’s initiative and God’s faithfulness in guiding us so that we do fulfill the plan God has ordained for us. We think about our responsibility to discover God’s will in a situation or to make wise decision in life choices. Scripture emphasizes that God is guiding us. In the book of Acts the only reference to the disciples seeking to determine the will of God occurs in the choosing of Matthias to succeed Judas (Acts 1:21-26). From that point onward we have a record of God guiding His people. In Acts 16 Paul and his companions were moving ahead in their missionary journey in a logical progression. Two times they are stopped by the Holy Spirit. As a result of Paul’s vision, they concluded God was calling them to Macedonia. As they moved ahead the Spirit guided them, stopping them in two places and calling them to another place. We are not told how the Spirit guided; it simply says that He did. God did have a plan for Paul and his team that was more specific than the Great Commission (Matthew 28:18-20) to make disciples in all nations. The providences of Asia and Bithynia that Paul was prevented from entering were just as needy as Macedonia. It was God’s plan that Paul should take the gospel to Macedonia and then to the entire Grecian Peninsula. God did not leave it to Paul to seek His will. As Paul moved along God took the initiative to guide him.

God does have a plan for each of us. He has given each of us different gifts, abilities, and temperaments and has placed each of us in the Body of Christ according to His will. Placing us in the Body denotes far more than leaving the choice to us. It means actually putting us there. It includes all of the providential circumstances that are brought to bear upon us to ensure that we do find our rightful place in the Body and fulfill the functions He has given us to do. We do have a responsibility to make wise decisions or to discover the will of God whichever term we may prefer to use. God’s plan for us is not contingent upon our decisions. God’s plan is not contingent at all, God’s plan is sovereign. It includes our foolish decisions as well as our wise ones. For most of us many of life’s more critical decisions are made before we have enough spiritual wisdom to make wise decisions. God’s means of guidance is infinite.

As I look back over many years of my Christian life I am amazed at the many and diverse ways by which God has guided me. David said it in: Psalm 139:17 How precious to me are your thoughts, O God! How vast is the sum of them! God is at work guiding all of the details of my life. Like most Christians I have struggled over the right choices at some of those “forks in the road” decision points. I may have made some wrong decisions, I don’t know. God in His sovereignty has faithfully guided me in His paths through right decisions and wrong ones. I am where I am today not because I have always made wise decisions or correctly discovered the will of God at particular points along the way but because God has faithfully led me and guided me along the path of His will for me.

We need to learn to trust Him to guide us. God does not guide us in some mysterious way apart from hard and prayerful thinking on our part. God made us capable of thinking. He guides our minds as we think things out in His presence. God guides our minds as we think.

He does not look down from heaven at our struggles to know His will and say” I hope you make the right decision”. In His time and in His way, He will lead us.

Fannie Crosby wrote an appropriate hymn for this topic of trusting God for guidance.

All the way my Savior leads me,

What have I to ask beside?

Can I doubt His tender mercy,

Who thro’ life has been my guide?

Heavenly peace, and divinest comfort,

Here by faith in Him to dwell,

For I know whate’er befall me,

Jesus do us all things well.

All the way my Savior leads me,

O the fullness of His love!

Perfect rest to me is promised,

In my father’s house above;

When my spirit, clothed immortal,

Wings it’s flight to realms of day,

This my song thro’ endless ages:

Jesus lead me all the way.

We can trust God to guide us. He will lead us all the way. And when we stand before His throne, we will not be singing about successfully discovering the will of God. We will sing “Jesus led me all the way”.

What decisions have you made where you allowed God to guide you? What decisions have you made where you did not to allow God to guide you?

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