Personal guidance is that which God uses to direct you directly through your own faculties of spiritual sight and hearing. This is not guidance through other people or even dramatic, supernatural guidance from God, but it is the everyday communication of God which should be every Christian's experience.
(2) Personal Hearing and Seeing God's Way.
2 Timothy 3:15-17 and
The general will of God can be seen in the LOGOS (written word of God).
Will of God = Holy and stated purpose of the Father to make us like Christ.
From the Bible there are obvious things we know is the will of God for all (eg. 1 Thessalonians 5:18). As we have already seen, World Missions IS THE BASIS for the Bible and the whole Scripture reveals God's general will of reaching all peoples with the Gospel and we are all to have a vital role in this. As we read the Bible we receive a mandate to reach the unreached and live an upright Christian life that will fit in with this Vision.
We know it is God's general will for us to live holy lives, pray to and worship Him, reach out to others in love (especially those who have never heard the good news about Jesus) and be involved in discipling others with great joy, peace and love!
However, His specific will for our lives can also come as He gives RHEMA (the quickened,spoken word of God to our spirits) - He may highlight a general word in the Bible and make it specific to you.
Ways we can hear His call through the word...
* Regular Bible Reading (planned and systematic)(See this quote).
* The Open Page Method (Not recommended, but sometimes God speaks this way) - See this humorous article entitled 'Diary of a Bible'.
* Mental Suggestion (Bringing a Biblical thought to mind, maybe not previously memorized).
* Recalled Memory Verse ( Psalm 119:9-11).
This guidance may be GENERAL ( 2 Kings 23:3) or SPECIFIC ( Daniel 9:2).
Remember that meditation(see this quote) on God's word will fill you to overflowing with His word, which is useful in all things - especially guiding you in His way, general or specific.
Group or Individual
Activity: Write a list of all Scriptural guidance you know is GENERAL to
all believers (i.e. we know that all Christians should be doing these things)
- see this list of verses stating the general
Will of God and also look again at
1 Thessalonians 5:18.
Give testimony of how the Lord has used His word to guide you SPECIFICALLY.
Read the following
quote by George Muller on the Word of
God and comment on what it speaks to you personally. Also read this
quote by D.L.Moody and again comment.
Fasting is not a tool to twist God's arm to do something, but a way to more tightly hold His hand to go where He goes and do what he does! (must be accompanied by prayer or it is just dieting!).(See also Matthew 6:16-18 for Jesus' teaching on fasting).
Often the Lord will tug at your spirit for a season of fasting (if you're not that sensitive I suggest you fast more so it makes you more sensitive). It may be for a specific issue you're praying about or just to get closer in your relationship with Him (in which case , seeing Him closer and hearing Him more clearly will lead you more into His will).
We don't know what we should really pray so it is wise not to come to God with a shopping list of all YOUR prayers. The first step is to wait on God for HIS prayers! Ask Him to put His prayers on your heart so you may pray them in faith and see His will be done on earth as it is in heaven ( Luke 11:1-2) (i.e. The prayers are already waiting to be prayed in heaven - we need to seek what they are and pray them) - See this Quote by Andrew Murray or this Quote by Spurgeon.
As you are waiting on the Lord He may answer one of four ways...
(1) NO - not asking for the right thing.
(2) SLOW - not asking at the right time.
(3) GROW - not asking with the right intention/attitude.
(4) GO - all the above conditions are met.
Sometimes God answers our prayer, but not in the way we were expecting - see this Quote and this Inspirational thought on Asking God. It must also be noted that sometimes the prayers He gives us cannot even be verbalized - see this Quote.
Group or Individual Activity: The best prayer to pray is the PRAYER OF INQUIRY (See 1 Chronicles 14:8-17 ) - read this together and discuss what the PRAYER OF INQUIRY is and why it is so important. (also look at James 4:3 and discuss).
Above all prayer is about LISTENING - above we have seen that we must not presume how to pray. We must inquire on Him what we should pray. This means waiting on Him to listen to His still, small voice...
Read through the
following verses on
Waiting On The Lord and look at the
different Hebrew words used. What aspect of waiting does each word show
us ? Comment on each verse about what you learn...
Look at this quote and also this quote about prayer and discuss the impact of their meaning to your own prayer life. ....also you can do An assignment on prayer.
This is the principle of 'following the cloud'. We need to be continually filled with His Holy Spirit so we can learn how to flow in Him, understanding His promptings, discerning His still,small voice.
We must allow His anointing to flow ( 1 John 2:27) and He will give a peaceful witness (See Colossians 3:15 - look especially at the Greek meaning of 'rule') as to which way to go or not go ('check in the Spirit').
Group or Individual
Activity: Think about/discuss how the Spirit speaks to us in guidance-
See Acts 16:7-10 and think about/discuss how you feel Paul was forbidden by the Spirit.
Read Ephesians 4:1-3 and list out all the things we must do to walk worthily in the Spirit according to His call. Discuss.
(ii) Counsel Of The Heart.
The more our heart (spirit) is submitted to the Lord, the more it will counsel and instruct us....
Group or Individual Activity: Read this Quote by Jim Elliot of Counsel of the heart. Discuss what Jim Elliot is describing when he mentions the 'counsel of the heart'.
What are the conditions for seeing this enlightened counsel (the eyes of our heart - see Ephesians 1:17-18) ?
All the above forms of guidance should be an everydau occurance in our Christian lives. They are the 'norm' in terms of God's direct guidance and we should aim to cultivate each area to hear and see His way more and more as we grow into Him.
·Go back and continue your study.