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Posts Tagged ‘scripture’

I have always wondered at the mystery of the phrase “God led me to…”.  I always wondered how God leads us.  Was it an audible voice?  If so then why could I never hear Him?  Was I not saved?

A couple years ago, when I was searching for direction in my life, this became a huge question.  How would I know where God was leading me if there was no “Voice from Heaven?”  Then, for my birthday, my Mom gave me a book by J. I. Packer titled Guard us, Guide us.  I was so excited.  Finally, a book that could teach me how to listen for God’s guiding call.

If you have ever read a J. I. Packer text, you will know that he is not a light read.  This is not something you can just pick up and set down with ease.  You have to invest some time with it.

So, I didn’t really get through the first chapter for about a couple years (sorry mom).

But, strangely enough, I began to see that, despite not reading this book (which I still plan to do), God has been leading me and I have been seeing it very clearly in my life.  Not that I’m perfect but I feel as if this book is now more of a supplement than a primary text.  Which is exciting in and of itself.  As I have been growing in my walk with God, I have been learning to follow Him and see His guiding hand.

So, now you may ask, how does one see God’s guidance in their life?

So far, through God’s word and Prayer.

What?  It’s that simple?

Yes.  Even more so.

We read what God has commanded of us in scripture.  This is the basic way of following God in a general sense.  You come to a decision point.  I am hungry for a snickers bar.  Do I steal one or do I pay for it?  What does God’s word say?  Stealing is a sin.  Answer: Pay for it. (Or be healthy and buy a carrot instead).

In a more situational sense, prayer would come into play in more than a mere “Lead us from temptation” sense.  You have to confront a friend, a brother or sister in Christ.  How do we go about it?  In love, yes.  One on one, yes.  These are the basic guidelines laid out by scripture.  But specifically how?  How will it play out?  Do you even confront them?  Is it your place?  These are all specific issues that are not necessarily covered in scripture.  “Do I date this Christian girl or that Christian girl?”  “Do I even date?”  “Can I watch rated R movies?”

If your reading this and this is something that you learned a long time ago, congrats and I wish I had.  But I hope this somewhat helps those who are still learning of God’s Guidance.  And seriously, you will want to pick up J. I. Packer’s book.  It’s a good read so far (I’m up to chapter 4).

Peace,

Bill

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In my 22 years of being a Born Again Christ Follower, I have struggled with the fact that there have not been a whole lot of people that I have led to Christ.  This was something I worked out years ago thankfully but then I lost sight of what I had learned.  In reading David Platt’s book “Radical” with a couple guys from my church, the book has helped me to see that again in clarity and I wanted to share with you some of the insights I have gleaned in this area of life.  I will use Romans 1:16,17 as a template of sorts.

I am not Ashamed

There is a war going on within our reality between spiritual forces.  Satan knows his time is coming to a close so he is doing everything in his power to a) keep those who are dead in sin from seeing the light of the gospel, and b) turn those who are children of God away from the light of the gospel.  As such, to those who are in the former category, the gospel is offensive and debilitating.  It is painful and it is blinding.  It is one of the big three that one is not to discuss in polite conversation (the three being politics, religion, and money).  But this can not be the case.  The gospel is meant to be spoken aloud, to those dead in sin, and those walking away from God.  Christ is said to be offensive and a stumbling block.  Therefore, we who live in such a world that demands comfort and instant gratification must understand that we cannot be ashamed of the gospel.  Yes, it will cause trouble.  But this is the norm, not the exception.  Do not be ashamed.

The Gospel

What is the gospel?  This is a tricky issue in today’s American culture.  There are different variations that different people say you must present differently. This is grounds for another blog post to look at in more depth the gospel.  But in short, the gospel is that I, as a human being, am born in sin, dead to sin, and destined for hell apart from God.  I am so dead in my sin that I am not even able to come to God on my own and I reject God to the detriment of my life, physical and spiritual.  But behold! Christ has come to earth to live, die, and be resurrected so that there is a hope that we may be made alive in Him.  We who once were dead in sin now have a way to come to God and be made new, to be born again and to escape the wrath of God.  This is, in short, the Gospel.

The Power of God

This gospel is not an initiative of man.  This is done through the power of God.  This is who we rely on in the gospel.  The salvation God offers us is a free gift, not just something earned.  This is something me must keep at the forefront of our lives, in witnessing and living.  The gospel needs the power of God.

For Salvation to the Jew and Greek

The gospel is not a respecter of nationality, blood, heritage, or culture.  It transcends all of this and is applicable for all.

Revelation

Without the revealed gospel, we would have no way to understand who God is beyond His eternal power and divine nature.  This understanding cannot save.  This can only point us in the right direction.  Unfortunately, we suppress this in our sin dead ways.  We take what God has created and in turn worshiped that.  One of my favorite verses is in Isaiah 44:18-20 where God describes a man who takes a piece of wood, used part of it to make fire, used more of it to make bread, and used the rest to make an idol.  We cannot know God apart from what God has revealed to us.

This is important in my struggle because I used to take the responsibility for persuasion completely on my shoulders in witnessing.  I used to study evolution, Catholicism, carbon 14 dating, biology, history, literary theory, textual criticism, hermeneutics, theology, apologetics, philosophy, and anything else that I thought would help persuade people that God is calling for us to cry out to Him.  And when a finely crafted argument (or so I thought) would fail to bring those to whom I witnessed to Christ, I would become so discouraged that I finally stopped telling people about Christ for a good amount of time.

It is not my job to bring people to Christ.  Christ brings people to Christ.  It is my job to tell the people about the gospel.  Paul did not persuade Agrippa.  But Paul preached to him.  That was his job, not to persuade, but to preach.  And honestly, this is such a blessing, to have Paul’s testimony, for if he couldn’t persuade someone, with all of his learning and skills and authority, then I am comforted.

Take heart.  Keep on preaching the gospel in love and humility, praising God when He allows you to see someone call on the name of His Son Jesus, but not growing discouraged if something visible does not occur.  I Corinthians 3:7 “So neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God who gives the growth.”

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