In recent years the subject of how to find God’s guidance has become controversial. Some say that God does not have a specific plan for the lives of his people, but allows us to please ourselves. Others say God’s will is known by dreams, visions, and ‘words of knowledge’.
By contrast with these sadly unbiblical ideas, this book presents the time-honoured, scriptural view that Christians must seek God’s will in all the major decisions of life, such as career, marriage, location, and church. Six essential steps are traced from the Bible, and principles are given on additional practical issues such as possessions and leisure activities; ambition and wealth; joining or leaving a church.
Here is a strong challenge to authentic Christian commitment, with an abundance of pastoral advice.
In answer to the claim that there is no New Testament instruction to seek guidance, we must obviously turn first to the all-sufficient and perfect example of our divine forerunner, our Lord and Saviour, who scrupulously carried out the precise will of his Father when he lived a perfect life of obedience as our representative. How can these authors say that seeking to follow the purpose and will of God is not in the New Testament? Astonishingly, they appear to have no theology of Christ in this matter, and this shows how far they have fallen to a ‘new evangelical’ view of Scripture. ‘Not my will, but thine, be done’ was the Lord’s cry to the Father as he represented his people, and lived a perfect life on our behalf. It is not hard, surely, to distinguish between routine matters, and matters directly relating to the journey of life. Daily food obviously does not relate to the direction of life, nor to one’s spiritual calling and fruitfulness. Nor does the make of car one buys relate to the course of life, though the Lord will help the search and selection in answer to prayer. Like all expensive commodities, the buying of a car is subject to the rules of Scripture. Covetousness and unnecessary luxury and expense are to be avoided, but the decision is not central to the journey of life. On the other hand, one’s marriage-partner affects the entire journey of life. So does one’s career. Where a person chooses to live greatly affects the journey of life, and so does the choice of a church fellowship.
This book argues for the old evangelical view that God leads his people in the major issues of life. The author, who has been pastor of the Metropolitan Tabernacle, London for nearly 40 years, explains why it is much to be regretted that this old path, like so many, has been largely abandoned, even by many so-called reformed pastors and churches. In this context the book provides something of a renaissance or reformation of sound theology. It is just what the post-modern individualistic (ie selfish) modern man does not want to hear! Nevertheless, for those with ears to hear, this book should make all readers more committed to submitting themselves to the Word of God. Dr Masters’ pastoral experience and wisdom is evident throughout. The chapter on courting and marriage is exemplary as is the counsel on what churches to leave and what ones to (almost!) never leave. Here is help for all sincere Christians who desire to examine themselves to see if they are serving the Lord with all their heart. – English Churchman
Table of Contents
1. Does the Lord Really Guide?
2. Six Biblical Steps for Guidance
3. Guidance in Courtship and Marriage
4. Guidance for Activities, Possessions and Leisure
5. Guidance on Wealth and Ambition
6. Imagining the Lord’s Interventions
7. Guidance and Loyalty to the Local Church
8. Guidance in Church Decisions
Appendix: Tests for Amusements and Recreations by Richard Baxter