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Posts Tagged ‘guidance’

by Mike Edwards

It seems doubtful a Creator would communicate to their creations only through a Book, since the majority of people born into this world didn’t possess a copy of the Bible. Even the Bible suggests to look for God’s guidance through a Spirit than a Book (Jn. 14:16-17; 16:13). We can think of the Holy Spirit as God’s Spirit or Presence.

God mainly guides through influence. 

Since God isn’t visibly or audibly for most of us, God must guide through influence. We are not entirely unfamiliar with such guidance. If we were close to our parents, even if they have passed, we still are influenced by them. It could be loving on God’s part to allow human parents to guide us in the beginning, rather than a visible God who we may be overwhelmed by or unable to relate to as much. The example a parent sets, and our mental image of God, can guide though not physically present.

Our image of God is everything. 

The Bible frequently uses the analogy of God as our Heavenly Father/Parent to understand God as best we can. God obviously isn’t exactly like human parents for we cannot be in all places at one time, but an analogy helps to discern what might be commonalities. The Bible says to strive to imitate or be perfect like God (Eph. 5:1; Mt. 5:48). It is only intuitive to think a Creator would love us and others how we were seemingly created to love others. Said another way, how you wished to be loved by your parents is how God loves us. God’s image is a perfect, loving Parent!

How does God’s influence work?

We know the Spirit’s influence when we continually strive to be the perfect partner, parent, or friend despite our failures. We know the Spirit’s influence when we recognize violence begets violence and respond non-violently when able. We know the Spirit’s influence when we have wronged someone, we quickly confess and make amends. That is more supernatural than natural. The Spirit speaks like a loving parent would: I love you; I forgive you; I won’t abandon you. 

What about moral guidance?

Moral knowledge isn’t hidden. Universal moral outrage toward murder, adultery, stealing, etc. hints of a Creator’s influence through our moral intuitions. There is practically universal agreement concerning the golden rule. We don’t always know what perfect love entails, but we know the question we ought to ask ourselves – am I loving others as I wish to be loved or as our Creator loves us. Some matters declared moral aren’t necessarily. There are two sides in handling challenges such as immigration, taxes, climate strategies, etc. Open discussions can lead to creative solutions not chaos. 

What about future decisions?

It is natural to think an all-knowing, powerful God has special insights into future outcomes to avoid problems. To say God knows the future suggests a predetermined future making freedom nonsensical. God’s plan is not a detailed blueprint but a general one to set us free to love. God can’t tell you if the person you want to marry won’t end up betraying you or the job you take won’t end up being phased out. God joins us in an open future. We surely have God’s blessing choosing the wisest, more loving path at the time based on past experiences, current circumstances, and future aspirations. God seeks only to influence us to do all the good we can, in all the places we can, at all the times we can, to all the people we can, as long as we can. Such a plan leads to true happiness in the long-run for a better world.

We don’t always have to be certain if mental impressions are the Spirit’s voice.

God’s awing or overpowering presence may only lead to consuming guilt or fearful obligations to obey. When parents push their agendas, even if in their child’s best interests, they may resent or rebel against coercion and never turn back. If God communicates in less demonstrative ways, this may allow for heartfelt choices. Many moral decisions are clear and agreed upon. Some though declare supposed certainty often in God’s name. Civil discussions, proclaiming uncertainty not certainty, can led to new understandings.

 

MikeEdwardsprofilepic125

Mike Edwards has been writing for Done with Religion for some time and has been a great addition to the site. Mike also has his own site where he writes that can be found at What God May Really Be Like  He can be contacted by email at: medwar2@gmail.com

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Matthew 23:10 – Do not be called leaders; for One is your Leader, that is, Christ….

Do you notice how we christians get so caught up on which pastor, evangelist or leader becomes our focal point? We listen to this one, or that one, read books from this guy, or listen to tapes by that woman. We attend a fellowship because we like the pastor, or we will drive miles to listen to a popular TV or radio evangelist. But wait a minute, doesn’t God’s word say that we are all brothers and sisters in Christ, all fellow-servants. We are not to be called leaders, no one is higher up than anyone else. We don’t need anyone to teach us because we have the Spirit of Christ within us, the true living Word lives in each of us (1 John 2:27). In Christ, we are all His servants, no one should be looked up to or revered more than anyone else. True, we can learn from one another by the way Christ works in each of our lives, but we should stop putting our hope in other people and start listening to the Holy Spirit that is within us for truth and guidance.

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Acts 4:13 – Now as they observed the confidence of Peter and John and understood that they were uneducated and untrained men, they were amazed, and began to recognize them as having been with Jesus…

We hear a lot about education these days. How important it is and how everyone needs a good education. We even have religious schools to teach us from a Christian viewpoint, and schools to teach us how to minister, how to preach, how to prophesy and use our gifts. What will they come up with next?

The thing that this verse points out to me is that education is really not necessary when it comes to our spiritual lives.

I’m not against education. It is important in our world today, and if you want to get a decent job to provide for your family, you had better get a good education. Many people have earned a good education and use it in great ways to better humanity and help their families. There is certainly nothing wrong with education. Although in ‘spiritual terms’, education is way overdone.

In this article I am talking about spiritual education, we do not need to be educated to live for God, or to be used by Him. That is what stood out so much to the rulers that Peter and John were in front of, that they were uneducated and untrained. Imagine that, no education, no training. BUT, they had been with Jesus.

That is the difference when we are talking spiritually. Education cannot teach us how to live in the Spirit. We can get all the head knowledge about God, about living for Him, about service, but if we aren’t saved by faith in Christ, all the education in the world really won’t help us. If we aren’t allowing the Holy Spirit to teach us, guide us and lead us into truth, no amount of man-made education can help us in our daily Christian walk.

I am thankful that God does not require us all to be scholars or highly educated. Any and all of us can come to salvation by grace through Christ. It makes no difference if we are educated or not. He loves us and wants a relationship with each one of us.

The difference in us as Christians should be that we have been with Jesus. A life under His guidance and love is one that will stand out and make a difference. A difference, spiritually speaking, that education cannot make.

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