Is It God Leading?

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by Crabtownboy, May 5, 2010.

  1. Crabtownboy

    Crabtownboy
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    In another thread titled, Tired Of Vanilla All Of The Time, the question is asked as to why so few new topics come up ... it seems the same old-same old over and over.

    I may be wrong, but I do not remember much, if any, discussion on how do you determine if it is God leading you to do or go or not do or go in a situation that will demand a challenge or a change or a taking a risk in one way or another?
     
  2. Tom Butler

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    I think this is a great question.

    I am a bit leery when I hear people glibly say stuff like, "God told me to ..."

    Or "the Holy Spirit impressed me to say...."

    I guess what made me a little suspicious are those TV charismatic preachers and others who say God has just given them a word, a prophecy, whatever.

    Don't get me wrong. I do believe that God leads and guides his people.

    But how does he do it? How do you know when God has revealed his will to you?

    Great question, Crabby. I'll share my own thoughts in a later post.
     
  3. Crabtownboy

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    Thanks. It is a question I have struggled with all my adult life. How do I determine it is the leading of the Holy Spirit and not just what I really want to do? How do I discern it is the Holy Spirit?

    I agree. I cringe when I hear people make such statements in a glib way ... and I have seen people make little and major mistakes by making such a statement and then going the way the say they are led.

    And they give you good reason to be suspicions. I gave up on TV and radio preachers a long time ago.

    I totally agree. My struggle has been in discerning his will. I do not believe God minds us putting out a fleece.

    That is the question and I would really like for others to share their experiences, both where hindsight showed them to be right and also wrong in their course of action.

    I look forward to your comments. I will share also.

     
  4. tinytim

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    One question I ask myself is this:

    Is this thing I am contemplating going to minister to others and bring glory to God?
    OR am I wanting to do it to bring glory to myself?

    You know the right answer.
     
  5. Berean

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    If it does not Glorify God, Edify others and agree with the Word, forget it.
     
  6. Cutter

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    My first Pastor used to tell me that if there was any way that I could get out of doing something and be successful, that it was not God leading. I received this advice when I shared with him that I felt like the Lord was calling me into the ministry. I tried to displace the thoughts and also tried to get away from the call and it would not let me go. I believe it was good advice then, that worked, and I believe it is still good advice today.
     
  7. slow to learn

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    Much of God's will for us has been placed in the Scripture. We know much of what His will is and what is not. I do not think it is Biblical when people say things like "If it is God's will He will open the door, or if it is not He will close the door."
    I do not see this taught or modeled in the Bible.
    I see David say, "God, do you want me to do this, or that."
    For example, because I have good credit, there is no doubt in my mind I could get a loan for a 350,000 house. Could I afford it? No!!!! But the mortgage co. would lend it to me.
    I could therefore say, "God, if it is Your will, open the door, or if not close the door." This is counting on a perhaps non-Christian lender to hear God say not to lend me the money.


    I could see what the Bible has to say about unreasonable debt, or about debt period.
    I could look at passages about good stewardship etc
    Or I could say, "God, should I buy this house?"
    He wants us to know.
     
  8. Crabtownboy

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    How do you apply these scriptures in you day-to-day decisions?

    When you are faced with a really big decision, how do you attempt to find God's will in that decision?
     
  9. Tom Bryant

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    This is a good question.

    When I thot that God was calling me to the ministry, I asked Him to show me several Scriptures. And He did from Luke 4. But I also got some smart advice. They told me to not just take the Scripture, but to confirm it with the advice of godly people who knew me and to see if God had indeed given me the gifts and abilities to do the Job (The jury is still out about my gifts and abilities :smilewinkgrin: )

    But their best advice was that I needed to be as close to the Lord as I could possibly be. I needed to pray and study God's Word and be obedient to Him.

    Then, if I still believed that God was leading me, I should just follow what I believed God wanted me to do. If I was wanting His will, doing His will to the best of my ability, He would stop me or let me continue.

    I have tried to follow those ideas since then.
     
  10. thegospelgeek

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    It seams that I know when my Mother speaks to me. I never really had to ask if it was her or not. When I grew older and left home it was funny when she left a message on my machine because she wiould always say who she was, like I would know.

    If I have that kind of close relationship with God I will know when he speaks to me. It take time to develop that relationship and I also have to be diciplined enough to recognize that God doesn't always tell me what I want to hear.
     
  11. PastorGreg

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    God leads through His Word. We learn and obey it. Then, in decisions not clearly directed in His Word, we pray for His wisdom and make a decision.
    Psalm 37:4. If I am obedient to His Word, and willing to do anything He wants me to do, the desire of my heart is His will.
    THe advice about being successful at something else is very questionable. Human advice with no biblical basis.
     
  12. Crabtownboy

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    I appreciate your response. Can you give us an example of how you made a personal decision in your walk with God in relation to your post quoted above? Thanks in advance.
     
  13. PastorGreg

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    4 1/2 years ago I resigned the church in which I was serving. As we began the process of seeking God's place for us, we prayed for wisdom, gathered information, and ultimately made a decision. One church wanted me to come candidate after having filled the pulpit, but my wife was uncomforatble with the situation, so I cancelled. In retrospect - that was how God directed. Another church called us after I filled the pulpit, but we ended up not accepting it - no vision, no mystical feeling, just made a decision. As we look back now from our current place of service, we see events and timing at both ends that clearly were God's Providence. We chose to accept the call to this church. Was it God's will? No question. How did we know? We prayed, obeyed His word, and made a decision, trusting that He was guiding the whole process. I also believe that we could have accepted the call to the other church without being "backslidden" or "out of His will."

    I am thoroughly convinced that Christianity is much more practical and objective and much less mystical than many people make it out to be.
     
  14. swaimj

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    Here are some somewhat organized thoughts of mine on this subject. My thinking on this subject is a work in progress, so feel free to comment or disagree.


    Principle one: God is probably NOT calling you to make a radical change in your life. I say this for two reasons: One, as believers we are called to contentment. "Be content with such things as you have" the scriptures say, and Paul famously says "I have learned that whatever state I am in I am determined to be content . Two, Paul told the Corinthian believers that whatever circumstance they were in when they got saved, they were to remain in it. If they were married, don't seek to be free from the marriage, even if the spouse remains unsaved, and if they are not married, be content in that state. I know that in the scriptures there are stories of powerful changes in vocation in the life of people who are converted, but these are exceptions, not the rule.

    Principle two: If you are contemplating changing your circumstances in some way, be careful to seek to uncover your true heart motivation. Is the motivation for the change that you seek a result of discontentment with your current circumstance? See principle one, and consider that the new circumstance you seek may breed discontentment as well. In the area of motivations, be aware that the "heart is deceitful and desperately wicked; who can know it?" You will need help to uncover your true motivations and to make sure that no faulty motivations are involved.

    Principle three: Yes, read the Bible and pray to seek God's wisdom in decision making. However, an individual who prays, reads the Bible, and depends upon the Holy Spirit, while it is true that he is building the proper foundation for wise decision making, is not equipped individually to make a wise decision. God told Jeremiah "It is not in you, O man, to know your own way". God's will is for you to find wisdom in his word, but the wisdom is fleshed out in interaction with the other Christians whom God has put in your life.

    Principle four: "There is wisdom in a multitude of counselors". So seek out wise counselors and listen to their counsel. This will include wise pastors and other people who are people of prayer and commitment to scripture who also know you well. They know your faults and your strengths and they love you enough to tell you the truth. In addition, if you are seeking a change in vocation to head into ministry, you should start by ministering in your local church as a servant. The collective body will let you know how you are gifted and how you are not gifted. And, men, your godly wife will be a fountain of wisdom in letting you know what you should and should not do. God gave her to you and made her specifically for you. Don't make a decision without her.

    Principle five: Consider how you know whether you are in God's will. What is the test you are setting up? In the book of Acts, James preached faithfully, was arrested, and beheaded. Peter was arrested next, but an angel miraculously delivered him from prison and execution so that he escaped and lived to be an old man. Both were in God's will and God's sovereignty was exercised perfectly in both of their lives. If success to you is financial wealth, physical health, great results, or something very tangible, you do not have the same priorities that God has. Again, this goes back to our heart motivation. Ultimately, we are not capable of knowing if we are successful in God's eyes. We have to wait for HIS judgement of us at the bema seat.
     
  15. PastorGreg

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    Good point about seeking counsel. Also part of the process - we just need to make sure we are truly seeking counsel from those who are spiritually mature and will counsel, not just affirm.
     
  16. Jon-Marc

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    I so often read in a forum where someone claims to have gotten a new revelation from God, and I tend to have my doubts about that.

    I had a friend who wanted so badly to pastor his own church. Unfortunately, he was a very boring speaker. He got a few people together, and they took out a mortgage on a church building that was for sale. The payments were $3,000 per month, and it wasn't long before they realized that they couldn't make the payments. Too often people who mean well run ahead of the Lord and do what they have convinced themselves that it is God's will when it's nothing more than one person's will.

    When I felt the Lord's calling to go to Bible college, I fasted and prayed to make sure it WAS His calling and not just mine. I got my answer and went to college. Had I ignored that calling, I could have missed out on a big blessing. After all, it meant quitting my job.
     
  17. gb93433

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    When you truly give God everything and He gives you what He wants then if it is gone it was always His to do what He wants. When everything you are and have is His then it is never yours and is always His. That is true freedom. When you that kind of servant to God then you are free to serve Him in any way He wants. When that happens then He is able to lead you.
     
  18. Crabtownboy

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    Interesting story and you touch on a very real danger in the life of any Christian ... doing what I want to do, assuming it is God's will, only to find out that it was not his will at all.

    I have a friend who was determined to build a new house. They said if there was any sign from God that they should not do this they would abandon the idea. To me God send sign after sign that this was a bad idea, but my friend could not see or did not want to see this. To make a long story short the project turned out to be a disaster.


    Quitting your job was a big step. You must have had some assurance from God that this was the right thing to do and I commend you for taking that step of faith. I am curious, had you put out a fleece which, from the result, helped you decide?

    I do not believe God minds our putting out a fleece.

     
  19. Tom Butler

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    It seems to me that God doesn't deal with us in a cookie-cutter manner.

    I have known people who seem to have some ESP (Extra Spiritual Perception).

    I've know a couple of folks who say God spoke audibly to them. I'm not one of them.

    For others, and I am in this group, God seems to simply arrange circumstances which communicate a direction God wants us to go.

    I know that the open door-closed door view is not universally held, but God has done it to me over and over--Opened one door, closed another.

    I am to the point where, when God opens a door, I'm afraid not to go through it. And, conversely, to quit banging on the door when God closes it.
     
  20. gb93433

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    Having been a building contractor for many years I saw the same things. I have seen people who could not understand why I was at times higher than someone else. Seldom do people ever ask for any references from anyone.
     

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