God’s guiding hand.
God’s guidance can positively influence our lives.
God knows what is best for us.
We can deliberately engage with him during the process.
Importantly, please read the introductory article to this section of the website, “God’s presence in our lives” before going on, if you have not already. It explains the various methods, available to us, that we can use to engage with God in our lives. And how our lives can be positively transformed as a result! It also puts those available methods, and our overall relationship with God, in perspective.
(To read about the ‘who’, ‘how’ and ‘why’ of this website please click here.)
Now, this subsection of the website (God’s guiding hand), beginning with this intro article of the same name, contains a lot of information to digest. But! The fact is that God really can have a significant and positive effect on our lives through his guidance. That is if we are ready to engage with him in that regard. And just getting in touch with this one area of God’s caring nature can provide reliable evidence of his presence in our day-to-day lives and beyond.
Of course there are more dramatic ways to recognise his presence, say within the Church’s Pentecostal/ Charismatic movement. But none-the-less, recognising and following God’s guidance in life really can be very beneficial for us as individuals.
2. GOD DOES KNOW BEST
Now, God knows each of us intimately – our abilities, our personalities, our failings – and has a plan for us as a result. From the Christian (pre-Jesus) Old Testament:
“For I know the plans I have for you,”
declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you,
plans to give you hope and a future.”
Bear in mind the word “prosper” above refers to ‘success’ in life rather than ‘wealth’. (They do differ.) God can for example literally help ‘you’ to become the ‘real you’ if he is just given the chance.
I am sure that God tries to guide all humans, unbelievers and believers alike, down their right path of life knowing what is best for each of us, and others who will be affected by our actions. Again, from the Christian Old Testament:
I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go;
I will counsel you and watch over you.
3. GOD WANTS TO GUIDE US
God makes it clear through the Bible that he is ready, indeed wants, to engage with us in life. And in appropriate circumstances he provides us with his loving care; his ‘grace’.
‘Guidance’ is one example of how he does positively interact with us. I have analysed many, many related examples during my own life. My overall evaluation of all those examples, which are again supported by Bible scriptures, took me to a point in my thinking where it became difficult to rationally ‘dispute’ his involvement there. Yes, he can become that real even within just one area of interaction with us human beings. And again, if you want to know a little about the ‘who’, ‘how’ and ‘why’ of this website, then click here.
3.1 Where God can guide us in life
Again from my own experience, and that of other Christians who I have interviewed, I am confident that God can and will offer guidance towards all important elements of our lives.
That guidance can be applied by God as examples towards our: spiritual path, family life, personal relationships, faithfulness to the scriptures he has given us (also see below), education, career and daily work, help for others, home projects, involvement with church ministries. Even issues like acquiring essential assets are included.
Of course, as unbelievers, we are unlikely to make the connection; recognise it at work in our lives for what it is. But, when you know how he can guide you, and indeed how you can take advantage of it, then it all becomes very real.
3.2 How God tries to guide us
God actually provides guidance through a number of methods:
- Closing doors,
- Advice through other people,
- Warning about bad life choices,
- Answers to our requests for guidance.
Those articles with links above (which follow on from this one), relate to recognisable methods which can also prove to be very helpful in our lives. From my own evaluated experiences in life, some of his methods are quite definite and noticeable. Others are more subtle and flexible.
Essentially though, if you are open to the possibility of the Lord offering sound guidance to you, then you are well on your way to making use of it.
3.3 Recognising God’s guidance
My past ongoing experiences certainly led me to realise how he builds on from earlier guidance that he has already provided. So as we mature in our faith, and grow our relationship with him, he enhances his guiding methods. Simply speaking, we gradually get a ‘better handle’ on those methods. We learn how they apply to us in life and how useful they really are. All of this is discussed in those following articles.
Initially though, if we just look back in time we all really should be able to recognise, in retrospect, that God was actually present there in our lives. He was there trying to guide us, even though we may not have realised it. And even though at that time we may not have held any religious faith at all. Again, refer to those following articles if you would like to know more.
3.4 Deliberately harness God’s guidance
Remember again, as I have indicated, it does nor matter whether you are an atheist, God will still try to guide you because of his love for you. And when you accept that he may have guided you in the past, you can then look to his valuable guidance to assist you in your day-to-day life and beyond.
In fact, we committed Christians should confidently ‘ask’ for his guidance when faced with any complex and/ or important decision. The final article in this subsection of the website, “Asking for guidance” relates to how we can actually seek and then trust God’s guidance.
3.5 How we should use the Bible to guide us
Without doubt, we practising Christians are also expected to use knowledge gained from the Bible within our decision making. We should know to use it as a guide within our lives. And scriptures do offer fundamental ground rules for us. They should underpin our moral compasses as it were. Although the term “conscience” does seem to be a bit underutilised these days, it does relate to our thinking and decision making as Christians. We should listen to our consciences without doubt.
So, if we seem to be getting nudges from God (all explained in following articles) to not head in a certain direction with decision making – and we know that our plans may be in conflict with scriptural advice – then we need to act accordingly. We should know to live ‘faithfully’ for our Lord.
So, from my long term evaluation of all this stuff, we firstly need to accept that God wants to lead us towards the best possible outcomes in life. Now this may not include our dreams of fame or fortune, mind you, but it does include ongoing contentment with life.
And bear in mind that this guidance from God will be applied to virtually every important aspect of our lives.
We fundamentally just need to follow that ‘guiding hand’ of his. Yes, God’s targets for us in life will often make more sense in hindsight, than our own original goals. God aims for ‘what we need’ rather than ‘what we want’. I admit that I took so long to work all that out for myself. Yes, in my case, failing to act on his guidance, and suffering the eventual consequences, were major factors in actually recognising the reality of his guidance!
Please take your time to read the other articles in this little subsection of the website. And learn from my mistakes in life during the process. God’s guidance can make an immense effect on our lives, and demonstrate his presence there. Look, I am just so confident in writing that!
Continue to the next article, “God’s closed doors”.
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