God’s guidance can really help us in 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. To connect with him there. And how our lives can be positively transformed as a result! It also tries to put 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) begins with this intro article. And it does contain a bit of info to ‘digest’. But! The fact is that God really can have a large and positive effect on our lives, and the lives of others, through his guidance. That is if we are ready to ‘engage with him’ in that way. 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.
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 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 obviously differ.) God can for example literally help ‘you’ to become the ‘real you’ if he is just given the chance.
I am sure that all-knowing God tries to guide all humans, unbelievers and believers alike, down their right path of life. He knows exactly 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, and indeed wants, to ‘engage’ or connect with us in life. And in appropriate circumstances he provides us with his loving care; his ‘grace’.
‘Guidance’ is certainly one example of how the Lord does positively interact with each of us. I have analysed many, many related examples during my own life. And I’ve discussed God’s methods for guiding us with lots of other Christians. 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 very difficult to logically ‘challenge’ his positive influence there.
Yes, he can become an obvious presence, even within just one area of ‘connecting’ 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.
Now, God will often give us guidance when he knows we are about to choose, or have already made a bad decision about, the best way forward in life. And then, as far as we are concerned, it’s all about recognising his guidance and acting in the way he hopes that we will as a result. Bear in mind too that we can also ask him for guidance on any life issue facing us.
Let’s continue then …
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 the important parts 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, helping others, home projects, involvement with church ministries. Even issues like buying ‘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 eventually becomes VERY real.
3.2 How God tries to guide us
God actually provides guidance, within our lives, through a number of methods:
- Closing or opening doors,
- Advice received through other people,
- Offering his own direct advice,
- Warnings about bad life choices.
Those articles with links above (that follow on from this one), relate to recognisable methods which can also prove to be very helpful in our lives. From my own experiences in life, some of his methods are more definite and noticeable. Others are more subtle and flexible.
And again remember you can even ask for his guidance. See the article, “Asking for God’s guidance”. This is where we begin to deliberately ‘engage with God’ during our decision making.
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 ‘ongoing’ experiences of his advice in action certainly led me to realise how he ‘built on’ from earlier examples of his guidance to me. That is, to make his guidance all the clearer and more useful to me, as time past.
Therefore, 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.
At first though, if we just ‘look back through our lives’ we all really should be able to recognise, in hindsight, that God was actually present back there in our past. He was there trying to guide us, even though we may not have realised it at the time. And even though, again at that time, we may not have held any religious faith at all. Please refer to those articles, highlighted above with links, if you would like to know more.
3.4 Deliberately harness God’s guidance
Remember too, as I have written above, 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.
But once we are practising Christians, we don’t have any excuse not to engage with him in our life’s journey. So try to sense his agreement or otherwise with your decisions, by looking for his hints. Even try to recognise ‘his voice‘ in your mind as he tries to guide or warn you during your decision making. Look, it will mostly apply to what is best for you and those who you can positively affect in their lives.
In fact, we committed Christians should confidently ‘ask’ for his guidance when faced with any complicated and/ or important decision. The final article in this subsection of the website, “Asking for God’s guidance” (that I mentioned earlier) 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 by God 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 basic ground rules for us. For example, they should underpin our ‘moral compasses’. Although the term “conscience” might be a bit under-used these days, it does relate to our thinking and decision making as Christians. We should listen to our consciences without doubt.
Yes, we should try very hard to follow Jesus’ example, as presented in the Bible, on how to live, love, give and forgive!
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 really need to act accordingly. We should know to live ‘faithfully’ for our Lord.
So, from my long term evaluation of all this stuff (like thirty plus years), 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 generally include ongoing and ‘genuine’ contentment with life.
And bear in mind that this guidance from God will be applied to every important part of our lives.
We basically just need to follow that ‘guiding hand’ of his. Yes, God’s targets for us in life will often make much more sense in hindsight, than our own original goals. God aims for ‘what we really need’ rather than ‘what we want’ right now. I admit that it took me a while to work all that out for myself. Yes, in my case, failing to act on his guidance, and suffering the eventual results, were major factors in actually recognising the reality of his guidance!
Please take your time to read the other articles in this subsection of the website. And learn from my mistakes in life, that I offer you, during the process. God’s guidance can have a really positive 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”.