The discipline of seeking guidance goes to the heart of walking with God. Guidance involves us hearing God’s voice and obeying him. It is not only seeking his will in a specific matter, but it is a constant way of life.
God provides guidance to his people in two ways. One is individual guidance, where God gives each of his children divine instruction through Scripture, reason, circumstances, and through prompting of the Spirit in the individual’s heart. In corporate guidance, God guides groups of people who gather in fellowship to seek the will of God. Both aspects are important to submit to as we seek to live in response to the voice of God.
How would you explain the difference between seeking the advice of a wise friend and seeking God’s guidance with the help of mature and faithful Christians?
Please read Matthew 18:19-20.
- Take a moment to meditate on these words from God and ask yourself: How is fellowship with other Christians vital to seeking both individual and corporate guidance from God? Please share your thoughts with the group.
- The Western cultures lay a heavy emphasis on individualism. Do you see results of this in our churches?
- What sometimes holds us back from asking close Christian friends to help us seek God’s guidance before making a decision or entering on a new path?
Personalities united can contain more of God and sustain the force of his greater presence much better than scattered individuals. The fire of God kindles higher as the brands are heaped together and each is warned by the other’s flame.
— Dallas Willard
In 1 John 4:1 we read: “Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world.” How do we test the spirits? (Read verses 2-6.)
As you follow Jesus one day at a time, He will keep you right in the center of God’s will… Understanding what God is about to do where I am is more important than telling God what I want to do for Him.
— Experiencing God, by Blackaby and King
Please read 1 John 4:7-16 and meditate on these words for a moment. Living in guidance comes through entering into a loving friendship with God. When we genuinely love God and others and accept his love for us, then we are promised to “know God” (verses 7-8). What should you change in your life (either add or drop from your life) in order to deepen your intimacy with Christ?
As we seek guidance in our lives, we often ask: “What is God’s will in my life?” How will our thinking change if we would ask: “What is God’s will, and how can I adjust my life to him?”
In Philippians 2:13 we read: “It is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose.” As you read these powerful words, you might want to take a moment and pray about the following points for each other in the group (you might want to break up into groups of two or three):
- God is absolutely trustworthy.
- Jesus is the way.
- I will follow God one day at a time.
- I will follow God even when he does not show me all the details of the journey.
- I will search for God’s will, and then live my life accordingly.
- I will pray that God will show me his perspective.
- I will seek to live a God-centered life, not a self-centered life.
- Celebration of Discipline – Richard Foster
- The Spirit of the Disciplines – Dallas Willard
- In Search of Guidance – Dallas Willard
- Experiencing God – Henry T. Blackaby & Claude V. King