Perceiving God’s Voice: Divine Guidance For Everyday Believers -- By: Hugh Goosen

Journal: Conspectus
Volume: CONSPECTUS 19:1 (Mar 2015)
Article: Perceiving God’s Voice: Divine Guidance For Everyday Believers
Author: Hugh Goosen


Perceiving God’s Voice: Divine Guidance For Everyday Believers

Hugh Goosen

and

Christopher Peppler1

Abstract

Vagueness exists amongst Christians regarding what it is like to experience divine guidance practically. This problem is aggravated by conflicting perspectives on the will of God, whether or not his will is discoverable, and how Christians are to go about seeking it. This article seeks to reveal what we can reasonably expect to experience when God speaks, by considering perspectives on the will of God as well as its discoverability, and the levels of awareness and certainty of divine communication as evidenced by selected biblical characters. The article shows that the ways in which Christians experience divine direction are as unique and varied as each individual relationship with God is unique and varied. It shows, furthermore, that we should have, as our primary concern, a focus upon fostering a deep and intimate relationship with God, out of which direction and instruction will naturally and invariably flow. Finally, it shows that the primary way in which God communicates with us today is by means of the subtle and unobtrusive guidance and direction of our hearts and minds by the Holy Spirit.

1. Introduction

In Old Testament times, God’s primary method of communication was by means of prophets (Num 12:6; Deut 18:14-22; 2 Chr 36:15). In this current era, God has spoken to believers by his Son (Heb 1:2). Moreover, as he promised through the prophet Ezekiel, God has undertaken to place his Holy Spirit within believers and to move their hearts to follow his decrees and to keep his laws (Ezek 36:26-27). Jesus pointed towards the fulfilment of this promise in John 16:13, assuring his disciples that the Holy Spirit would guide the people of God into all truth. The apostle Paul confirmed the fulfilment of this promise in his letter to the Philippian church, verifying that it is ‘God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose’ (Phil 2:13). Today’s believers are enormously privileged in that they are able to be led by the Spirit of God (Rom 8:14). We are fellow workers with God (1 Cor 3:9) and are encouraged to ‘discern what is the will of God’ (Rom 12:2). A problem we face is that the scriptures do not provide us with a form...

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