Tuesday, 16 June 2009

Guidance : Principles

Looking at Acts 16, John Stott encourages us again, ‘some important principles of divine guidance are, in fact, exemplified in the experience of Paul and his companions’.

1. Through the circumstances of our life

Paul and the team ended up in the port of Troas – which faced west! It faced toward Macedonia.

What port are you in at the moment? What life circumstances are you facing? We need to recognise that we are where we are – what we do as a result of our present placement is the key thing now, not necessarily how we got here… although there will be those for whom this is also a key consideration. The truth is that God will use our circumstances now to shape us and to shape our future. Personally, as I prepared this subject, I was able to rejoice in the path God has led me and receive faith for His plans for the future!

2. Prophetic leading

God can speak through dreams and visions as well as prophetic words given to us or to others. While some can be too cautious about placing weight on such revelations, others can want prophetic input for every venture. It’s important, in processing the prophetic to

- receive the revelation (picture, Scripture, word)

- discern the meaning, find the interpretation

- work out what to do as a result – the application

The bigger the decision, the more prophetic input we are looking for. And when receiving such input, look at the character and experience of the one offering that prophetic input.

Prayer is vital in hearing and discerning God’s voice and there’s nothing like a big decision that needs to be made to bring us to our knees before God! Reading the record of the early church in Acts, the importance of prayer and fasting is inescapable.