Friday, April 13, 2007

Time for another Knowing God post (incidentally, if you do not own this book, I encourage you to follow the link at the left and order it or pick up a copy somewhere). Near the end of this great book, Packer turns his attention to knowing, discerning, and understanding God’s divine guidance. He warns, rightly, that God’s direction in life is never contrary to God’s divine will given through the written testimony of the Bible. Packer then lists six common pitfalls to following God’s guidance and will.

1. Unwillingness to think. It is a common mistake for Christians and non-Christians to believe that God is going to drop his will in our lap without us having to even think about it. “God made us thinking beings.”
2. Unwillingness to think ahead. Often the wise or right thing can only be ascertained by dwelling on the long-term results of our actions.
3. Unwillingness to take advice. Henry Blackaby reminds us that God speaks through the people around us and the Proverbs tell us “the wise man takes advice” (12:15). According to Packer, “There are always people who know more than us.”
4. Unwillingness to suspect oneself. It’s easy to see faults in others, but often harder to recognize faults in ourselves. As quick as we may be to throw stones at acquaintances who are “feelings” oriented decision makers, we must always scrutinize our own life for emotional decisions that are removed from the scrutiny of God’s Word.
5. Unwillingness to discount personal magnetism. Just because a person has a large personality, does not make that person the mouthpiece of God. The evangelist scandals of the eighties proved that to be true.
6. Unwillingness to wait. God’s timing is always perfect, but often God’s will is only revealed as we need it; not necessarily when we want it. Wait upon the Lord is a repeated message of the Psalms and Isaiah promised that the Lord would renew strength to all who wait upon him.

Maybe you will recognize some of these pitfalls in your life as I did in mine. If so, I hope that this short entry will enable you to scrutinize your life and better discern God’s plan as I pray I has be better enabled me to do the same.

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