Some days I simply want a God who will tell me exactly what to do. I must be getting old. When I was younger I wouldn’t let anyone tell me what to do, let alone ask for someone to tell me what to do. I was creative, idealistic, and full of endless possibilities. Something happens to us as we age, though. The luster of life begins to slip away and we desire the more mechanical. What a sad thing. As the pinnacle of creation we should be the most creative aspects of all creation. We should never settle for mechanical we we can have personal, and personality.
You and I are not trains. We have no tracks laid before us to mechanically guide us to our next destination. We are a complex (“fearfully and wonderfully made”, so says the Psalmist) constitution of molecules, made in the image of God and inspired by the breath of God. We were not, therefore, created to live our lives on railroad tracks. For one seeking guidance from God this means we cannot merely rest on God’s sovereign ability to dictate all of life. Instead, we must rest in our friendship with God, made possible through the work of Jesus on the cross. This means God will personally guide us, usually through a still, small voice (those who are led by the Spirit will think the thoughts of the Spirit). That voice may be God speaking to us, or it may be us sharing God’s thoughts.
As we seek God’s guidance today, tomorrow and the next day, let us keep this in mind – we were made for personal guidance, not mechanical guidance. Let us not seek mere words of instruction, but the Father’s heart. Let us not settle for dreams and visions, or signs and wonders, but keep seeking until we share the very mind of Jesus and begin to think the very thoughts of God.
E. Stanley Jones (a famous Methodist missionary to India) once wrote,
I believe in miracle, but not too much miracle, for too much miracle would weaken us, make us dependent on miracle instead of our obedience to natural law. Just enough miracle to let us know He is there, but not too much, lest we depend on it when we should depend on our own initiative and on His orderly processes for our development.
Or as Dallas Willard writes, “Too much intrusion on a seed that has been planted, as on the life of a plant or a child, simply makes normal, healthy growth impossible.” I pray that you and I can begin to hear the still, small voice of God and be led into normal, healthy growth as disciples of Jesus.