Monday, February 26, 2007

Divination, Inclination, Indigestion?

I know that most Christians pray for God's leading, or wisdom, or even signs and visions. I certainly pray often for wisdom and the providential opening and closing of opportunities. The thing I am struggling with right now is how do you authenticate the answer? Is that knot in your stomach "God stealing your peace" as you consider this major life-decision or is it stress causing indigestion?

I used to blame every alien, pietistic thought on God, thinking "it's not like me to think such things, it must be the move of God". I have spent far too long giving God the "credit" for my lame-brained ideas. It seems far safer to stick to the responsibilities of personal obedience, to law and love, and leave the planning to providence, as it were. But then you have cases like Acts 13:2, where the leading of the Spirit is so clear that the instruction is in quotes!* Does God still speak with such clarity today? I don't mean about the things already revealed in Scripture. I mean, can our pastor search team expect a fresh word from the Lord, "Set aside unto me Anthony for the work to which I have called him."

Is it individual inklings that add up to authenticate the message? Couldn't several godly men have the same inclination toward a man, and agreeing on their warm-fuzzy thoughts attribute this to a word from God? And suppose they did get a clarion message, why in the world would we not add a chapter to Acts and record it for the rest of Christendom? I hope I don't sound flip. This is something with which I am struggling; please help me to know better how to pray for guidance, and how to know that the answer I receive is from the Lord, not from my own inklings or indigestion!


*Yes, I know the quotation marks are not in the Greek, but the structure indicates that this is a quote, thus the marks.

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