- God calls us to one thing in life- to pursue God’s kingdom and righteousness above all else.
- We need the holy spirit’s guidance in order to discover how to live as Jesus would live if He were in our place.
- Seeking God’s guidance is an intentional choice. It is not a passive avoidance of responsibility, a shortcut to making decisions or a way to escape risk.
John mentions some people who wrote about the prompting of the spirit. George Fox called it the Lord opening a truth to him. John Calvin referred to it as the “inner testimony” of the spirit and Saint Ignatius talked of movements of the soul. These still small voice moments can come in a sense of conviction of sin, assurance of God’s love or a call to action.
The reason we have such a hard time hearing God’s voice is that we have a “spiritual mindlessness”. We are not really listening, or are prepared to listen to God’s prompting. God may be speaking to you and guiding you without you even realizing it’s God’s guidance. God talked to Samuel and until Eli pointed it out he did not realize it was God(). Most people rarely seek God’s guidance until it’s big decision time. Then we are not really seeking God’s guidance as much as we want “insider information”. We want to know what choice will lead to our happiness.
To know if we are truly seeking God’s guidance we must ask the question, How often do I seek God’s guidance? Then start seeking guidance for the growth of our soul by asking:
- How do I become a more truthful person?
- Whom do I know that can teach me how to pray?
- What practices will allow me to live in God’s joy continually?
Then John gives us the guidelines for pursuing guidance of the spirit.
- Listen for spirit continually.
- Relentlessly respond to promptings by the spirit.
- Listen for the spirit’s voice in words of others.
- Practice listening in small matters.
The next part of this session talks about reflecting on scripture. We must force try to remove doublemindness this is trying to live in the flesh and in the spirit. In the video he has two men get in a canoe facing opposite directions and then paddle as hard as they can. Obviously they go nowhere but circles. This is where we go in spiritual growth when we do not decide to put off the flesh and pursue the spirit. John tells us to imagine that everytime we see another person our thoughts turn to how can I pray for that person. Or anytime we are challenged or anxious we ask God for strength. If you are married imagine every time you see another woman you imagine her as your sister or daughter. This is what being washed in the word does for us. It helps to purify our minds and hearts.
The guidelines for meditating on scripture are:
- Ask God to meet you in scripture. Ask God to show you something.
- Read the bible in a repentant spirit. We must first realize we are sinners in the need of God’s grace to truly understand scriptures.
- Meditate on a fairly brief passage of scripture.
- Take one thought or verse with you throughout the day. What ever in your reading you feel God opened your eyes to, think about it all day. Write in down and ask God to show you why he wants you to see this.
- Allow the thought or verse to become part of your memory. You do not have to have entire books of the bible memorized to benefit from scripture. Memorize verses that strengthen you, or verses that help you fight off your sins and temptations.