We must be honest enough to admit that the Bible does not address every issue that we face in the twentieth century. What kind of car should we buy? Where should we go to college? Modern Christians face many issues and concerns that did not even exist at the time the Bible was written. Nor does the Bible address personal issues that each of us face individually. Whom should we marry? Should we marry at all? What career path should we follow? What about these decisions about which the Bible says nothing?
In a fascinating and eye opening book about God's guidance, Dallas Willard points out that the Bible, while having all the principles we need, does not contain all God has to say to those who love Him and seek to hear from Him: "To reemphasize: the Bible is the unique, infallible written Word of God. But the Word of God is not just the Bible...The Bible is a finite, written record of what saving truth the infinite, living God has spoken, and it reliably fixes the boundaries of what he will ever say to humankind. It fixes those boundaries in principle, though it does not provide the detailed communications God may have with individual believers, as we have discussed earlier." (Willard, Dallas, In Search of Guidance, Zondervan, 1993, p. 149) Willard makes the case in his book that God loves us enough to want a personal relationship with us. He wants more of us than for us to simply read the Bible and try to follow its rules. He wants to talk to us and for us to respond. He want us to know Him so well that we can "have the mind of Christ" (I Corinthians 2:16).
So, how do we know God more intimately? How do we know what He wants for our lives personally? How do we know His will in the individual decisions of our lives?
If we know God's mind, we will know how to make the right choices (I Corinthians 2:9-16). The way to know His mind is to be so in tune with the Holy Spirit that we know how He feels about any situation we may encounter.
Before digging any deeper into this issue we must make sure that our motives are pure. We must not be seeking God's guidance in order to feel superior to others. We should not seek His guidance as a means to acquire power or prestige for ourselves. Basically, we must not be motivated by any selfish desire in our quest to know God's heart.
Our motives must stem from a love for God and a desire to do His will once we understand what it is. We must be living for the advancement of God's kingdom and seeing people come to know Him in a personal intimate way.
God's Word promises us that we need not be concerned for the basic needs in life if we will organize our lives in such a way that God's will is our first and foremost motivation: "But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. So do not worry about tomorrow; for tomorrow will care for itself."
(Matthew 6:33-34 NASB)
To be continued
For Further Reading:
Willard, Dallas, In Search of Guidance, Zondervan, 1993
Seeking to introduce people to Jesus Christ and to help them become "transformed by the renewing of their mind."