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EDITIONS:

1. CLASSIC-CHRISTIANITY DEFINED
2. CORPORATE PRAYER
3. AUTHORITY OF THE WORD
4. INTERPRETING THE WORD
5. UNDERSTANDING THE WORD
6. END TIME FERVOR
7. LOVING NOT OUR SOULS TO DEATH
8. KEEPING ALIVE THE ORIGINAL SPIRIT
9. RECOGNIZING REVIVAL
10. HINDRANCES AND CATALYSTS TO REVIVAL
11. TESTING THE SPIRITS
12. INTERCESSION
13. INTERCESSORY PRAYER WARFARE
14. THE CROSS-LIFE
15. WORSHIP
16. WORSHIP II
17. THE INCARNATION
18. DIVINE PROTECTION
19. DIVINE GUIDANCE
20. WILL OF GOD
21. THE FEAR OF GOD
22. WHAT IS TRUTH?
23. JESUS THE ULTIMATE TRUTH
24. LIVING A LIFE OF TRUTH
25 SPIRITUAL DISCERNMENT
26. THE OLD TESTAMENT AND NEW
27. THE WHOLE COUNSEL OF GOD


CLASSIC-CHRISTIANITY
THE E-ZINE

First published by Christian Publications, Inc.,
3825 Hartzdale Drive,
Camp Hill, Pennsylvania 17011

Republished by www.kneillfoster.com 2005.
K. Neill Foster, Publisher
Paul L. King, Editor
A.W. Tozer, 1897-1963,
Editorial Voice

Unless otherwise indicated, Scripture taken from the HOLY BIBLE:
NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION, copyright 1973, 1978, 1984 by the International Bible Society. Scripture labeled KJV is from the King James Version.

Welcome to Classic Christianity

First published by Christian Publications, Inc., 3825 Hartzdale Drive,Camp Hill, Pennsylvania 17011 Republished by www.kneillfoster.com in 2005. K. Neill Foster, Publisher. Paul L. King, Editor. A.W. Tozer, 1897-1963, Editorial Voice.


WELCOME TO:

#19 CLASSIC-CHRISTIANITY/THE E-ZINE


CLASSIC-CHRISTIANITY/THE INDEX
THEME: DIVINE GUIDANCE
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1) THE PUBLISHER ON "DIVINE GUIDANCE"
2) THE EDITOR ON "COUNSEL ON SEEKING DIVINE COUNSEL"
3) K. NEILL FOSTER ON "HEARING GOD EXACTLY"
4) A.W. TOZER ON "HOW THE LORD LEADS"
5) FRANCOIS FENELON ON "QUIET LEADING"
6) RECOMMENDED READING
7) ROBERT HALDANE ON "KNOWING NOT WHAT TO PRAY"
8) CHARLES H. SPURGEON ON "CONFIDENCE IN DECISION MAKING"
9) HANNAH WHITALL SMITH ON "DISTINGUISHING THE VOICE OF GOD"
10) ANDREW MURRAY ON "WAITNG FOR GOD'S COUNSEL"
11) OSWALD CHAMBERS ON "NOT NEEDING TO ASK FOR GUIDANCE"
12) RECOMMENDED READING
13) F.B. MEYER ON "THE SECRET OF GUIDANCE"
14) AMY CARMICHAEL ON "HEARING A SPECIAL WORD FROM GOD"
15) INVITATION TO SUBSCRIBE
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1) THE PUBLISHER ON "DIVINE GUIDANCE"

I noticed recently how the topic of divine guidance is relevant through every stage of our earthly existence. For example, last week I purchased a book for my son's 20th birthday: DECISION MAKING AND THE WILL OF GOD. During the same week I had a discussion with a 60-something friend who was seeking direction for a major transition in his life. The perceptive writers in this issue of CLASSIC-CHRISTIANITY reveal that divine guidance is less formulaic--as humans are prone to desire--and more of a spiritual activity, an intimate relationship between us and the Master Designer. Come to think of it, during Jesus' sojourn on Earth, He reduced divine guidance to a simple matter of obedience. He said, "Follow Me."

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2) THE EDITOR ON "COUNSEL ON SEEKING DIVINE COUNSEL"

With renewed emphasis today on "revelation knowledge," hearing from God, the gift of prophecy and being led by the Holy Spirit, we need to discern what is really from God. How do we know when we have heard from God? How do we distinguish between the voice of God and our own impressions? How do we know we have been led by God to do something? From their own experience, these classic writers share with us wise counsel on how to discover sound principles for being guided by God. They show us, on one hand, how to wait on the Lord and weigh factors in decision-making, yet, on the other hand, how not to be fearful and indecisive, but to act with faith and confidence.


3) K. NEILL FOSTER ON "HEARING GOD EXACTLY"

There is a problem abroad in the kingdom. From Scripture it is clear that the Lord's sheep know His voice. It is clear that the sons of God are led by the Holy Spirit. If is further clear that the Holy Spirit is in the business of guiding believers into all truth.

Why then the bizarre? Why would a Houston woman drown her children one after another to save them from hell? Undoubtedly she was a woman gone astray on the guidance of some other god. Other cases can be summoned where suspect guidance divines that a spouse must be abandoned and divorce embraced. The eccentric illustrations are endless.

The bottom line is that there is guidance from God Almighty and from the Holy Spirit and then there is other guidance--sometimes from the enemy and sometimes from our own fleshly desires. Only Jesus Christ was able to say, "I do exactly what my Father has commanded me" (John 14:31).

Even the most Spirit-filled Christians, even the most devoted and prayerful servants of our Lord, can hardly say they always do "exactly" what the Father commands. Our common depravity, redeemed though we be, hinders us from always knowing exactly what God's guidance is. That is why we need a broad understanding of the Bible and a submissive attitude to the counsel of other believers. Surely, with Christ's indwelling, we ought to be doing "exactly" what the Father commands too.


4) A.W. TOZER (1897-1963) ON "HOW THE LORD LEADS"

The many choices that we Christians must make from day to day involve only four kinds of things: Those concerning which God has said an emphatic NO; those about which He has said an equally emphatic YES; those concerning which He wants us to consult our own sanctified preferences; and those few and rare matters about which we cannot acquire enough information to permit us to make intelligent decisions and which for that reason require some special guidance from the Lord to prevent us from making serious mistakes. . . . Some Christians walk under a cloud of uncertainty, worrying about which profession they should enter, which car they should drive, which school they should attend, where they should live and a dozen or score of other such matters, when their Lord has set them free to follow their own personal bent, guided only by their love for Him and for their fellow men. Except for those things that are specifically commanded or forbidden, it is God's will that we be free to exercise our own intelligent choice. . . . The man or woman who is wholly and joyously surrendered to Christ cannot make a wrong choice. . . . In those rare times when much is at stake, and we can discover no clear scriptural instruction yet are forced to choose between two possible courses, we have God's faithful promise to guide us aright: "If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault; and it will be given to him" (James 1:5).

A.W. Tozer, THE SET OF THE SAIL (Camp Hill, PA: Christian Publications, 1986), 78-79.


5) FRANCOIS FENELON (1651-1715) ON "QUIET LEADING"

God does not lead you with extreme emotion, and for this I am glad. Remain faithful to the still, small voice. Strong emotions or deep feelings, or seeking after signs, can be more dangerous than helpful. Your imagination is sure to run away with you. God will lead you, almost without your knowing it, if you will be faithful to come before Him quietly. Eat of Him and His word. Love Him and I will tell you to do no more. For if you love Him, everything else will work out.

Francois Fenelon, THE SEEKING HEART (Sargent, GA: The SeedSowers Christian Books Publishing House, 1992), 57.


6) RECOMMENDED READING


7) ROBERT HALDANE (1764-1842) ON "KNOWING NOT WHAT TO PRAY"

The believer is not thoroughly acquainted either with his dangers or his wants. He needs not only to be supplied from on high, but also Divine guidance to show him what he wants. When he knows not what to ask, the office of the Holy Spirit in the heart is to assist him in praying. Though, in a peculiar sense, Jesus is the believer's intercessor in heaven, yet the Holy Spirit intercedes in him on earth, teaching him what to ask, and exciting in him groanings expressive of his wants, though they cannot be uttered; that is, they cannot be expressed in words. Yet these wants are uttered in groans, and in this manner most emphatically express what is meant, while they indicate the energy of the operation of the Spirit. . . . Our blindness and natural ignorance are such that we know not how to make a proper choice of the things for which we ought to pray. Sometimes we are ready to ask what is not suitable. For example, when Moses prayed to be allowed to enter Canaan, but, being a type of Christ as the mediator, he must die before the people could enter the promised land. Paul prayed to be delivered from the thorn in his flesh, not understanding that it was proper that he should be thus afflicted, that he might not be exalted above measure. Sometimes, too, we ask even for things that would be hurtful were we to receive them.

Robert Haldane, EXPOSITION OF THE EPISTLE TO THE ROMANS (Escondido, CA: Ephesians Four Group, 1999), Chapter 8, Romans 8:27. Editor's Note: Haldane was a renowned Scottish evangelist, Bible teacher and philantropist.


8) CHARLES H. SPURGEON (1834-1892) ON "CONFIDENCE IN DECISION-MAKING"

Are you contemplating a great change in life? Do not take that step, my brother, without much careful waiting on God; but if you are persuaded that the change is one that has the Master's approval, fear not, for He performs all things for you. At this moment, you have many perplexities; you may chafe yourself with anxiety and make yourself foolish with vacillation, conjuring up bright dreams and yielding to dark forebodings. There is many a knot we seek to untie, which would be better cut with the sword of faith. We should end our difficulties by leaving them with Him who knows the end from the beginning. Up to this moment you have been rightly led; you have the same guide. To this hour He who sent the cloudy pillar has led you rightly through the devious track-ways of the wilderness; follow still, with a sure confidence that all is well. If you keep close to Him, He performs all things for you. Take your guidance from His Word, and, waiting upon him in prayer, you need not fear. . . . Do what you can, but leave the rest to Him. . . .

He will perform for you: be obedient, trustful, patient. . . . Use the eye salve of faith. Then, whatever you discern of the future, you will also discover this. He rules and He overrules; He will make all things work together for good; He will surely bring you through.

Charles H. Spurgeon, "Strong Faith in a Faithful God," A COLLECTION OF SERMONS, VOLUME 1 (Escondido, CA: Ephesians Four Group, 1999), n.p.


9) HANNAH WHITALL SMITH (1832-1911) ON "DISTINGUISHING THE VOICE OF GOD"

There are fours ways in which God reveals His will to us--through the Scriptures, through providential circumstances, through the convictions of our own higher judgment, and through the inward impressions of the Holy Spirit on our minds. Where these four harmonize, it is safe to say that God speaks. It is a foundation principle, which no one can deny, that of course His voice will always be in harmony with itself, no matter in how many different ways in which He may speak. The voices may be many, but the message can be but one. If God tells me in one voice to do or leave undone anything, He cannot possibility tell me the opposite in another voice. . . .

The Scriptures come first. . . . If we fail to search out and obey the Scriptural rule, where there is one, and look instead for an inward voice, we shall open ourselves to delusion.

Hannah Whitall Smith, THE CHRISTIAN'S SECRET OF A HAPPY LIFE (Old Tappan, NJ: Fleming H. Revell, 1942), 67.


10) ANDREW MURRAY (1828-1917) ON "WAITNG FOR GOD'S COUNSEL"

Even the most advanced believer is in danger of this most subtle of temptations--taking God's Word, thinking his own thoughts of them and not waiting for His counsel. . . . Our whole relationship to God is ruled in this, that His will is to be done in us and by us as it is in heaven. He has promised to make known His will to us by His Spirit, the guide into all truth. And our position is to be that of waiting for His counsel as the only guide of our thoughts and actions. . . .

The great danger is that in our consciousness of having our Bible, in our past experience of God's leading, in our sound creed and our honest wish to do God's will, we trust in these and do not realize that with every step we need and may have a heavenly guidance. . . . And so while we think that we know and trust the power of God for what we may expect, we may be hindering Him by not giving Him time, and not definitely cultivating the habit of waiting for His counsel. A minister has no more solemn duty than to teach people to wait on God.

Andrew Murray, WAITING ON GOD (Springdale, PA: Whitaker House, 1981, 1983), 67-69.


11) OSWALD CHAMBERS (1874-1917) ON "NOT NEEDING TO ASK FOR GUIDANCE"

"I being in the way, the Lord led me. . . ." (Genesis 24:27, KJV). We have to be so one with God that we do not continually need to ask for guidance. Sanctification means that we are made the children of God, and the natural life of a child is obedience--until he wishes to be disobedient, then instantly there is the intuitive jar. In the spiritual domain the intuitive jar is the admonition of the Spirit of God. When He gives the check, we have to stop at once and be renewed in the spirit of our mind in order to make out what God's will is. If we are born again of the Spirit of God, it is the abortion of piety to ask God to guide us here and there. "The Lord led me," and on looking back we see the presence of an amazing design, which, if we are born of God, we will credit to God.

Oswald Chambers, MY UTMOST FOR HIS HIGHEST (United Kingdom: Marshall Morgan & Scott, 1927), November 14.


12) RECOMMENDED READING


13) F.B. MEYER (1847-1929) ON "THE SECRET OF GUIDANCE"

These are practical directions in order that we may be led into the mind of the Lord:

(1) Our motives must be pure.

(2) Our will must be surrendered.

(3) We must seek information. . . . God has given us wonderful faculties of brain power, and He will not ignore them. . . . It is of greatest importance that we feed our minds with facts, reliable information, the results of human experience, and (above all) the teachings of the Word of God. . . . It is for us ultimately to decide as God shall teach us, but His voice may come to us through the voice of sanctified common-sense, acting on materials we have collected. Of course at times God may bid us act against our reason, but these are very exceptional; and then our duty will be so clear that there can be no mistake. But for the most part God will speak in the results of deliberate consideration, weighing and balancing the pros and cons.

(4) We must be in much prayer for guidance.

(5) We must wait the gradual unfolding of God's plan in Providence.

God's impressions within and His word without are always corroborated by His Providence around, and we should quietly wait until these three focus into one point. . . . The circumstances of our daily life are to us an infallible indication of God's will, when they concur with the inward promptings of the Spirit and with the Word of God.

F.B. Meyer, THE SECRET OF GUIDANCE (Chicago, IL: Moody Press, n.d.), 9, 11-14, 16.


14) AMY CARMICHAEL (1867-1951) ON "HEARING A SPECIAL WORD FROM GOD"

When reading your Bible, have you not often noticed that some word has shone out in a new, direct, clear way to you? It has been as though you have never read it before. You cannot explain the vivid freshness, the life in it, the extraordinary way it has leapt to your eye--to your heart. It just was so. That was a "durbar," the word in India that means a public audience held by a native prince or by a British sovereign, governor or viceroy. You were in the very presence of your King at that moment. He was speaking to you. His word was spirit and life. . . .

God's way is to take some word in His Book and make it spirit and life. Then, relying upon that word, it is possible for us to go on from strength to strength. There is always something new in our lives that calls for vital faith, if we are to go on with God; but there is always the word waiting in His Book that will meet us just where we are and carry us further on. . . . Perhaps some word will reach us that is meant to prepare us for our tomorrow. Let us not miss that word. . . . Sometimes the special word may be given through another child of God.

Amy Carmichael, THOU GIVEST . . . THEY GATHER (Fort Washington, PA: Christian Literature Crusade, 1958), 9, 12-14, 16.


15) INVITATION TO SUBSCRIBE

Invite your friends to join the Classic Clan for free!
Welcome to a spiritual adventure!
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VOL. IV, ISSUE 1, April 1, 2002. Published every other month 2/1; 4/1; 6/1; 8/1; 10/1; 12/1. Archives on www.kneillfoster.com.

Republished by www.kneillfoster.com 2005.