Friday, August 08, 2008

The Lord is leading me to...the Lord is telling me to...

You all have done it, and so have I. Maybe you still do it. And you know exactly what i'm talking about..."The Lord is leading me to do missions work in China" or "The Lord told me that this is who I am to marry."

Many believe that as you grow closer in your relationship with God you become more sensitive to the voice of the Holy Spirit so that you can listen to where He leads you. Thus, you can make similar statements to the ones above. But have you ever thought to question whether or not its biblical? If it is, what are those people missing who do not believe in such a thing? If it is not, what implications would this have on your life.

Let me ask you an important question. Before the 20th century, did anyone teach such a thing? Ok, i'm sure you could find someone out there who believed this, as there have always been mystics who molded their beliefs with the Christian worldview. But has there by anyone who was at least a semi-prominent figure in church history (modern ones like Spurgeon, or ancient like Augustine) who not only believed this, but taught it as well? If no one in church history believed that God is "speaking" or "directing" or "leading" people in the way that modern evangelicals think that He does, then how in the world did Christians live the Christian life?


Mike said...

Dude, right on! I've had this debate with other friends of mine. The problem with believing the "God told me to..." is that God becomes the one to blame when a plan fails. If God indeed spoke a plan to someone, then how could it ever fail? Every time God spoke in history, the plans always came to fruition...and He didn't really "speak" all that often througout the pages of history. Today, however, we have His Word...and we don't need extra revelation through His "speaking". The Holy Spirit does it through what's in agreement with the Word that has ALREADY been spoken!

When I left a church a handful of years ago, I spoke with one of the staff members who said to me, "I understand, God is leading you to leave." My reply was, "No, I've used the brain God has given me, and I have made an intelligent decision for me and my family." That didn't go over too well.

I absolutely hate it when Christians are afraid to make (and stand by) decisions. A great book (Decision Making and the Will of God, by Gary Friesen) really liberated me from that chaos. Now it's very difficult speaking with Christians who still hold this view, though, because they continue in the bondage of waiting for God to lead when He actually may not.

Mike-e said...

Thanks for the comment Mike! It seems that we are on the same page with this issue. I've heard of that book and really want to read it. I haven't studied this issue as in depth as i'd like to, other than some heavy study in Sola Scriptura. Probably what convinced me most (as I used to have some charismatic leanings) was Greg Koukl's teaching series, which I believe is based on that book.

I usually don't correct people when they say "the Lord lead me to..." just because the vast majority haven't thought through it enough. But I definitely jump on the opportunity when people say, "So Mike, is the Lord leading you to do this?" I am quick to respond similarly to how you would :-)