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Should not God’s own word satisfy every inquiring mind touching divine guidance all the way through life?
Has He not said, “Acknowledge Him in all thy ways, and He shall direct thy paths.”—Prov. 3:6.
“The Lord will guide thee continually.”—Isaiah 11:58.
“He will be our guide, even unto death.”—Psalm 48:14.
“Thou shalt guide me with thy counsel.”—Psalm 73:24.
“The meek will He guide in judgment.”—Psalm 25:9.
This guidance in judgment will be God’s guidance for the knowing of His will. As we honor him by perfect obedience and submission of spirit, he takes into his own hand the direction of our way, and calls on us only to follow the leader, who will make plain paths for our feet through all the journey.
How shall I know the voice as God’s voice?
As well ask, how know the voice of a most intimate friend or companion? Has not intimacy with that friend in familiar converse, as you have walked in companionship together, made the voice to be as well known as your own? Cultivate, then, like intimacy with God; walk with him and talk with him hour by hour, and in the freedom you have with a personal friend. Cultivate such a sense of His living presence that you will learn to speak to Him, as well as of Him, most freely and without embarrassment. Living thus in companionship with God, for companionship implies converse, you will learn to know God’s voice when he speaks; and as you bring all your thoughts into captivity to the obedience of Christ, habituating yourself to speak to him of all that you do, holding nothing back, you will find it most easy to lay down the task in which you may be engaged, at any moment, to hold intercourse with Jesus as your loving friend. Living thus, you will not fail to know God’s voice when he speaks to you.
Then, again, with your soul baptized in love—in the love of the Lord Jesus—you will live in such an assurance of God’s love to you, that there will be no questioning in your mind as to his responding to the longing desire of your heart to know his will. Thus, thus, you will be at rest, assured He will no more fail in this than in giving you your daily bread. As well may you question your receiving salvation as divine guidance, and that up to the full measure of your faith in His own words of promise, for they are as full and complete.
Again. How recognize the voice as God’s voice amid the confusion that comes from another spirit than the good Spirit of God. John bids us “try the spirits, whether they are of God,” and in referring us, in the trying, to the Word itself, we are told that the Spirit’s confession of Christ—exaltation of Christ—in the exhibitions of His love, unerringly declare it to be of God’s good Spirit, so moving the heart that the voice will be known as God’s voice. God speaks, then, not only by His Spirit, but by His Word, and with the eye single and the heart fixed on knowing His will, it will be revealed as His voice through the light the blessed Spirit sheds upon the Word.
If, then, there be in the heart a desire for guidance in any of the relative duties of life, divine light will be shed upon every step of the way through the Word, under the illuminating power of the Spirit. God’s words are made living words, and will be spoken afresh as His voice expressing His will, as certainly as we ask, expecting to know it. In singleness of eye for God’s glory the Holy Spirit purifies the vision; the scales fall; we see clearly; we know God’s will, for the voice is His to us, and in the consciousness our steps are ordered of the Lord we testify that “He leadeth us.”
The result, then, of carrying “everything to God in prayer,” everything pertaining to this life, that you may know His will, desiring obediently to do it, will beget such a susceptibility to hear the slightest whisper that you will learn to know it as clearly as the father of our race knew God’s voice, spoken to him in the cool of the evening, as he walked in the garden of Eden.
And then, in the depth of your consciousness, you will find yourself learning to catch the reverberation of His voice in every sound of nature, in the intervals of thought, as they come in the occupations of life. If you have the first lessons to learn in divine guidance, read the eighth and tenth verses of the 143d Psalm, and with those on your lips take the matter on which you would have light to God. Ask Him to guide you; and with no will of your own, no choice as to the pathway, trusting everything to God, while silently waiting to hear his voice, as God is true it will be given you to know His will. You will hear it saying, “This is the way; walk ye in it.” As you enter upon the doing of it, opposing obstacles will disappear, for the voice of God’s providence is in unison with that of the Spirit and the Word.—Selected.
— February, 1884 —