Guidance?

I’m currently looking at a potential curacy and trying to figure out whether or not it is where God wants me to be. 

If I’m honest, for a “Charasmatic Evangelical” Christian, I really am very suspicious of most Charasmatics.  So many seem to talk as if God and them regularly chat over coffee.  “So I got up in the morning and asked God what colour socks I should put on, and he said I should wear the red socks.”  I rather think that, if God normally communicated in that way, his answer to such a stupid question would be closer to “I gave you a brain, try using it and pick your own flipping socks!” 

I’ve been a Christian for a long time now (relative to my age) and, in my experience, figuring out what God is saying just isn’t like that.  Maybe I’m just not listening, or I’m just not “tuned” right.  The Bible certainly seems to portray God speaking very clearly to individuals.  Indeed, I have had the rare occasion where God seemed to “pop” a very clear instruction in my head!  However, I think this is really very unusual and it might be helpful if we all started to be a bit more honest about it all. 

I suppose it just doesn’t sound as good saying “I’ve kind of had a feeling recently that I should do this and after praying about it the feelings got stronger and I think maybe God is possibly trying to tell me it’s the right thing to do”.  It just doesn’t have the same feeling of authority as saying “God has told me to do this”.

For me it’s usually a gut feeling.  For example, when looking at theological college, I went to see St. John’s in Nottingham.  It was a good college, with good lecturers and friendly students.  I really have nothing bad to say about it.  It just didn’t feel right for us.  My gut feeling told me it was wrong.  However, when I visited Trinity, my ‘gut’ told me it was right.  Even before we entered the door, before I met a single person, I somehow knew it was right.  Over time I’ve come to trust these ‘gut feelings’ and even to believe that they are the Holy Spirits work. 

Which brings me to my potential curacy.  I thinks it’s fair to say I can think of quite a few things that are “wrong” with this parish.  It’s not the type of church I had in mind, filled with the age of people I had in mind or even in the type of area I had in mind.  But, and this really is the annoying bit, my ‘gut’ is telling me it’s right.  As usual, I’ve prayed more, spoke to different people about it and endlessly thought it through.  But it still feels right. 

I guess I better take it.  After all, God’s the boss!

About David

I'm the curate at St. Anne's Church, in the parish of Shevington, Standish Lower Ground and Crooke. I'm married to Carole and have two beautiful daughters called Sarah and Anabel
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2 Responses to Guidance?

  1. Andy Cross says:

    I’m right with you on this David.

    When I left University, the job scene was not good. I was attending interview after interview and getting nowhere – so much so that even after doing a job specific degree I was considering a total career change. It went on like this for at least 4 months. Finally, an interview for a small air-conditioning outfit in Accrington.

    The day after, a phone call to say I got the job and they wanted to me to start straight away! Woohoo! Well of course logic would dictate that I’d accept the job offer even if I didn’t intend staying for the long haul…..The trouble was that just before this job offer, I had another phone call inviting me for interview at (as was) British Aerospace.

    So after 4 months of unemployment, you’d think I snap the job offer out of their hands – waiting on any more interviews would just be a total risk. Despite this, my ‘gut feel’ was that God had lined the British Aerospace job up for me. So I took the risk and turned the offer down over the phone.

    It worked! Started at British Aerospace in September 1996 on a £2k higher salary than I would have done.

    It’s not always clear cut though and is very easy to mix up your own ideas with God’s ideas. But at key points in your life, when ‘gut feel’ is pulling you away from ‘logic’, I would take that seriously that it may be God’s direction.

    One idea that I don’t find particularly helpful is the idea of ‘God opening a door’. Although I accept this does happen, there have been multiple instances in my life where there were three doors open before me! So the other side of this is that sometimes we just don’t like decisions and would like God to make the decision for us when He doesn’t really mind. (just like your coloured sock example!)

    However in your current case, I am sure God does have a view and a plan, and already knows what decision you will make, and has planned your life in front of all that as well! Acknowledge the Lord in all your ways and He will make you path straight.

    Just some rambling thoughts from me on guidance.

    • David says:

      Thanks mate, a good story to share. Completely agree with you about how easy it is to mix up with our own desires and feelings.
      God bless

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