Seeking God for Guidance in the Work of God

“For we are God’s fellow workers; you are God’s field, God’s building.”  1 Corinthians 3:9

 We must seek God for guidance in the work of God. When I speak of “seeking God for guidance”, it can be equated with “the fellowship of the Holy Spirit[1]. Reflect on how Jesus described the ministry of the Holy Spirit towards us who are His disciples:

25 “These things I have spoken to you while abiding with you. 26 But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I said to you.” John 14:25-26

12 “I have many more things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. 13 But when He, the Spirit of truth comes, He will guide you into all the truth; for He will not speak on His own initiative, but whatever He hears, He will speak; and He will disclose to you what is to come. 14 He will glorify Me, for He will take of Mine and will disclose it to you. 15 All things that the Father has are Mine; therefore, I said that He takes of Mine and will disclose it to you.” John 16:12-15

It is imperative we hear the voice of God for guidance in the work of God. We dare not continue building “according to the letter”[2] – according to “the elementary principles of the world”.[3] As His co-workers[4], we must work with Him and not against Him. Our example is Jesus, and how He walked with the Father while He ministered on the earth – saying only what he heard the Father saying and doing only what He saw the Father doing.[5] There is a prophetic passage which addresses the necessity of CO-LABORING WITH THE LORD IN HIS WORK:

“Who is among you that fears the Lord, that obeys the voice of His servant, that walks in darkness and has no light? Let him trust in the name of the Lord and rely on his God.” Isaiah 50:10

We must have reverence for God and His work, having humility and acknowledging when we don’t know what God is doing. We must have utter dependence on the Lord. Not “trusting in chariots and horses“[6]“Not by might, nor by power, but by the Spirit”.[7]

11 “Behold, all you who kindle a fire, who gird yourselves with firebrands, walk in the light of your fire and among the brands you have set ablaze. This you will have from My hand: You will lie down in torment.” Isaiah 50:11

If we “do our own thing” in our own strength,[8] we will suffer the consequences.[9]

Over the years, a number of scripture passages have become especially significant for me when seeking God for guidance in the work of ministry:

  • “The people who know their God will display strength and take action.” (Daniel 11:32; Cf. Jeremiah 9:23-24)
  • “Call to Me and I will answer you, and I will tell you great and mighty things, which you do not know.(Jeremiah 33:3)
  • “A ladder was set on the earth with its top reaching to heaven; and behold, the messengers (angels[10]) of God were ascending and descending on it…. This is none other than the house of God and this is the gate of heaven.” (Genesis 28:12; 17)
  • Let Your work appear to Your servants and Your majesty to their children. Let the favor of the Lord our God be upon us; and confirm for us the work of our hands; yes, confirm the work of our hands.” (Psalm 90:16-17)
  • I will build My Church … I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven.” (Matthew 16:18-19)
  • “So then neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but God who causes the growth. Now he who plants, and he who waters are one; but each will receive his own reward according to his own labor. For we are God’s fellow workers; you are God’s field, God’s building.” (1 Corinthians 3:7-9)
  • This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He has sent.” (John 6:29)
  • “Our father who is in heaven, hallowed be you name. Your kingdom come; your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” (Matthew 6:9-10)

It’s natural that we might have a desire for “practical applications” of the principles we see in the Scriptures. As I said, we MUST receive those leadings in fellowship with the Holy Spirit. Of course, the New Testament scriptures would be our “go-to” source from which we would affirm the trustworthiness of those Spirit-leadings.

Some of what we read in the New Testament is “descriptive” of the Church in the first century. And some of what we read in the New Testament is intended to be “prescriptive” for the Church through the end of this age. But I find that the “descriptive” / “prescriptive” paradigm is not satisfying to me, as I see the whole idea of prescriptions of certain activities as being at the very core of “the elementary principles of the world”[11]. It is not the activities themselves which are problematic, it is the prescribing of those activities which I perceive as “of the letter” and therefore violating the essence of the New Covenant by promoting a ministry “of the letter” rather than “of the Spirit” – “the Law of Christ”, “the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus”. I am more of the persuasion to say, in a manner of speaking: Whatever we see in the New Testament scriptures that is descriptive of Christ is prescriptive. I believe it was the intention of the Holy Spirit and the authors He inspired to both describe and prescribe CHRIST through the New Testament scriptures.[12]

This brings to mind an oft used phrase: “What Would Jesus Do?” [13] THAT is what we need to discern in every unique situation – What would Jesus do?according to the Spirit”?[14]  For THAT is essentially the governing principle of the New Covenant – “the law of Christ”[15] – “the law of the Spirit of Life in Christ Jesus”.[16]  Of course, the guidance we receive “according to the Spirit” will never contradict anything the Spirit inspired to be recorded in the New Testament scriptures. But at the same time, it may be “far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think”[17] – that is, something “no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the heart of man imagined”[18]. I say this because, Jesus said “the Spirit will guide us in ALL THE REALITY”.[19] While Greek word, aletheia[20], is usually translated “truth”, its literal meaning is “reality”. In fact, Greek scholar, Hermann Cremer, defines it as, “the reality lying at the basis of an appearance; the manifested, veritable essence of a matter”[21]. THAT’S what Jesus would do – in every unique situation we encounter between now and “the end of the age”.

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“Seeking God for Guidance in the Work of God” is an excerpt from the eBook “A New & Living Way”, pages 318-323. See the corresponding eBook on our website.

At Christ’s Table – ACTpublications © 2018

“Explaining spiritual realities with Spirit-taught words.” 1 Corinthians 2:13

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FOOTNOTES

[1] 2 Corinthians 13:14; Philippians 2:1.

[2] 2 Corinthians 3:6

[3] Galatians 4:3, 9; Colossians 2:8, 20.

[4] 1 Corinthians 3:9

[5] John 5:19, 30; 6:38; 8:28, 45; 12:49; 14:10

[6] Psalm 20:7

[7] Zechariah 4:6

[8] Psalm 118:8; 146:3; Isaiah 2:22; 30:1

[9] 1 Corinthians 3:13-17

[10] Greek: angelos, Strong’s # 32.

[11] Galatians 4:3, 9; Colossians 2:8, 20.

[12] I deal with these things in much detail in my series of articles “A New & Living Way: An Investigation into New Covenant Worship in Spirit & Truth”.

[13] The origin and usage of the phrase: It is the theme of “Imitation of Christ”, written by Thomas a Kempis in 1481. The phrase was repeated a number of times in a sermon given by Charles Spurgeon in 1891. Also, in 1891, A.B. Simpson wrote a hymn with this title. The phrase was the title of a novel written by Charles Sheldon in 1896, whose theology was labeled “Christian Socialism” and was the primary influence on Walter Rauschenbusch, the father of the “Social Gospel”. (I do not identity with their use of the phrase.) In the 1990s, Janie Tinklenberg, a youth leader in the Calvary Reformed Church in Holland, Michigan, used the phrase which started a global youth movement.

[14] 2 Corinthians 3:6

[15] 1 Corinthians 9:21; Galatians 6:2

[16] Romans 8:2

[17] Ephesians 3:20

[18] 1 Corinthians 2:9 ESV

[19] John 16:13

[20] Strong’s # 225

[21] Biblico-Theological Lexicon

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Quo Vadis

God is always moving forward in His kingdom plans and purposes. He never moves backward. And for those who love Him, He never stops moving in our lives for His glory. But to continue moving on with God “from glory to glory” requires our living “from faith to faith”. It takes an act of faith