Context, context, context ….!
No-one is an island, and if Genesis 2 teaches us anything, it is not good to live, think or function on our own – this is one aspects of God’s will for your life that is very clear! So matters of guidance, discovering your spiritual gifts and responding to God’s calling on your life will involve a journey in fellowship with other believers and in particular with at least one local church.
The Bible is very clear on many areas of life as to what is Gods will for you. Take a look via the Quick Research button and see what God has already revealed to us. The universal will of God for each of us can be discovered and worked out by: –
- Consistent prayer and systematic study of God’s already revealed truth (the Bible) – A knowledge and ability to be received from God Colossians 1:9-10; Philippians. 2:12-13
- Self-sacrifice in terms of what we do with ourselves and an internal transformation of the mind – Romans 12:1-2
- Conscious effort and discovery – Ephesians 5:10,17
- Close cooperation with the Holy Spirit – Galatians 5:16-24
- Active fellowship with other believers (church) – it is collectively that we are conformed into the likeness of Christ, 2 Corinthians 3:17-18.
Specific calling – a sense of vocation
This relates to God’s guidance and direction in an individual believer’s life to serve God in a particular church or ministry locally or in some other specific part of the world:-
- A special call of God on your life e.g. for Peter and John, Mark 1:17-20 General-Discipleship, Mark 3:13-19 Specific Apostleship.
- Function: meaning the specific part you are to play in the Body of Christ, relating to gifts of the Spirit e.g. Paul Acts 9:15-16, missions.
- Geography: where are you to serve the Lord? Acts 16:5-10
- Timing: When to start? When to stop? When to change places? Acts 13:1-4; 16:1-5
- Partnership: the question of who are you to work with. God never calls us to work alone, there will always be local churches, partners in ministry or teams to join. Acts 18:1-5; 20:1-6
Some ways through which we receive guidance
- By reading studying and meditating on the Bible
- By Prayer conversation with the Lord
- By personal sacrifice & by transformed minds Rom 12:1-2
- By common sense and consultation (Acts 6:1-8, and chapter 15)
- Direct intervention of the Holy Spirit (Acts 13:1-4)
- Words from the Lord – such prophetic guidance must be tested and proved by godly counsellors, 1 Cor 14:29, 1 Thess 5:19-22
- Dreams/Visions: as with prophecy, these must be tested as you can dream because of worry, fear, lust and even too much food!
- Wisdom from a trusted leader
- Through the principle of mentorship
- By the Call or Decision of the local church