Grace Fellowship (Rusk, Texas)
D201 Lesson 10: Divine Guidance
  • Divine Guidance

    Key Verses:
    “For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God.” Romans 8:14 (NKJV)
    “The spirit of a man is the lamp of the Lord, Searching all the inner depths of his heart.” Proverbs 20:27 (NKJV)
    The purpose of this lesson is to help the disciple more accurately discern divine guidance.
    People today are seeking guidance in UNBIBLICAL ways
    Many follow the guidance of palm readers, horoscopes, psychics, New Age spirit guides, and the occult.
    Deuteronomy 18:9–14 (NKJV) “When you come into the land which the LORD your God is giving you, you shall not learn to follow the abominations of those nations. 10 There shall not be found among you anyone who makes his son or his daughter pass through the fire, or one who practices witchcraft, or a soothsayer, or one who interprets omens, or a sorcerer, 11 or one who conjures spells, or a medium, or a spiritist, or one who calls up the dead. 12 For all who do these things are an abomination to the LORD, and because of these abominations the LORD your God drives them out from before you. 13 You shall be blameless before the LORD your God. 14 For these nations which you will dispossess listened to soothsayers and diviners; but as for you, the LORD your God has not appointed such for you.”
    God has provided two types of GUIDANCE to His people:
    CONSCIOUS guidance
    The Word of God
    The conscious leading of the Holy Spirit
    Simeon came by the Spirit into the temple (Luke 2:27)
    UNCONSCIOUS guidance (sovereign or providential)
    Circumstances beyond our knowledge or control
    Circumstances divinely orchestrated to bring us into the right place at the right time to fulfill God’s purpose and plan (Proverbs 16:9)
    Anna (Luke 2:38) came in at the very instant Simeon was prophesying over the baby Jesus and His mother
    Guidance is simply finding the WILL of God.
    To discern divine guidance, we must first REPENT of all unbiblical forms of guidance.
    Divine guidance is SUPERIOR to human WISDOM.
    1 Corinthians 2:9–16 (NKJV) “But as it is written: ‘Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, Nor have entered into the heart of man The things which God has prepared for those who love Him.’ 10 But God has revealed them to us through His Spirit. For the Spirit searches all things, yes, the deep things of God. 11 For what man knows the things of a man except the spirit of the man which is in him? Even so no one knows the things of God except the Spirit of God. 12 Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might know the things that have been freely given to us by God. 13 These things we also speak, not in words which man’s wisdom teaches but which the Holy Spirit teaches, comparing spiritual things with spiritual. 14But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. 15 But he who is spiritual judges all things, yet he himself is rightly judged by no one. 16 For ‘who has known the mind of the LORD that he may instruct Him?’ But we have the mind of Christ.”
    Human wisdom falls short of God’s revelation
    The wisdom of man does not require faith.
    The wisdom of God cannot be perceived with the natural mind.
    The Holy Spirit reveals the mind of God.
    God has given us the Holy Spirit so we can know the things of God.
    We have been given the “mind of Christ”—i.e., the Holy Spirit.
    Discerning divine guidance first requires DISTINGUISHING between spirit, soul, and body.
    The spirit, soul, and body are not the same.
    Body: Relates to the physical realms through the five senses.
    Soul: Relates to others through the mind, will, and emotions. One aspect of the soul is the heart from which derives motives, attitudes, and desires.
    Spirit: Relates to God in prayer, worship, and spiritual things.
    1 Corinthians 14:14 (NKJV) “For if I pray in a tongue, my spirit prays, but my understanding is unfruitful.”
    Hebrews 4:12 (NKJV) “For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.”
    Our spirit man is born again when we believe in the gospel
    2 Corinthians 5:17 (NKJV) “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.”
    Our souls are not born again. Our soul must be renewed.
    James 1:18–21 (NKJV) “Of His own will He brought us forth by the word of truth, that we might be a kind of firstfruits of His creatures. 19 So then, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath; 20 for the wrath of man does not produce the righteousness of God. 21 Therefore lay aside all filthiness and overflow of wickedness, and receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls.”
    Our spirit man (inward man) will outlive our body (outward man)
    2 Corinthians 4:16 (NKJV) “Therefore we do not lose heart. Even though our outward man is perishing, yet the inward man is being renewed day by day.”
    Discerning divine guidance requires us to be SPIRIT- conscious.
    Man was created with a spirit, soul, and body
    Genesis 2:7 (NKJV) “And the LORD God formed the man of the dust of the ground (body), and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life (spirit); and man became a living being (soul).”
    God gives guidance through our spirit
    Proverbs 20:27 (NKJV) “The spirit of a man is the lamp of the LORD, Searching all the inner depths of his heart.”
    Psalm 18:28 (NKJV) “For You will light my lamp; the LORD my God will enlighten my darkness.”
    John 7:37–39 (NKJV) “On the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, saying, ‘If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink. He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.’ But this He spoke concerning the Spirit, whom those believing in Him would receive; for the Holy Spirit was not yet given, because Jesus was not yet glorified.”
    The primary way we receive guidance is through God’s WRITTEN Word, the Bible.
    Why ask God for guidance while refusing to follow what He has already revealed in His Word?
    The Word of God is a light to our pathway
    Psalm 119:105 (NKJV) “Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.”
    The Word of God enables us to discern the will of God
    God will never lead you contrary to His Word
    Hebrews 4:12 (NKJV) “For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.”
    The Word of God will protect us from deception
    1 Timothy 1:3–5 (NKJV) “As I urged you when I went into Macedonia—remain in Ephesus that you may charge some that they teach no other doctrine, 4 nor give heed to fables and endless genealogies, which cause disputes rather than godly edification which is in faith. 5 Now the purpose of the commandment is love from a pure heart, from a good conscience, and from sincere faith,”
    2 Timothy 4:1–4 (NKJV) “I charge you therefore before God and the Lord Jesus Christ, who will judge the living and the dead at His appearing and His kingdom: 2 Preach the word! Be ready in season and out of season. Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching. 3 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; 4 and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables.”
    The Word of God enables us to prove the will of God
    Romans 12:2 (NKJV) “And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.”
    Good—morally virtuous
    Acceptable—divinely pleasing
    Perfect—completely mature
    In the wilderness temptations, Jesus relied on the Word of God to overcome the lies of the devil
    A second way we receive guidance is through the INWARD WITNESS.
    The inward witness is the witness of the Holy Spirit with our spirit.
    The inward witness is the most common way that the Holy Spirit leads us.
    Romans 8:16 (NKJV) “The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God,”
    1 John 5:10 (NKJV) “He who believes in the Son of God has the witness in himself; he who does not believe God has made Him a liar, because he has not believed the testimony that God has given of His Son.”
    The inward witness is likened to a “check”, a “green light” or “red light”, or a “peace in the Holy Spirit”.
    Colossians 3:15 (NKJV) “And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to which also you were called in one body; and be thankful.” (i.e., let the peace of God “umpire” or determine the direction of your heart)
    Psalm 18:28 (NKJV) “For You will light my lamp; The LORD my God will enlighten my darkness.”
    A third way we receive guidance is through the INWARD VOICE.
    The Inward Voice is the voice of the human spirit or conscience.
    The human conscience is an inner moral compass that indicates right and wrong.
    The unbeliever has a conscience toward God.
    Romans 2:14–15 (NKJV) “for when Gentiles, who do not have the law, by nature do the things in the law, these, although not having the law, are a law to themselves, 15 who show the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and between themselves their thoughts accusing or else excusing them)”
    John 8:9 (NKJV) “Then those who heard it, being convicted by their conscience, went out one by one, beginning with the oldest even to the last. And Jesus was left alone, and the woman standing in the midst.”
    The unbeliever has a defiled conscience and is thus untrustworthy.
    Romans 1:18–21 (NKJV) “For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, 19 because what may be known of God is manifest in them, for God has shown it to them. 20 For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse, 21 because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened.”
    James 3:13–18 (NKJV) “Who is wise and understanding among you? Let him show by good conduct that his works are done in the meekness of wisdom. 14 But if you have bitter envy and self-seeking in your hearts, do not boast and lie against the truth. 15 This wisdom does not descend from above, but is earthly, sensual, demonic. 16 For where envy and self-seeking exist, confusion and every evil thing are there. 17 But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, willing to yield, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality and without hypocrisy. 18 Now the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace.”
    1 Timothy 4:1–2 (NKJV) “Now the Spirit expressly says that in latter times some will depart from the faith, giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons, 2 speaking lies in hypocrisy, having their own conscience seared with a hot iron.”
    Titus 1:15 (NKJV) “To the pure all things are pure, but to those who are defiled and unbelieving nothing is pure; but even their mind and conscience are defiled.”
    The Holy Spirit is sent to bring conviction to those whose conscience is defiled.
    John 16:8 (NKJV) “And when He has come, He will convict the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment:”
    The believer’s conscience is a safe guide because of the new birth and should be guarded.
    Hebrews 9:13–14 (NKJV) “For if the blood of bulls and goats and the ashes of a heifer, sprinkling the unclean, sanctifies for the purifying of the flesh, 14 how much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without spot to God, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?”
    Romans 14:22–23 (NKJV) “Do you have faith? Have it to yourself before God. Happy is he who does not condemn himself in what he approves. 23 But he who doubts is condemned if he eats, because he does not eat from faith; for whatever is not from faith is sin.”
    1 Corinthians 10:25 (NKJV) “Eat whatever is sold in the meat market, asking no questions for conscience’ sake;”
    1 Peter 3:13–17 (NKJV) “And who is he who will harm you if you become followers of what is good? 14 But even if you should suffer for righteousness’ sake, you are blessed. ‘And do not be afraid of their threats, nor be troubled.’ 15 But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts, and always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear; 16 having a good conscience, that when they defame you as evildoers, those who revile your good conduct in Christ may be ashamed. 17 For it is better, if it is the will of God, to suffer for doing good than for doing evil.”
    Hebrews 10:22 (NKJV) “let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water.”
    Acts 23:1 (NKJV) “Then Paul, looking earnestly at the council, said, ‘Men and brethren, I have lived in all good conscience before God until this day.’”
    Romans 9:1 (NKJV) “I tell the truth in Christ, I am not lying, my conscience also bearing me witness in the Holy Spirit,”
    Violating conscience is sin.
    Romans 14:22–23 (NKJV) “Do you have faith? Have it to yourself before God. Happy is he who does not condemn himself in what he approves. 23 But he who doubts is condemned if he eats, because he does not eat from faith; for whatever is not from faith is sin.”
    Romans 13:5 (NKJV) (Subject to authorities) “Therefore you must be subject, not only because of wrath but also for conscience’ sake.”
    God is greater than our conscience.
    1 John 3:20–21 (NKJV) “For if our heart condemns us, God is greater than our heart, and knows all things. 21 Beloved, if our heart does not condemn us, we have confidence toward God.”
    Our conscience must be informed and strengthened by God’s truth.
    Romans 14 Some have a weak conscience which causes strife and judgment among believers.
    1 Corinthians 8 We must be considerate of another’s weak conscience.
    1 Thessalonians 5:21 (NKJV) “Test all things; hold fast what is good.”
    A fourth way to receive guidance is through the VOICE OF THE HOLY SPIRIT.
    Acts 10:19 (NKJV) “While Peter thought about the vision, the Spirit said to him, ‘Behold, three men are seeking you.’”
    The voice of the Holy Spirit is more distinct, clear, and authoritative.
    The voice of the Holy Spirit can be so real that it seems God spoke to you out loud.
    1 Samuel 3 Samuel hears the Lord’s voice
    The voice of the Holy Spirit usually comes when the direction needs to be highly emphasized or when the adversities ahead need great confirmation.
    A fifth way to receive guidance is through the voice of GODLY COUNSEL.
    God often speaks to us through others.
    Exodus 18:19 (NKJV) “Listen now to my voice; I will give you counsel, and God will be with you: stand before God for the people, so that you may bring the difficulties to God.”
    Proverbs 1:5 (NKJV) “A wise man will hear and increase learning, and a man of understanding will attain wise counsel,”
    Proverbs 11:14 (NKJV) “Where there is no counsel, the people fall; but in the multitude of counselors there is safety.”
    Proverbs 12:15 (NKJV) “The way of a fool is right in his own eyes, but he who heeds counsel is wise.”
    Proverbs 15:22 (NKJV) “Without counsel, plans go awry, but in the multitude of counselors they are established.”
    Proverbs 24:6 (NKJV) “For by wise counsel you will wage your own war, and in a multitude of counselors there is safety.”
    A sixth way to receive guidance is through SPIRITUAL INTUITION.
    Spiritual intuition is an inspired “gut feeling” concerning a situation or circumstance.
    Many times, a “gut feeling” can feel as though it has the weight of a word from the Lord.
    Acts 27:9–10 (NKJV) “Now when much time had been spent, and sailing was now dangerous because the Fast was already over, Paul advised them, 10 saying, ‘Men, I perceive that this voyage will end with disaster and much loss, not only of the cargo and ship, but also our lives.’
    Never ignore a gut feeling, but never believe it is enough. Verify it.
    A seventh way to receive guidance is through PRAYING IN THE HOLY SPIRIT.
    Praying in the Holy Spirit (or praying in tongues) opens our spirit to receive direction of the Lord
    1 Corinthians 14:14–15 (NKJV) “For if I pray in a tongue, my spirit prays, but my understanding is unfruitful. 15 What is the conclusion then? I will pray with the spirit, and I will also pray with the understanding. I will sing with the spirit, and I will also sing with the understanding.”
    1 Corinthians 14:2 (NKJV) “For he who speaks in a tongue does not speak to men but to God, for no one understands him; however, in the spirit he speaks mysteries.”
    An eighth way to receive guidance is through PROPHECY.
    God will often speak to us through the gift of prophecy, the word of wisdom, and the word of knowledge.
    Acts 21:4, 8-14 Only accept prophetic words that confirm or verify what the Holy Spirit has already been telling you. Paul received somber prophetic words which created a fearful reaction in the disciples. Paul allowed the prophetic warning to confirm the danger ahead but followed the direction of the Holy Spirit in his heart to go to Jerusalem.
    Acts 13:2 Prophecy confirmed the call that Paul and Barnabas had already received.
    A ninth way to receive guidance is through VISIONS.
    Three types of visions
    Spiritual vision: Seeing through the eyes of the spirit (Acts 9:8)
    Trance: A person mind and physical senses are suspended while being aware of spiritual things as if they were physical reality. The person is caught up into another dimension and does not know where he or she is at that moment.
    Open vision: The eyes are wide open and all of the physical senses are intact and operating.
    Acts 2:17-18 (NKJV) “‘And it shall come to pass in the last days, says God, That I will pour out of My Spirit on all flesh; Your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, Your young men shall see visions, Your old men shall dream dreams. 18 And on My menservants and on My maidservants I will pour out My Spirit in those days; and they shall prophesy.”
    Acts 10:1–7 (NKJV) “There was a certain man in Caesarea called Cornelius, a centurion of what was called the Italian Regiment, 2 a devout man and one who feared God with all his household, who gave alms generously to the people, and prayed to God always. 3 About the ninth hour of the day he saw clearly in a vision an angel of God coming in and saying to him, ‘Cornelius!’ 4 And when he observed him, he was afraid, and said, ‘What is it, lord?’ So he said to him, ‘Your prayers and your alms have come up for a memorial before God. 5 Now send men to Joppa, and send for Simon whose surname is Peter. 6 He is lodging with Simon, a tanner, whose house is by the sea. He will tell you what you must do.’ 7 And when the angel who spoke to him had departed, Cornelius called two of his household servants and a devout soldier from among those who waited on him continually.”
    Acts 10:9–16 (NKJV) “The next day, as they went on their journey and drew near the city, Peter went up on the housetop to pray, about the sixth hour. 10 Then he became very hungry and wanted to eat; but while they made ready, he fell into a trance 11 and saw heaven opened and an object like a great sheet bound at the four corners, descending to him and let down to the earth. 12 In it were all kinds of four-footed animals of the earth, wild beasts, creeping things, and birds of the air. 13 And a voice came to him, ‘Rise, Peter; kill and eat.’ 14 But Peter said, ‘Not so, Lord! For I have never eaten anything common or unclean.’ 15 And a voice spoke to him again the second time, ‘What God has cleansed you must not call common.’ 16 This was done three times. And the object was taken up into heaven again.”
    A tenth way to receive guidance is through DREAMS.
    Not every dream is from God, but some are.
    Acts 2:17-18 Old men shall dream dreams
    Numbers 12:6 God will speak to prophets through dreams
    Matthew 2:20-24 Joseph receives direction from God to take Mary as wife
    Matthew 2:13 Joseph received warning and direction in a dream
    A key to discerning divine guidance is TRAINING your spirit man.
    Meditate in the Word
    Practice the Word
    Pray in the Holy Spirit
    Ask the Lord for wisdom and direction
    Develop the art of listening
    Believe by faith that He will speak to you how He chooses