August 23 The Guide

scripture reading: Psalm 23
key verse: 1 Corinthians 10:11

All these things happened to them as examples, and they were written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the ages have come.

A major function of the Holy Spirit is to guide God’s children. But too often the leadership of the Spirit is ascribed to methods and sources of which the Father has no part.

In Knowing God, J. I. Packer helps us to understand the fundamental error and make the proper course correction:

Earnest Christians seeking guidance often go wrong about it. They look for a will–o’–the–wisp; they overlook the guidance that is ready to hand, and lay themselves open to all sorts of delusion.

Their basic mistake is to think of guidance as essentially inward prompting by the Holy Spirit, apart from the written Word.

The true way to honor the Holy Spirit as our guide is to honor the Holy Scriptures through which He guides us. The fundamental guidance which God gives to shape our lives … is not a matter of inward promptings apart from the Word but of the pressure on our consciences of the portrayal of God’s character and will in the Word.…

The Spirit leads within the limits which the Word sets, not beyond them.

O Lord, I haven’t passed this way before. Guide me this day by Your Holy Spirit. Lead me within the limits set by Your Word. Don’t let me stray beyond them.[1]

[1] Stanley, C. F. (1998). Enter His gates: a daily devotional. Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

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