The Discipline of Guidance
Have you ever heard of the Spiritual Discipline of Guidance? Well, if you haven’t, that makes two of us. I was curious about what Richard Foster meant by the Discipline of Guidance.
Essentially, what Foster is saying about Corporate Guidance is that we come together as Christians and seek God’s will for our lives. Together we can help each other out in discerning what God wants us to do. Foster gives great examples from the Apostles when they needed to discern who they were going to send out with Paul and Barnabas. When they needed to fill the spot that was left vacant by Judas, they used corporate guidance. Other examples of times in the church when the community needed to come together to decide fills the pages of the book of Acts, the recorded history of the growth of the first century church. Foster also pointed to a time in Israel’s history when they collectively said to Moses that he had to be the one speaking to God and be a messenger instead of them hearing directly from God himself.
As we continue to look at the disciplines, I can see how this is a discipline. The more and more that we shape our lives after God, the more and more we try to align ourselves with his will. When we do this as an individual, it is difficult to keep in check the fact that we can easily convince ourselves that what we are doing is God’s will, even if it means it is going contrary to God’s will. As a church we can help each other out when it comes to life decisions. If we use this as a discipline, we can help each other seek God’s will. We can use the other disciplines to help us in this discernment process: We can pray together. We can study scripture together. We can spend some time in fasting and silence listening for God to speak. We can worship together to hear God speaking and shaping us.
We live in a culture where we are left to make many choices on our own. We often look for different resources to help us in our decision-making process. Unknowingly, we are looking for guidance in different areas, when we have such a wonderful resource of a church family. We can come together to help each other discern God’s will. As we grow in God’s likeness, we align ourselves with him, and our lives reflect the fruit of the Spirit living in and through us!
Prov. 15:22-Plans fail for lack of counsel, but with many advisers they succeed.