A Theology of Guidance – Part 3 of 5


2. Providential Circumstances – Providential circumstances are events which are sovereignly orchestrated by God. The New Testament missionaries referred to these as “open and closed doors” of ministry. Paul asked the Colossian believers to devote themselves to prayer for his ministry team, “keeping alert in it with an attitude of thanksgiving; praying at the same time for us as well, that God will open up to us a door for the word” (Col 4:2-3). He trusted that even Satan’s opposition to his gospel ministry somehow worked toward God’s sovereign ends, “For we wanted to come to you—I, Paul, more than once– and yet Satan hindered us” (1 Thess 2:18). Though God may use circumstances to guide us we must be very careful that we do not look for “signs” or put more confidence in changing circumstances than we should. The reason for this is that our minds are affected by our depravity, which influences our interpretation of events, thus reminding us again that we must submit everything to the written Word of God. However, if we are walking in the Spirit (walking according to the Word and bearing fruit like that described in Gal 5:22-23), devoted to prayer, and seeking godly counsel there is no reason for us to not consider the outworking of God’s providence in our lives as a legitimate means of guidance.

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