Pitfalls from Packer on Guidance

17 03 2010

J.I.Packer in his book ‘Knowing God’ has a chapter on Guidance. Here is a summarised version of a list of pitfalls to us being guided by God. See ‘Knowing God’ p. 269-271

1. Unwillingness to think. “It is false piety, super-super-naturalism of an unhealthy and pernicious sort, that demands inward impressions that have no rational base, and declines to heed the constant biblical summons to ‘consider’. ‘O that they were¬†wise..that they would consider. Deuteronomy 32:29.

2. Unwillingness to think ahead, and weigh the long-term consequences of alternative courses fo action. ‘O that they were wise…that they would consdier their latter end.’

3. Unwillingness to take advice. Scripture is emphatic on the need for this. ‘The way of a fool seems right to him, but a wise man listens to advice.’ Proverbs 12:15

4. Unwillingness to suspect oneself. “We dislike being realistic with ourselves, and we do not know ourselves at all well; we recognise rationalistions in others and quite overlook them in ourselves.”

5. Unwillingness to discount personal magnestism. “Outstanding people are not, indeed necessarily wrong, but they are not necessarily right either! They, and their views, must be respected, but not idolised.’ ‘Test everything. Hold on to the good.’ 1 Thess 5:21

6. Unwillingness to wait. “‘Wait on the Lord’ is a constant refrain in the Psalms, and it is a necessary word, for God often keeps us waiting. He is not in such a hurry as we are, and it is not his way to give more light on the future than we need for action in the present, or to guide us more than one step at a time. When in doubt, do nothing, but continue to wait on God. When action is needed, light will come.”

I would add that prayer is necessary through this whole process.