The More Complete The Surrender, The More Absolute The Guidance
God’s guidance! What greater delight to the consecrated heart than to realize the clasp of His guiding hand or to hear a Divine voice saying, "This is the way, walk ye in it"? What greater joy can we bring to our Master than confiding trust and faithful following moment by moment? In view of this, how important that we know the principles of guidance without which it cannot be realized in any marked degree.
Only a Yielded Heart can be Guided. Self-will in any degree or form mars the guidance. Self-choice, self-pleasing must go. His guidance is not forced upon us. It must be lovingly chosen and sought at the sacrifice of all that may hinder. "The meek will He guide in judgment, the meek will He teach His way" (Psalm 25:9).
The more complete the surrender, the more absolute the guidance. When He, by His Spirit, can flow through every channel of the being unhindered, then guidance is simple. The heart is brought to love His will. The feet walk in His paths, and the very nervous system suffers at a lapse from His will. In short, when the injunction is obeyed, "Present your bodies a living sacrifice," then, in actual experience follows the "proving" or the living out of the "good and perfect and acceptable will of God" (Romans 12:1-2).
Only a Quiet Heart can be Guided. The guiding voice is a "still, small voice." He allures us to the wilderness to "speak" to us. The guidance sought in the hurry and bustle of the crowd, or even in the ordinary meeting, is apt to be confused. There must be rest from the thoughts and suggestions of friends, from the activity of our own minds, even from our anxious seeking for guidance. Ceasing from all, and simply waiting before Him till all is still and peaceful with the sense of His rest, the vision is cleared, the plain path is shown.
Only a Loving, Tender, Sensitive Heart can be Guided. The callous, slow, dull heart seeks its own sluggish, stubborn way. "I will guide thee with Mine eye" (Psalm 32:8). Does not this suggest a heart so lovingly alert as to catch the gleam of pleasure or the overshadowing of disapproval in the Master’s eye, or to know the way in which He guides by the direction of His glance? It is hard to put into words what the tender heart can feel of the exquisite delicacy of His guidance. The gentle check, the slight intimation is sufficient for the truly loving heart.
Only the Expectant, Believing Heart can be Guided. If there is any doubt that He will lead, guidance is cut off--if there is questioning or holding back. Only as we confide in Him can He confide in us. As the child clasps the father’s hand and moves right on with perfect satisfaction, so the confiding heart clasps the heavenly Father’s hand, and God cannot, the Father that He is, disappoint such fearless trust.
In order to obtain Divine Guidance as a habit of life there must be habitual guidance. One has said, "Guidance which is not perpetual is not safe." In a crisis of life when all is dark and perplexing any Christian will pray, "Lord, lead." But in order to obtain guidance at such times of stress, one must be used to following in matters of comparatively slight difficulty. If we would bend our will to God’s will in great matters, we must have learned to call Him "Lord" in daily obedience.
Guidance may seem complicated and difficult, even impossible to the natural life: but the Father has made it most simple and blessedly easy in the close loving life of surrender and separation to God. What more charmingly simple and sweet than the relation shown in the words, "My sheep hear My voice...and they follow Me" (John 10:27). "A stranger will they not follow...for they know not the voice of strangers" (John 10:5).
– Triumphs of Faith.