Guidance Part 4: Extraordinary/Supernatural Direction (1 Cor 2:16, Heb 8:10 & James 1:5)

  • When and how does God gives us supernatural direction,
  • and how do we avoid some major pitfalls?
  • Lots of stories from Scripture and from people today.

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  • To continue our series with the most challenging topic:
  • When and how God gives us supernatural direction, and how to avoid some major pitfalls!
  • Lots of stories from Scripture and from people today.
  • Here is my outline

Extraordinary/Supernatural Direction

  1. An Inner Voice-Three ways God may speak
  2. An External Voice—Three ways God may speak
  3. Pulling it all together

The story so far

The story so far:

  1. How Not to find guidance
    • How not to choose a wife, and other stories
    • The problem with fleeces—The good, the bad & the ugly
  2. Basic Ideas
    • Two extremes: “The Dot” and “The Circle”
    • Mapping out the middle ground
  3. Three Steps for Knowing God’s Will

Three Steps for Knowing God’s Will

Specific Revelation
Asking for Wisdom
Having the Heart of Jesus in Us —through the Spirit

Three modes of Guidance

  1. Walking in the Spirit
    • Living and loving according to our new heart which wants to do God’s will—as revealed in the Bible
    %Grow by building our relationship with God%
  2. Asking for Wisdom
    • When it does not seem obvious
    %Do it by praying and then laying it all before him, praying through it%
  3. Supernatural Revelation
    • Cannot demand them, but cannot ignore them
  • We should always have 1, ask for 2 when we need it, and be open to 3 when God decides to give it

“Spaghetti Junction”

Spaghetti Junction

Image source:



Image source: Ildefonse

1. An Inner Voice-Three ways God may speak

An Inner Voice-Three ways God may speak

%by Inner Voice” I mean that nobody else can see or hear it, so we can’t ask them if we are imagining it%

  1. Feelings given by the Spirit
  2. Voices, pictures & strong impressions
  3. Dreams while asleep

1. Feelings given by the Spirit

Philippians 2

  1. So I hope to send Timothy as soon as I know more about my situation,
  2. though I am confident in the Lord that I too will be coming to see you soon.
  3. But for now I have considered it necessary to send Epaphroditus to you. For he is my brother, coworker and fellow soldier, and your messenger and minister to me in my need.

Spiritual Discernment

  • thoughts that come while praying, reading, worshipping
  • thoughts that just come (Rosalind Goforth story)
  • burdens that weigh on us
  • peace, or unease in our spirit
  • take care it is not the flesh!
  • If there is no harm done if you are wrong, try it and learn!

2. Voices, pictures & strong impressions

  • The problem of the Flesh

3. Dreams while asleep

Matthew 2

  1. After the wise men were gone, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream, saying, “Get up! Take the child and his mother, flee to Egypt, and stay there until I tell you. For Herod is about to search for the child to kill him.”
  2. So he got up, took the child and his mother during the night, and escaped to Egypt.

2. An External Voice—Three ways God may speak

An External Voice—Three ways God may speak

  1. A prophetic word from someone else
  2. An open vision or voice while awake (others may or may not be present)
  3. Providential Events and Signs

1. A prophetic word from someone else

Acts 11 – Agabus

  1. In those days some prophets came down from Jerusalem to Antioch.
  2. One of them, named Agabus, stood up and predicted by the Spirit that there would be a severe famine throughout the Roman world. This took place during the reign of Claudius.
  3. Each of the disciples, according to his ability, determined to send relief to the brothers and sisters who lived in Judea.
  4. They did this, sending it to the elders by means of Barnabas and Saul.

Acts 21

  1. After we had been there for several days, a prophet named Agabus came down from Judea.
  2. He came to us, took Paul’s belt, tied his own feet and hands, and said, “This is what the Holy Spirit says: ‘In this way the Jews in Jerusalem will bind the man who owns this belt and hand him over to the Gentiles.’”
  3. When we heard this, both we and the people there pleaded with him not to go up to Jerusalem.
  4. Then Paul replied, “What are you doing, weeping and breaking my heart?

Acts 27 - on the way to Rome

  1. …Paul started admonishing them,
  2. saying to them,
    “Men, I perceive that the voyage will certainly be with damage and great loss, not only of the cargo and the ship, but also of our lives.
  3. But the centurion was more persuaded by the pilot and the captain of the ship than by what was being said by Paul.

2. A vision or voice while awake

Acts 9:10–16

  1. Now there was a disciple at Damascus named Ananias. The Lord said to him in a vision, “Ananias.” And he said, “Here I am, Lord.”
  2. And the Lord said to him, “Rise and go to the street called Straight, and at the house of Judas look for a man of Tarsus named Saul, for behold, he is praying,
  3. and he has seen in a vision a man named Ananias come in and lay his hands on him so that he might regain his sight.”

Acts 9:10–16

  1. But Ananias answered, “Lord, I have heard from many about this man, how much evil he has done to your saints at Jerusalem.
  2. And here he has authority from the chief priests to bind all who call on your name.”
  3. But the Lord said to him, “Go, for he is a chosen instrument of mine to carry my name before the Gentiles and kings and the children of Israel.
  4. For I will show him how much he must suffer for the sake of my name.”

Paul’s second missionary Journey

  • Acts 15 & 16
  1. After some days Paul said to Barnabas, “Let’s return and visit the brothers and sisters in every town where we proclaimed the word of the Lord to see how they are doing.”
  2. So the churches were being strengthened in the faith and were increasing in number every day.

Acts 16

  1. They went through the region of Phrygia and Galatia, having been prevented by the Holy Spirit from speaking the message in the province of Asia.
  2. When they came to Mysia, they attempted to go into Bithynia, but the Spirit of Jesus did not allow them to do this,
  3. so they passed through Mysia and went down to Troas.
  4. A vision appeared to Paul during the night: A Macedonian man was standing there urging him, “Come over to Macedonia and help us!”
  5. After Paul saw the vision, we attempted immediately to go over to Macedonia, concluding that God had called us to proclaim the good news to them.

3. Providential Events and Signs

3. Providential Events and Signs

  • This can be an importance source of guidance
  • God often seems to open doors, and we push them to see if it him
  • Sometimes things happen that are very unlikely to be a coincidence
    • e.g. we pray about something and the exact amount of money is provided
  • Philip finds himself in the desert, and there is a man reading the Scriptures
  • The exact same Pentecost gifts were given to the Gentiles (Cornelius) as the Jews.
    • Peter uses this as proof (Acts 11:17) that the gospel was to go to the Gentiles

Does God speak through “random” or “unlikely” events,
and if so, how do we know which are really God?