Recently I was impressed, on reading Psalm 23, with the statement that God leads us beside the quiet or still waters. He does not require us to live frantically, to pick desperately between alternative paths, or to choose our course in a panic.
Sometimes God provides guidance in extraordinary ways, such as by “illuminating” a particular Scripture, sending dreams and visions, or by giving an inner impression or nudge. He might direct through an angel, or speak in a divine voice (either silent or audible), or through some inspired word of prophecy or wisdom or knowledge.
The Bible provides examples of God leading his people in all these ways, and it is certainly a trustworthy guide on the subject. Reliable testimony abounds to the same variety of unusual leading today as well. Many of us would be surprised at the gracious and special experiences which God has given members of our own local church — especially those of us whose churches are not charismatic and who do not talk often about modern miracles.
I am afraid we often miss much valuable assistance which God willingly provides for daily living, simply because we overlook, ignore, and sometimes actually reject, these various extraordinary ways he tenderly guides those earnestly seeking his immediate, local, temporary, specific counsel and direction. Let us pray for open ears and open eyes, to hear the Shepherd’s voice and to see the path he shows.