The Berean Expositor
Volume 52 - Page 190 of 207
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on what God has already done to the old nature. When this is obeyed he can have the joy
of divine leading in his daily life, because "those who are led by the Spirit of God are
sons of God".
What constitutes divine leading? Volumes have been written on this, some of which
is unscriptural and therefore misleading. Many think that it has to do with a special
feeling or emotion. They say "I felt led to do this or that"; but the leading of God does
not depend on anything so frail as our impressions or feelings.
If we look back to the typical people, Israel, we shall see that God's leading was a
part of their redemption, "He led them forth by the right way" (Psa. 107: 7). In fact,
divine leading was Israel's experience right through the forty years in the wilderness
(Deut. 29: 5). The O.T. has a good deal to say about divine leading as a concordance
will quickly show, and the sincere Bible student is recommended to study this carefully.
The pillar of cloud by day and the pillar of fire by night gave God's earthly people sure
and certain guidance (Exod. 13: 21, 22). All they had to do was to watch them and not
alter their position until these began to move. In this way they were infallibly guided by
God Himself.
But it may be objected that in the N.T. we have nothing like this. This is true, but we
may ask whether the Apostle Paul gives us any clue on this most important matter?
When we read the divine account of his journeying, his witness and service during the
period covered by the Acts of the Apostles we find that the Lord guided him by shut
doors and open doors. God is sovereign in this. He is the One Who says that He
"opened, and no man shutteth; and shutteth, and no man openeth" (Rev. 3: 7).  In
I.Cor.xvi.9 Paul says "a great door and effectual is opened unto me" and in II Cor. 2: 12,
"a door was opened unto me of the Lord", and he asks for prayer in Col. 4: 3 that "God
would open unto us a door of utterance". The opposite is seen in Acts 16: 7, "When
they (Paul and his companion) came to the border of Mysia, they tried to enter Bithynia,
but the Spirit of Jesus would not allow them to" (N.I.V.). In other words God closed the
door to Bithynia, thus guiding them infallibly to Europe. God still guides His children,
for this is not reserved for special Christians. What is absolutely essential is an open
mind that is ready to accept an open or shut door according to the Lord's will. Too often
we come to the Lord with our minds already made up on a line of action and then we
pray "Lord, guide me". Needless to say this is not the way to know the Lord's will or His
leading. We can with certainty ask Him for shut doors or open doors according to His
wisdom and purpose and this is much safer than depending on our feelings. We have
seen tragedies result from the latter. But some may still object and say that in times of
urgency we may need instantaneous guidance. If this is really true, we can still depend
on the Lord, for with Him "all things are possible".
Paul goes on to say "for you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to
fear, but you received the Spirit of sonship" (Rom. 8: 15, N.I.V.). "God hath not given
us the spirit of fear, but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind" (II Tim. 1: 7).
Adoption (Authorized Version) huiothesia means our placing as sons. We must not read
our Western ideas of adoption into the N.T. Adoption was a legal term at that time,