We have been looking at how you can know what God’s will is when it isn’t quite obvious. One way is by asking for advice from mature Christians.
Humans are trained to look to more mature people for advice while they are still young and this carries on into adulthood. It usually beings with looking to parents for advice about things like tying shoe laces, but then moves to other people such as school teachers who know more than the parents do about certain subjects.
The same principle applies in the Christian life. We are not called to serve God on our own, but in unity with other believers who know more than us about God’s revealed will. One of the reasons God calls us to belong to a local church is so that we can be trained, and train others ourselves, in what God’s revealed will is for Christians.
One way a mature Christian can help you make a difficult decision is by showing you that the decision isn’t difficult at all. You may think that God’s revealed will isn’t quite clear, but a mature Christian might be able to show that God’s will is really obvious: there is a Bible text that plainly tells you what to do. But you simply didn’t know your Bible well enough.
Another way a mature Christian can help you make a difficult decision is by sharing their own experience (or the experience of someone else that they know) in making a similar decision. Knowing how others have prospered or deteriorated from a particular choice in a similar age and culture you’re living in can be very helpful advice – it’s like getting a glimpse of the future.
Now I want to warn you that the advice of other Christians is not always reliable. For example, we see in Galatians 2 that Peter’s decision to separate from Gentile believers led even Barnabas astray. The problem sometimes is that Christians may not know the Scriptures as well as you think they do and so may mislead you into thinking that the Bible is silent or unclear on your difficult decision. Moreover the more mature Christian may have very little experience with the problem and so cannot talk with any level of maturity about the subject. So take the advice of mature Christians with care, it may not always be good advice.
Do you consider the advice of mature Christians when you try to determine the will of God for you?