So, a couple more things:
1.) I want to re-iterate that I think the leading of the Spirit is tremendously difficult to articulate well. I haven’t reached a place where I can talk extensively about it, and then come away super-confident that I got it right. There are some things that I absolutely affirm, and some principles about discernment & testing that I think are very important. There are various bits and pieces where I can point to clear biblical teaching.
I’m hesitant about how people use the language “God told me”, but I’m not sure I want to deny it. I’m positive that the Spirit leads us, but I’m not sure how much “leading==intuition”.
But our minds are being renewed. We are growing in the mind of Christ, if we are maturing as God’s children. We are being transformed. We are being given a spirit of wisdom and revelation. I don’t know exactly how that works out, all the time. But I want to seek more of the Spirit’s work in my life, to grow me in Christ. I want to be led by & to be full of the Spirit of Christ. I want to be willing & responsive to his influence in my life, in every sense and every way.
2.) I went back and added a couple comments to my earlier entry on audible voices & Scripture.
3.) A Wise Individual has directed me to an article at Christianity Today. I appreciate these thoughts about God’s guidance. They describe a sort of freedom, one that every mature, Spirit-filled believer ought to be able to experience:
The Puritans had a way of assuming God’s guarding guidance by saying, “I will do thus unless providentially hindered.” In this view of divine guidance, God lays out before his people a veritable smorgasbord of opportunities, saying, “See what a wonderful table I have placed before you. Choose; enjoy. I am with you.”
To trust God’s guarding guidance is wonderfully freeing when it comes to geographic moves, marriage proposals, vocational choices, or even routes for horseback riding. Depending on the weight of the matter, we draw on common sense; the teachings of Scripture; the advice of wise, godly friends; the guidance of the church; and our own interests, abilities, and inclinations. We pray throughout this process—and then we choose. If that door is closed from the other side we can smile with relief, even if disappointed, because God our guarding guide has protected us. And so we move on under his continued care, continuing to graze on his smorgasbord of opportunities.