A number of years ago I had a lady stop me in the local shops and say: “God told me to start coming to your church.” Too quickly I un-thoughtfully responded “That’s interesting, God hasn’t told me that yet!” I knew this lady had been going to another church in the area, and my immediate assessment was that she was simply a church hopper. I have seen too many church hoppers who just can’t seem to settle anywhere. I fear that what these hoppers are doing is looking for a church that suits them. Of course if your criteria for a church is what suits you, then you will always be disappointed. On the other hand if the key criteria is finding a church that is teaching God’s word faithfully then the other areas of disappointment seem somehow less disappointing and more as opportunities to serve as an act of sacrificial love.
But I digress. The question raised for me from 2 Samuel 4 & 5 is: how do we know God’s will? Rekab and Baanah in 2 Samuel 4 got it so wrong. Yet in 2 Samuel 5 David got it so right. Of course Rekab and Baanah were looking for self satisfaction, while David was looking to glorify God. But more importantly David continued to inquire of God (2 Sam 5:19), even when the answer may have seemed logical (of course you should fight the Philistines David!). But when we inquire of God, how will he answer us? Well that depends on your view of the authority of the bible. If the bible does not contain everything we need to know about God, salvation and faithful living then we could be swayed by any fine sounding argument. If however the bible is the authoritative word of God for salvation and living then we can have complete confidence that the answer to any guidance question can be found in the bible.
After apologizing for my rudeness to the lady who stopped me at the local shops she explained to me that she knew that the bible held all the answers, and that the church she was attending simply wasn’t teaching the bible faithfully. She knew our church to be a bible church and was therefore confident that she needed to start coming to our church to grow in her knowledge of the bible.
Brothers and Sisters, it is not wrong to have a gut feeling about a direction to go in, but be careful it isn’t just last nights dinner digesting in your stomach. Check the feeling with the bible. God will never send his Holy Spirit to prompt someone outside what the bible says.