A Critical Point about Divine Guidance

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  • This morning, I had a conversation with a trusted mentor and cherished friend. I called him to seek his advice. Little did I know, he was planning to call me on an unrelated matter. As always, this friend’s advice proved to be insightful, challenging, and encouraging. He listened. He spoke carefully about the subject, but freely about his view of me. It was just the kind of conversation I needed to have today. God is good!

    By the way – and I know this is absolutely none of my business – but I hope that you have godly, trustworthy people in your life who can give you biblically sound, Christ-centered, and spiritually wise counsel. All of us, no matter how mature a Christian you are, all of us have “blind-spots” in our lives. You know what blind spots are, don’t you? They are things that sit outside of your line of sight as you are driving. And you need a different perspective, usually this means looking over your shoulder before changing lanes, to keep from having a collision. Likewise, godly and trusted friends are gifts from God to help you to see what you cannot see on your own.

    I love the way this principle is stated in Proverbs 27:6 – “Faithful are the wounds of a friend; profuse are the kisses of an enemy” (ESV). I love that verse! It literally says that it is better to be hurt by a friend than to be kissed by an enemy. Or to put it another way, enemies stab you behind your back. But friends stab you face-to-face. And this is a good thing. Your best friends are not just the ones who give you the pat on the back. They are the ones who sometimes put a finger in your face at times and say some tough things to you in love.

    But I digress…

    At the end of our conversation, my friend said he needed to give me one final word of advice before we got off the phone. Of course, I was eager to hear whatever he had to say. Then he stabbed me. In love. He warned me to remember that – here comes the blade – “God does not confirm our doubts.” If you ask God for wisdom and guidance, he argued, God will surely give it. But God is not in the business of confirming our doubts for us. As he leads, he will give you conviction about what is right and pleasing to him. However, along with the conviction, there will be doubts. But God usually does not remove all the doubts before he leads us forward. We must go forward in faith, with a sense of conviction concerning God’s will for us.

    God used my friend to help me today as I wrestle with a personal matter. But I could not dare be stingy with such a gift. I am sure that I am not the only one who needs this word. What are you wrestling with today? Let me share this important road sign to help you find your place in God’s will: “God does not confirm our doubts.”

    Or, if you don’t want to receive this counsel from my friend, let me give it to you in the words of Solomon: “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths” (Proverbs 3:5-6).


    H.B. Charles Jr.

    Pastor-Teacher at the Shiloh Metropolitan Baptist Church of Jacksonville and Orange Park, Florida.