Perceiving God’s voice: divine guidance for everyday believers

 

I co-authored this article with my M.Th student Hugh Goosen and we published it in the SATS Conspectus in May 2015.

 

Vagueness exists amongst Christians with regards to what it is like to experience divine guidance practically. This problem is aggravated by conflicting perspectives on the will of God, whether or not His will is discoverable, and how Christians are to go about seeking it. This article seeks to reveal what we can reasonably expect to experience when God speaks by considering (1) perspectives on the will of God and its discoverability, and (2) the levels of awareness and certainty of divine communication as evidenced by select biblical characters. The article shows that the ways in which Christians experience divine direction are as unique and varied as each individual relationship with God is unique and varied. It shows, furthermore, that we should have, as our primary concern, a focus upon fostering a deep and intimate relationship with God, out of which direction and instruction will naturally and invariably flow. Finally, it shows that the primary way in which God communicates with us today is by means of the subtle and unobtrusive guidance and direction of our hearts and minds by the Holy Spirit.

 

HERE is the full article

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Christopher Peppler

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2 thoughts on “Perceiving God’s voice: divine guidance for everyday believers”

  1. I have a question i would like you to expound on.
    I am a Christian, but I wonder why we haven’t seen anything like the communication (for lack of a better word) we see in the Bible. Why the 2000 year silence (I call it the Great Silence)? Why no major events or public miracles from God? Sure, we have our faith in Jesus but it seems no one has heard a spoken word from the Lord (except as claimed by a few or even many charlatans). I pray every day that God will send the Holy Spirit to touch me and make me a better Christian, to increase my faith and make me stronger. I think I do sin less as time goes on but all i want is for Jesus to be pleased with me. I look at the great ones like Abraham, Moses, Isaiah, and so on and wish I could be as strong and righteous as them, not in a way that would make me famous, that’s wrong thinking and sinful , but just for me to have some assurance that what I do is right, true and correct. I truly would lay down my life for Jesus if he asked me to or if the situation required it somehow. My earthly life is meaningless in the long view of things, its eternity that matters. I would be more than happy with the tiniest most insignificant place in Heaven.
    Thanks
    Eric

    1. Christopher Peppler

      Hi Eric. You asked ‘I wonder why we haven’t seen anything like the communication (for lack of a better word) we see in the Bible. Why the 2000 year silence (I call it the Great Silence)? Why no major events or public miracles from God?’

      These sort of questions have challenged me for decades. In the introduction to my book ‘Prayer, Power, and Proclamation’ I wrote: ‘Sometimes, people ask me, ‘Why do we see so few genuine miracles in our day?’ It is not that God is no longer capable of working miracles, yet we seem to experience so few of them. There are plenty of hyped pseudo signs and wonders on display, but few genuine spiritual manifestations. Is this your experience? A similar question which engages me concerns why our times of prayer, both private and corporate, are often such uninspiring events. A third question I ask myself is, why do we take Jesus at his word when it comes to things like love for one another, but not when he speaks of us moving mountains with words of faith? It seems to me that the normal experiences of modern disciples of Jesus Christ are very different from those of the first disciples. Does God not intend the things of today to be at least as they were in the first century? Am I foolish to think that the spiritual power of the church of Acts should be a minimum standard for the church of today?’ I go on to state that: ‘Some attribute the current lack of genuine spiritual manifestations, not to a lack of passion or belief, but to a cessation of spiritual ‘gifts’ in our day. I don’t believe that we can be true to scripture and at the same time hold this position’.

      ‘Some attribute the current lack of genuine spiritual manifestations, not to a lack of passion or belief, but to a cessation of spiritual ‘gifts’ in our day. I don’t believe that we can be true to scripture and at the same time hold this position. Perhaps part of the reason is because we have become confused concerning the nature of prayer, the stewardship of spiritual power, and the need to proclaim in word and ministry. In this sense, we have disconnected prayer from power, and power from proclamation’.

      See: https://amzn.to/3R3k5US

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About Me

My name is Christopher Peppler and I was born in Cape Town, South Africa in 1947. While working in the financial sector I achieved a number of business qualifications from the Institute of Bankers, Damelin Management School, and The University of the Witwatersrand Business School. After over 20 years as a banker, I followed God’s calling and joined the ministry full time. After becoming a pastor of what is now a quite considerable church, I  earned an undergraduate theological qualification from the Baptist Theological College of Southern Africa and post-graduate degrees from two United States institutions. I was also awarded the Doctor of Theology in Systematic Theology from the University of Zululand in 2000.

Four years before that I established the South African Theological Seminary (SATS), which today is represented in over 70 countries and has more than 2 500 active students enrolled with it. I presently play an role supervising Masters and Doctoral students.

I am a passionate champion of the Christocentric or Christ-centred Principle, an approach to biblical interpretation and theological construction that emphasises the centrality of Jesus

I have been happily married to Patricia since the age of 20, have two children, Lance and Karen, a daughter-in-law Tracey, and granddaughters Jessica and Kirsten. I have now retired from both church and seminary leadership and devote my time to writing, discipling, and the classical guitar.

If you would like to read my testimony to Jesus then click HERE.