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Guard Us, Guide Us: Divine Leading in Life’s Decisions
A useful handbook on God’s guidance based on good biblical exegesis, solid reference points and examples from Christian classics.

We human beings function out of fear, especially during the past 150 years or so. But the antidote can be found in the guidance God generously extends to us according to this new book by Vancouver theologian J. I. Packer and co-author Carolyn Nystrom.

Even spiritually astute Christians “still feel anxious about guidance and find decision-making spiritually uneasy and problematic,” the authors contend. And so they lead readers to focus on Psalm 23, which they call “a biblical classic on guidance, countering all the anxiety we may feel on the subject, with all the assurance and reassurance which in that case we need.”

(It is their contention that “personal messages from heaven are not and never were God’s usual way of leading and guiding.” God guides through His revealed Word, the Bible, and there is much more to His guidance than divine yeses or no’s as we struggle to make life decisions.)

The book builds on Psalm 23, proposing that we are “Shepherd guided” (led by God), that God leads “in paths of righteousness” and nowhere else (God’s guidance will always operate in sync with biblical promises) and that we ought to pursue our relationship with God as closely as we can when we have decisions to make.

Good biblical exegesis, solid reference points and examples from Christian classics provide ample reinforcement throughout, resulting in a useful handbook for the Christian community including those who have been disappointed by superstitious or Oprah-esque approaches to God’s guidance.

Packer and Nystrom ultimately seek to show that God’s guidance is a covenant aspect of His relationship with us to guard us from sin and Satan and to bring us to glory. Secondly, our quest for guidance should be a quest for wisdom to cope with all the demands of decision-making. The gift of God-centred peace is a confirmation of wisdom attained.

This beneficial book is one to be studied and savoured.

Originally published in Faith Today, January/February 2009.




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