The various understandings of how Christians receive guidance from God are intriguing to me. In this review, Carolyn Nystrom reflects on John Eldridge’s take in his new book Walking With God. I am very like the people Nystrom describes in this paragraph:
A second concern regarding Eldredge’s book is that this kind of moment-by-moment seeking of God’s will is not for the marginally sane—which includes many of us at various stages of our lives. Seeking God’s guidance for each momentary choice can become so paralyzing that a praying Chris-tian fears to take even one step out of his or her current circle because it might go in some wrong, un-God-guided direction.
And I also worry about the issues that Nystrom raises in the second half of the same paragraph:
Alternatively, a person accustomed to constantly listening for an inner voice from God may begin to mistake all sorts of inner urges and motives for God’s voice and thus lose the basic spiritual skill of self-examination. And, sadly, some Christians really do hear voices and see visions brought on by schizophrenia. Schizophrenics fairly often mistake the hallucinatory voices of their illness for the voice of God.
Even so, I also do not want to quench the Spirit and be insensitive to the voice of God. In the final analysis, my approach to guidance is likely closer to what I imagine Nystrom believes, which is only skectched out briefly in this article, though I imagine more fully here.