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Monday, October 18, 2021

Receiving God’s Guidance

This is the manuscript of the third sermon in a five sermon series "Finding and Following God's Guidance"

“But we have the mind of Christ.” That claim may seem presumptuous and shocking but when Jesus is Lord in our lives and each day’s highest priority is given to seeking and trusting God’s guidance, it is normal to seek and find the mind of Christ.

For an audio recording of the sermon click the YouTube link at the end of the manuscript.


1 Corinthians 2:6‭-‬16 NIV We do, however, speak a message of wisdom among the mature, but not the wisdom of this age or of the rulers of this age, who are coming to nothing. No, we declare God’s wisdom, a mystery that has been hidden and that God destined for our glory before time began. None of the rulers of this age understood it, for if they had, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory. However, as it is written: “What no eye has seen, what no ear has heard, and what no human mind has conceived”— the things God has prepared for those who love him— these are the things God has revealed to us by his Spirit. The Spirit searches all things, even the deep things of God. For who knows a person’s thoughts except their own spirit within them? In the same way no one knows the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God. What we have received is not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, so that we may understand what God has freely given us. This is what we speak, not in words taught us by human wisdom but in words taught by the Spirit, explaining spiritual realities with Spirit-taught words. The person without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God but considers them foolishness, and cannot understand them because they are discerned only through the Spirit. The person with the Spirit makes judgments about all things, but such a person is not subject to merely human judgments, for, “Who has known the mind of the Lord so as to instruct him?” But we have the mind of Christ.

Text: 1 Corinthians 2:16 NIV “for, “Who has known the mind of the Lord so as to instruct him?” But we have the mind of Christ.


“But we have the mind of Christ.” That claim may seem presumptuous and shocking but when Jesus is Lord in our lives and each day’s highest priority is given to seeking and trusting God’s guidance, it is normal to seek and find the mind of Christ.

Like Abraham’s servant, who was sent to find a bride Isaac, we can say, “The LORD led me” (Gen. 24:27).

You know the story.  Abraham sent his servant to find a wife for Isaac because he didn’t want him to marry any of the local women, the Canaanites.  When he sent him on his journey he told him;

Genesis 24:6‭-‬9 NIV “Make sure that you do not take my son back there,” Abraham said. “The Lord, the God of heaven, who brought me out of my father’s household and my native land and who spoke to me and promised me on oath, saying, ‘To your offspring I will give this land’—he will send his angel before you so that you can get a wife for my son from there. If the woman is unwilling to come back with you, then you will be released from this oath of mine. Only do not take my son back there.” So the servant put his hand under the thigh of his master Abraham and swore an oath to him concerning this matter.

When he got to Abraham’s native country he sought the Lord’s guidance.

Genesis 24:12‭-‬19‭, ‬26‭-‬27 NIV Then he prayed, “Lord, God of my master Abraham, make me successful today, and show kindness to my master Abraham. See, I am standing beside this spring, and the daughters of the townspeople are coming out to draw water. May it be that when I say to a young woman, ‘Please let down your jar that I may have a drink,’ and she says, ‘Drink, and I’ll water your camels too’—let her be the one you have chosen for your servant Isaac. By this I will know that you have shown kindness to my master.” Before he had finished praying, Rebekah came out with her jar on her shoulder. She was the daughter of Bethuel son of Milkah, who was the wife of Abraham’s brother Nahor. The woman was very beautiful, a virgin; no man had ever slept with her. She went down to the spring, filled her jar and came up again. The servant hurried to meet her and said, “Please give me a little water from your jar.” “Drink, my Lord,” she said, and quickly lowered the jar to her hands and gave him a drink. After she had given him a drink, she said, “I’ll draw water for your camels too, until they have had enough to drink.” Then the man bowed down and worshiped the Lord, saying, “Praise be to the Lord, the God of my master Abraham, who has not abandoned his kindness and faithfulness to my master. As for me, the Lord has led me on the journey to the house of my master’s relatives.”

Is that an intended lifestyle for all believers? To seek God’s guidance in all circumstances. It is if we take our text seriously, “But we have the mind of Christ.” 

Receiving God’s guidance means that the living God has taken up residence within us to enlighten us so that we may walk in the light. He leads us so that it can be said, 

Romans 8:14 NIV For those who are led by the Spirit of God are the children of God.

I. If we have the mind of Christ, we have received his knowledge.

We talked about that last week.  Our text last week was 

Colossians 1:9 NIV For this reason, since the day we heard about you, we have not stopped praying for you. We continually ask God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all the wisdom and understanding that the Spirit gives,

Seeking God’s guidance means striving to please God regardless of the cost to business, friendships, and even family relationships. It is the only way to increase knowledge of God.

We receive the knowledge of Christ from our Guidebook, the Bible. God reveals himself and what he expects from his people through the Bible. The Bible’s words are God’s words. There are more than two thousand instances in the Bible where it identifies the words of the Bible as the Word of God.

2 Timothy 3:16‭-‬17 NIV All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.

2 Peter 1:20‭-‬21 NIV Above all, you must understand that no prophecy of Scripture came about by the prophet’s own interpretation of things. For prophecy never had its origin in the human will, but prophets, though human, spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.

Clearly the Bible can help us know how to walk and where to walk. 

Psalms 119:105 NIV Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path.

Without God’s Word as a guide, we walk in darkness. 

Proverbs 3:5‭-‬6 NIV “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.

To ignore it or take it lightly is to assure the absence of God’s guidance. Jeremiah said, 

Jeremiah 10:23 NIV Lord, I know that people’s lives are not their own; it is not for them to direct their steps.

To receive God’s guidance means we must be read and study the Bible, but not because the Bible maps out our daily schedules or gives us detailed prescriptions for every problem.  The Bible won’t tell us what to wear today, or what kind of car to buy, or even the specific person to marry. 

As I said, last week, every situation or decision you need to make doesn’t have a specific chapter and verse to deal with it.  The Bible does, however, present principles, and these principles show us the path, they give us God’s guidance. They light up the way. Best of all, the Bible shows us Jesus, the Light of the World. When we have been born again by the living and abiding Word of God, he is right there to instruct us, through the constant presence of the Holy Spirit.

Once there was a pastor who was asked to counsel with a couple about a family problem, and when he found out that neither spouse was a Christian, the focus of the discussion moved from the problem itself to Christ, who could give light to their lives as well as the problem. They later both accepted Jesus as Savior and Lord. One day the pastor reminded them that he was still available to help them think through the problems they initially came to him about.  Their answer to him this time was, “With Jesus we’ve learned how to talk to one another about our problems and to forgive the past. 

We’ll call you if we need you, but right now we are solving the problems that were irritating us by opening ourselves to his Word and to one another.” The Word of God had become their Guidebook.  It can become our Guidebook too. The Bible serves as a helpful Guidebook when we receive Jesus Christ as our Savior. By the knowledge of it, the Bible, we can have the mind of Christ.

II. If we have the mind of Christ, it is because we have received his Spirit.

The reality of the knowledge that we have the mind of Christ because we have received his Spirit causes some who seek a rational explanation for every facet of spiritual experience to blow a fuse, because there may not be a rational or logical explanation for some things we must except on faith.  

On the other hand the Bible says we must also work.

James 2:14‭-‬17‭, ‬26 NIV What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if someone claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save them? Suppose a brother or a sister is without clothes and daily food. If one of you says to them, “Go in peace; keep warm and well fed,” but does nothing about their physical needs, what good is it? In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead. 26 As the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without deeds is dead.

The truth is that both faith and works require the Spirit’s guidance to operate correctly.   

We are not merely to set the automatic pilot and operate by remote control.  Rather, we are to live and operate by our knowledge of the truth and by our openness to God’s guidance. 

We choose to make our minds a storehouse for the knowledge of God and a distribution center for the doing of God’s will.  We identified three aspects of God’s will last week. His sovereign or ultimate will, His intended will, and His permissive will.  When we learn God's will and how to apply it we are then walking in the Spirit.  We will be led by the Spirit and not the flesh.

Galatians 5:16‭-‬25 NIV So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. For the flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh. They are in conflict with each other, so that you are not to do whatever you want. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law. The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit.

Our Lord does not leave us alone. He comes to us. He dwells within us. He teaches us his truth. Therefore, we have his mind.

III. If we have the mind of Christ, it is because we have received his invitation to pray.

Our minds are the battleground in which the forces of righteousness and the forces of evil engage in conflict. Our minds are the battlefield in spiritual warfare. 

Ephesians 6:10‭-‬12 NIV Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.

1 Peter 5:8 NIV Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.

The outcome of the battle depends on our submission to God. 

James 4:7‭-‬10 NIV Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Come near to God and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. Grieve, mourn and wail. Change your laughter to mourning and your joy to gloom. Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up.

This is why Jesus said.

Mark 14:38 NIV Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.”

We must position ourselves for battle.

We position ourselves before the Father by presenting our bodies as living sacrifices.  

Romans 12:1 NIV Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship.

Then we must submit to the Father who is the commanding officer in this spiritual battle.

We also are to be transformed by the renewing of our minds. 

This is submission. 

Romans 12:2 NIV Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.

Submission is achieved through prayer.

Do you remember how Jesus said, “If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him?” (Luke 11:14). 

The Holy Spirit is already given to believers at salvation, so  when we pray, we can get in tune with God’s will and then the Holy Spirit becomes the power to guide our minds in spiritual battle. 

Receiving God’s guidance means that we pray intently, frequently, and submissively.

1 Thessalonians 5:17‭-‬18 NIV pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.


Some amazing experiences take place because we have the mind of Christ. We don't always know where our circumstances and events will finally lead, but we have the mind of Christ, and that is enough.

Remember how as a young  boy Samuel was called from his bed to respond to a voice that spoke to him? He thought Eli the priest was calling him but it was God.

Eli realized that it was the Lord calling out to Samuel and he told Samuel how to respond.

1 Samuel 3:8‭-‬10 NIV A third time the Lord called, “Samuel!” And Samuel got up and went to Eli and said, “Here I am; you called me.” Then Eli realized that the Lord was calling the boy. So Eli told Samuel, “Go and lie down, and if he calls you, say, ‘Speak, Lord, for your servant is listening.’ ” So Samuel went and lay down in his place. The Lord came and stood there, calling as at the other times, “Samuel! Samuel!” Then Samuel said, “Speak, for your servant is listening.”

This is what our daily prayer should become as we receive the Holy Spirit’s guidance.  “‘Speak, Lord, for your servant is listening.’ 

 1 Corinthians 2:16 NIV “for, “Who has known the mind of the Lord so as to instruct him?” But we have the mind of Christ.

Sermon Audio

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