Intimacy and Guidance
The only way to obtain guidance in work is by living close to the Lord. We shall not have, “Separate me Barnabas and Saul” now, but the Lord will send by laying it on one’s heart to go, and then that may be by circumstances, or otherwise. I may be led to preach, and find the way opened up by a circumstance of some kind; led by an outward thing, like a horse or a mule, that has no understanding. That is what people call providences, but it is a bit or a bridle. To what degree we have the guidance definitely is another question, but there is such a thing as an entrance here, and a dream to go there; of course, there was nothing in the word of God directly telling me to come to Belfast.
In the absence of guidance, do nothing, but be a testimony where you are. “Preach the gospel to every creature” is a general truth, only we get guidance in doing it; an open door is guidance in itself, in a certain sense. If your eye is single, your whole body will be full of light; and if I do not find my whole body full of light, well, I say to myself, “Your eye is not single,” it is no use to say it is, for it is not. I may find that out as one effect of my doubt.
There may be direct guidance, I cannot call it into question: when it is given, it is not fanaticism. We get right impressions by living with Christ. John did not go and get a place near Christ in order to know His secrets; but he had a place near Christ, and then the secrets were given to him. Only you cannot go properly to Christ, as John, to ask, unless you are living near Him. Only “trust in the Lord with all thine heart, and lean not to thine own understanding.” You must live near the Lord, or you cannot reckon rightly on being guided. God’s mercy may come in at any time, but “the secret of the Lord is with them that fear him.” I should be filled with the knowledge of His will, and all spiritual understanding.