Item description for Listening to God in Times of Choice: Living Between How It Is & How It Ought to Be by Gordon T. Smith...
Overview We sometimes think there are only two ways to discern God's will---the "divine blueprint" plan and the "grow in wisdom" school. Smith offers a third way! Drawing on centuries of teaching and experience, he suggests that discernment is a spiritual discipline---a deepening relationship that helps us see God's will in crisis and in daily life.
Publishers Description All Christians yearn to live at the center of God's will. But how to discern his will is an art that eludes many of us. And the advice we get often conflicts. Some tell us to look for a divine "blueprint"-the one perfect plan for our lives that we need to find. We are encouraged to search the Scriptures and hunt for signs, trying to uncover the map of our lives that God has drawn. Others have rejected the blueprint school of guidance for the "wisdom school." With minds renewed by the teaching of Scripture, we are to develop the wisdom necessary to make wise choices. We are told not to expect that there is just one answer to God's will for every decision we face. Several may be possible. The difficulty with both approaches, writes Gordon Smith, is that they minimize the presence and voice of God in times of choice. Instead, he argues for a third way. He suggests that we develop discernment as a spiritual discipline. By stressing the personal aspects of growing in our relationship with God, we can understand his will, not just in times of crisis but throughout our daily lives. This book provides no magic formulas, no recipes for guaranteed success-just a lot of insight, gleaned from centuries of lived Christian experience, that will guide and encourage you in the art of discerning God's will.
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Gordon T. Smith (PhD, Loyola School of Theology, Ateneo de Manila University) is president of Ambrose University College and Seminary in Calgary, Alberta. He is also the president of reSource Leadership International and has taught at Regent College, Vancouver. He is the author of a number of works in theology and the spiritual life.
Gordon T. Smith currently resides in Vancouver. Gordon T. Smith was born in 1953.
Reviews - What do customers think about Listening to God in Times of Choice: The Art of Discerning God's Will?
most helpful reading Oct 21, 2000
I found this, as well as another book by the author, Courage and Calling, practical and insightful help in discerning some heavy choices in my life over the last two years. Particularly helpful was the "Clearness Committee" concept. My husband and I recently implemented this, and received some (hard) but excellent input from discerning friends. A great book on a most critical issue--learning to discern God's best for your life.
The best book I've read on the subject! Feb 28, 2000
Smith is thorough and gives a very balanced view of discerning God's will. I highly recommend this book. It was timely for me.
Answers some very important questions Jul 13, 1999
I read the first 96 pages in 4 days as I was trying to find something that would help me discern the meaning and purpose of a dream I had. I didn't want to be deaf to God's promptings because I want to do His will and I needed some answers. I prayed, meditated, thought, studied the word, consulted trusted believers, asked for prayer, and tried to listen for God to tell me what to do. This book supported these methods of trying to discern God's will, but more than that, it pointed out that discernment takes time. I felt 80% sure that I was interpreting the dream correctly and proceeded accordingly. This book also emphasized that discernment is hampered in times of spiritual desolation. Good point. It seems obvious when your brain and heart are not clouded, but I'm glad I read it first, so I'll know that in advance. I wish I had read the rest of the book before making my decision, because a really great section entitled 'Blocks to Discernment', really helped me. I still learned something valuable from the dream and the book. One thing that blew me away was what the author said about prayer and fasting. The purpose of fasting with prayer is not to prove to God that you are more serious in your commitment; the purpose of fasting with prayer is to focus on what God is trying to tell you ! WOW ! I hope to find this book on sale and buy it for as many friends as I can ! It's not like we get to ask questions during sermons at church you know !