Quick Links Quick Links

The Problem of Guidance

by R. H. Boll







(Reprinted from the Gospel Advocate, Feb. 16, 1911) -“Word & Work” was Bro. Boll’s column in the Gospel Advocate while he was Front Page Editor 1909-1915



      About the question of guidance many devout, sincere, earnest hearts have been perplexed. How does God guide’? By what shall we be able to distinguish the leadings of God? Nothing is more definite than the promise of God to guide his people. The redeemed Israelites were guided and controlled in their course by the pillar of cloud. The penitent, forgiven sinner has the promise: “I will instruct thee and· teach thee in the way which thou shalt go: I will counsel thee with mine eye upon thee.” (Ps. 32: 8.) And to every one God says: “Trust in Jehovah with all thy heart, and lean not upon thine own understanding: in all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.” (Prov. 3: 5, 6.) This seems definite and clear. Nevertheless, when the attempt is made to apply it in everyday affairs, unsuspected difficulties arise. What does this mean: ” Lean not upon thine own understanding?” Is common sense and human reason to be entirely set aside? This is, of course, not speaking of religious matters, such as the way of salvation and the worship, but of common affairs. Does God direct us in them? If so, bow? They are important.

The most trivial move may become one of the turning points of my life, for aught I know. Would God indicate to me what to do in any given crisis-where to go, where to stay; what to take up and what to let alone; which of two or more, or whether any, open doors to enter? Some frankly deny that God has anything to do with that and rely wholly upon their own resources. Others talk “providential leadings,” by which they often mean the line of least resistance; and, queerly enough, “providence” seems oftener than not to lead them into very green pastures, where ease and plenty prevail. Others wait for signs and dreams. Many more do not know what to do, and simply leave the matter there.


R. H. Boll was From Page Editor of the Gospel Advocate (1909-1915) and was the  preacher at Portland Ave Church of Christ 1904-1956

Leave a Reply

If we live, we live to the Lord; and if we die, we die to the Lord. So, whether we live or die, we belong to the Lord.

Romans 14:8