Guidance From God by Cecil Rose for The Oxford Group
Is God less able to guide us to-day?
Our aim, remember, is to put our lives under God’s control, and find out whether He can speak clearly enough in our hearts for us to know the steps He wants us to take. In all probability there are things in our lives which will have to be cleared up before God can really take control; and the first word God says to us will be about these. At any rate let us begin by sitting quietly for a few minutes thinking of our life in the light of what we already know of God’s will.
The summary of Christ’s teaching under the headings of Absolute Honesty, Absolute Purity, Absolute Unselfishness, Absolute Love, will help us. We shall not have been quiet very long before we know that God is putting His finger here, and here, where there has got to be a change, or where we must go and put matters straight with someone else. Perhaps a few minutes more quiet will make us sure at any rate of the first practical step to take. Our first experiment is made.
If we want to go on with it we had better carry out these first orders which have come to us, for God can only continue to speak to us if we obey. Disobedience blocks the line.
Probably our first `quiet times’ will bring us mostly these personal convictions and steps. The way between us and God needs clearing. It also needs keeping clear, and every day we shall first listen for God’s correction.
But we are trying to discover whether God can direct as well as correct us. Let us now make the experiment of bringing under review some of our practical concerns.
Actually there are thousands of men and women now who are making the experiment of seeking the same guidance in all the affairs of life, and are finding that, right out beyond their own powers of judgment and reasoning; God is able to give them an inward certainty as to what He wants them to do. And the results are incomparably better than when they ran their own lives in their own way.
This is what the head of a big manufacturing firm says about the results: `My first revolutionary guidance was that I had to make a new price list. God showed me that it was wrong to use varying discounts and secret agreements. He also gave me the power to obey, because, as far as I could see it would cost me my business. All the customers who at lunch had got a secret agreement would go away. This new price list was made June 1, 1935, with the following results:
(a) Increase in sales by L 3,000; (b) Increase in profit by twenty per cent; (c) More orders than before by letter, as customers knew what the best prices were and did not wait for our salesman to quote special prices; (d) No fear of being away from my business, because the youngest girls can now give anyone the prices and conditions.
`I learned that: It is not a burden, but a privilege to have God with me in my business, because God knows more of real business than I.’