In a previous post I summarized three models for divine guidance. The first of these I called, “Blueprint guidance.” As the name implies, blueprint guidance is about God having an exact blueprint, or plan, for your life. He knows the perfect path for you to take and wants you to fulfill His divine will by following that path. Any deviation from His plan will mean you have chosen second best. He still loves you and you can still be used by Him, but you will have missed His perfect will.
Blueprint guidance seeks to show us that God is a meticulous ruler and leaves nothing to chance. His particular will is the best possible option for us. He only wants what is perfect for His children. We can take comfort in the fact that if we follow in His footsteps, whatever happens to us is all part of His perfect plan. We can rest secure that Someone is watching out for us and that there is a purpose behind all the ups and downs and twists and turns of life.
Partners, Not Puppets
While painting a lofty picture of God, blueprint guidance defaces man. Special among creation, humans have been made in the image of God. Unlike rocks, plants, insects, and animals, humans are endowed by their creator with freedom of choice, that mysterious ability to be little creators themselves. While puppets might be fun to play with, God created us to be partners, not puppets.
Only free, reasoning beings can have a relationship of intimacy and meaning with God. Writing a play and watching it acted out I’m sure is enormously enjoyable. But no one, including God, would want to live out their life in such a way. The real action is in voluntary relationships of love. What blesses me is not seeing my wife follow some meticulous plan I came up with, that’s what tyrants like. What warms my heart is her uncompelled, spontaneous love. It would give me no pleasure if I knew that she was only acting out a script I wrote.
In contrast, apprentice guidance, which describes divine guidance in terms of a master teaching a student, is more faithful to how humans have been created. Normally, God instructs, not directs. He demonstrates, not orchestrates. I’m not saying that He doesn’t work behind the scenes to bring about good in our lives, but He longs for us to be partners, not puppets. His purpose for us is to be fully human: initiating, learning, and perfecting. His guidance is an impartation of wisdom that He hopes we will cherish as much as He does.
In my next post I’ll talk about breadcrumb guidance, another view that is somewhat better than blueprint guidance, but nonetheless, doesn’t do justice to how God has created us.