Review of Finding Guidance for Everyday Decisions

God's Will: Finding Guidance for Everyday Decisions by J.I. Packer and Carolyn Nystrom is a great book. This was 247 pages long and an excellent read. It has 10 chapters


"This book was born out of anxiety for the many whose anxieties about guidance gives them nightmares as to what might happen to them if they make a mistake at this point. We saw their fear as having a twofold source: failing to appreciate the greatness of the grace of God and falling into superstition about the way guidance is given. We wrote accordingly.
In these chapters, we have tried to make three things clear. God’s guidance is a covenanted aspect of his larger ministry of grace in guarding us against sin’s toll and Satan’s malice in order to bring us safe and sound to glory. Second, our quest for guidance should be thought of as essentially a quest for the wisdom we need to cope with all the demands for a decision thatcomese to using our waking lives. Rather than with just a few big ones. Third, the gift of God-centered peace of heart as we contemplate and embrace the best, wisest, and most God-honoring option open to us is God’s ordinary way of confirming to us that we have attained wisdom that we sought by observing circumstances, praying for a clear head and discerning heart, searching the Scriptures, consulting experienced friends, and thining heard before the Lord." p 235-236


  1. The Shepherd and His Sheep
  2. Some Tangled Tales
  3. Your Good Health
  4. Guided by the Word of God
  5. The Way of Wisdom 
  6. With a Little Help from our Fiends
  7. Modeling 
  8. Guided Life Commitments
  9. Situation Ethics
  10. Guarded and Guided by the Holy Spirit
Appendix: John Newton on Divine Guidance

Deuteronomy 2:7 - “These forty years the LORD your God has been with you. You have lacked nothing.” I loved the thought they shared that forty years of wandering God is able to bring good out of even a disobedient start. Too often those who sense they made a wrong choice or know they made a sinful choice feel like they are on God's b-plan and they have no more hope. This verse offers wonderful hope.


Bruce Waltke expresses it like this: ‘ I think ‘laying out a fleece’ is generally the lazy man’s way to discern the will of God. It requires no work, little discipline, and almost no character development. God has a different program of guidance” p.42
There is quite an art involved in unshelling biblical principles from their context in Scripture and applying them (reapplying them) to the specifics of our lives.” p 59
We emphatically agree that leading us to the best decision is a ministry of the Holy Spirit, first to last, but with the equal emphasis, we deny that under ordinary circumstances his ministry short-circuits or circumvents any of these sometimes laborious intellectual procedures. On the contrary, they are precisely the means by which the Holy Spirit of God leads us into seeing clearly what it is right and good to decide and do in each situation.” p. 136

On page 209 they outline a situational approach to decision making that is interesting...
Situational Approach

  1. Survey the situation
  2. Separate the questions that the situation raises
  3. Search the Scriptures with regard to the situation 
  4. Suspect yourself in relation to the situation 
  5. Supplicate humbly about the situation
  6. Spend unhurried time in deciding how to handle the situation
  7. Submit absolutely to God in relation to the situation and with it to all other situations

When he[The Holy Spirit] works in us, Christ, not the Spirit, is the center of attention” p. 216

Philip Van Steenburgh offers a very thorough review on the Gospel Coalition site from 2012 here