Jump directly to the Content
Jump directly to the Content


Home > Sermons


We need to learn to recognize and follow God's guidance.

Click here to listen to the audio.

The story behind the sermon (from John Ortberg)

I have grown to love the theme of God's guidance. This is a chance to help explain the reality of God's presence for many people who hunger for it but don't know how to name it. It's also a chance to try to coach and connect some of the mistaken practices and language that can creep into all our lives.

Dallas Willard's book Hearing God is the best resource on this topic I know, so it's a gift to be able to point people toward that book. The need for guidance and wisdom will always be urgent.


Some of you know I took my wife fly fishing for our 25th anniversary last year. She was thrilled about that. I know nothing about fishing. Unless the fish jumped into the boat and voluntarily sacrificed themselves, I'd be relatively useless. My wife grew up fishing. The wisest piece of advice we got was: don't try doing fly fishing on your own; you need a guide. So we got one.

Our guide was amazing. He knew every inch of every river we went on. He knew when we should go. He knew where we should we go. He knew how to tie the fly. He knew where we ought to cast it. He knew when we ought to pull on the line. He was amazingly patient. We would get excited and start casting all over, and the hooks and lines would get tied up into tiny knots. Those of who you have been fly fishing know about that. He would untie them and untangle them and get us started once again.

The best part was we actually caught fish. Nancy wanted to have a contest between her and me to see who would catch the most fish. I won't tell you how that came out, except to say it was me!

I was thinking afterwards, Wouldn't it be great if you could get a guide for other parts of your life ...

sermon Preview

This sermon is available to PreachingToday.com members only.

To continue reading:

John Ortberg is pastor of Menlo Park Presbyterian Church in Menlo Park, California.

Related sermons

A Strange Résumé

God turns our weakness into incredible strength.

Finding God in Desperate Places

Experiencing God's strength in our weakness
Sermon Outline:


Of all the facets of the greatness of God, the guidance of God can be the most confusing to people.

I. We have to learn how to recognize when God is speaking to us.

II. Myth 1

God will only speak and give guidance to spiritual giants.

III. Myth 2

If I'm always in tune with God, he will guide all my decisions, and I will never have to make any decisions on my own.

IV. Myth 3

God's will is an inner subjective individualistic trump card I can use to get my way.

V. Myth 4

There is nothing anyone can do to be guided by God.

VI. Myth 5

Being guided by the Spirit is a myth.


Whatever area of your life it is where you need wisdom, where you need guidance, just ask God.