Packer and Nystrom put it this way ďÖthere are two sorts of people in the redeemed community, as also in the wider world: those who run silly and those who run scared.Ē (pg. 12) Which one are you? Donít worry, it doesnít matter which you are. Guard Us, Guide Us is written for all of us, the sheep of our Shepherd and Lord Jesus Christ. And where else to find guidance for sheep than in Psalm 23, in which the image is of the owner shepherding the sheep himself not just because they are his source of income but because they are silly, dependent, and he loves them. Verse by verse, backing each thought with other relevant Scripture, Guard Us, Guide Us reveals the counsel found in this wonderful Psalm: Godís constant covenant care for each one of us; the realization that failure and success can both come from Godís hand; growth of desire to know, love, please, serve, exalt, and glorify Him; obedience; listening; learning to prudently understand; imitating Christ and modeling Him for others; Christian vocational guidance, that is, choices and decisions; how to follow our faithful God instead of trying to manipulate Him; and, a great deal more. The closing chapter, Guarded and Guided by the Holy Spirit explains the emphasis behind this whole book and the supervision given the two authors as they wrote.
Both Packer and Nystrom are noted for their books on Christian living. Although perhaps best recognized for her childrenís books, Carolyn Nystromís book Knowing Scripture and her contributions to the are well worth reading. Long a well-loved teacher and fruitful writer, J. I. Packerís books include the modern classics Keep In Step With the Spirit, Godís Plan for You, and Growing in Christ. The combined expertise, teaching ability, deep faith, and interesting, informative style of these two authors help make an excellent study book for sincere Christians, whether new or experienced. I found the sections on Vocational and Situational Guidance, of particular help to me. In these two sections the authors discuss preparation for service, courage and accepting Godís adjustments, surveying the situation, searching the Scriptures, humble supplication, and absolute submission. -- Donna Eggett, Christian Book Previews.com
We face decisions every day--some big, some small. As Christians, we seek to submit the choices we make to God's will. Unfortunately, for many the process of discerning God's will has become fraught with fear and confusion, leading to such questions as: Does God guide? If so, how? How will I know when he does? What if I make a mistake?
J. I. Packer and Carolyn Nystrom seek to free us from such fear. Beginning with an exploration of Psalm 23, they show that in his covenant role as our Good Shepherd, God has promised to both guide and guard us, his sheep. We need not doubt that he will lovingly grant the guidance we need as we seek him. And we can take comfort that just as a shepherd retrieves and redirects sheep that go off course, he will do the same for us.
In this rich study of divine guidance, Packer and Nystrom show the importance of cultivating a lifestyle of Bible-based wisdom and discernment. And they take seriously the role of the Holy Spirit in guiding his people, neither downplaying the supernatural element of divine guidance nor elevating it beyond our reach to the level of the "super-spiritual," or worse, the superstitious.