Signs


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I read somewhere about a woman who was praying whether it’s God’s will for her to join a tour in the Holy Land or not. She has the money, the strength and the time. But she wanted to know if it’s God’s “perfect will.” Before she slept, she noticed that the plane they would take is a Boeing 747. When she woke up, she had no doubt that it’s God’s will. How? She woke up with the 7:47 time on her digital clock. For her, it’s a sign from heaven!

Really now? So, imagine I was in a mall during lunchtime. Almost every restaurant and fast food chain are crowded. I was praying for a place to feed my starving body. Then, lo and behold, I saw an empty seat in a donut store! Does that mean it’s God’s will for a diabetic like me to eat there?

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Signs. Thanks to Gideon who “fleeced” God (read Judges 6:36-40), there are believers nowadays who would demand a sign from God before they would obey Him. But the experience of Gideon cannot be our standard today.
The sign [was] related to a confirmation or assurance of God’s presence or empowerment for the task at hand. God condescended to Gideon’s weak faith… [1]
It was actually a sign of lack of faith on Gideon’s part to ask for a sign. And it’s the same for us. To ask for a sign appears to be a sign of immaturity.

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In your mind, you may be asking, “What about the time the apostles cast lots to replace Judas?” (Read Acts 1:23-26.) First, it happened before the Holy Spirit came down in Pentecost. Second, this was the one and only time that they cast lots. They did not do it again. Third, it’s a descriptive passage, not a prescriptive one. Acts was just describing what they did at that time. But that doesn’t mean that we are commanded to do the same.
This is the last instance in the Bible of the casting of lots, and there is no reason why believers today should use this approach in determining God’s will. While it is not always easy to discover what God wants us to do, if we are willing to obey Him, He will reveal His will to us (John 7:17). What is important is that we follow the example of the early church by emphasizing the Word of God and prayer. [2]

Why emphasize the Word? According to 2 Timothy 3:16-17, “All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.” (Emphasis added) Note the adjective “every.” It includes everything and excludes nothing. It means that the Bible is sufficient for “every good work” that needs to be done. What we need to do is apply the principle of obedience. And even if the issue at hand is not actually discussed in the Bible, we already saw the principles of freedom and wisdom. Why emphasize prayer? It is your recognition that, even with your well-thought-out plans, God is sovereign and you submit to His intervention. That’s the principle of humble trust.

“Will of God” Step

Review the “four principles for decision making according to God’s will. 1. The Principle of OBEDIENCE: Where God commands, we must obey. 2. The Principle of FREEDOM: Where there is no command, God gives us freedom (and responsibility) to choose 3. The Principle of WISDOM: Where there is no command, God gives us wisdom to choose. 4. The Principle of HUMBLE TRUST: When we have chosen what is moral and wise, we must trust the sovereign God to work all the details together for good.” [3] What are the decisions you facing now? Which principle is relevant to your need today? 

NOTE: This is Day Five of the devotional guide (Volume 1, Issue 8) of our church, Filinvest Community Christian Fellowship, for the message on Pass It On! (Part 3)” last April 19.  

[1] F. Duane Lindsey, “Judges” in in The Bible Knowledge Commentary, Old Testament, Eds. John F. Walvoord, Roy B. Zuck and Dallas Theological Seminary (Wheaton, IL: Victor Books, 1983, 1985), 393.

[2] Warren Wiersbe, “Acts” in The Bible Exposition Commentary (Wheaton, IL: Victor Books, 1989), 406. Emphasis added.

[3] Garry Friesen (2004-2005), “Principles for Decision Making,” Garry Friesen, retrieved from http://www.gfriesen.net/. 

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