Have you ever been asked the question, “How do you know God speaks to you?” If not, you probably have never answered anyone with “God told me to do this,” or “God brought me here for a purpose.” In fact, it may be looking back that you even realize God’s hand in the events of your life. This is especially true in my reflections. What I thought were decisions made based on few, if any options were later found to be divinely ordained, life-producing surprises (to me, at least) where God’s Spirit protected, provided, opened doors, or blessed more than a few through my bumbling efforts to obey Him.
For example, a recent move and a new job appeared to be the result of family upheaval, illness, and financial strain. The decision to make this move seemed impulsive to some, yet my thoughts about the move could better be described as compulsive. When the opportunity arose, my husband and I felt compelled to bounce out of that frying pan, even if into…well, you know the old adage. So it seemed.
I wonder if this is how Jesus felt speaking in Isaiah (49:1-3), describing how God, the Father, hid Him until the right time to spring redemption on Israel and on to the Gentiles. He said, “The Lord has called me from the womb… In the shadow of His hand He has hidden Me… In His quiver He has hidden Me…” And so that we would know this was God’s plan, in Isaiah 48:5-7, God says, “…Before it came to pass I proclaimed it to you; Lest you should say, “My idol has done them…” and “I have made you hear new things from this time, Even hidden things, and you did not know them…Lest you should say, ‘Of course I knew them…”
As God unfolded His plan of redemption, He created events that no one could have heard about before, and He operated this way so that we would learn that the Lord knows and controls the future. Likewise, what seemed like a misguided choice based upon catastrophizing life, stability, and sanity is now ringing with certainty God’s plan that is unfolding in our family’s life; an answer to prayers I have made time and again over the last 30 years.
Over and above answering prayers for home, health, and work (why do I even need to concern myself with these), I pray that my Lord, God continues to commune with my spirit. My heart’s desire is to follow His words of life and to be a part of His plan of redemption as He tells me to “Walk in wisdom toward those who are outside, redeeming the time. Let your speech always be with grace, seasoned with salt, that you may know how you ought to answer each one,” (Colossians 4:5-6).
Lord Jesus, help us live virtuous and impeccable lives – we have been hidden until the right time; we are a shaft in the quiver of the Lord; prepare us to spread the gospel through Your words, our obedience, our weakness, and Your power.