“ From one man he created all the nations throughout the whole earth. He decided beforehand when they should rise and fall, and he determined their boundaries.“His purpose was for the nations to seek after God and perhaps feel their way toward him and find him—though he is not far from any one of us….We can make our plans, but the Lord determines our steps.” – Acts 17:26-27, Proverbs 16:9.
Every Christ-follower wants to hear from God. We want to know if this is God and is this what He’s telling me to do? Sometimes when God speaks to us, we clearly recognize that He has spoken. Other times, however, we wonder if God spoke or if the messages we heard were just thoughts in our imagination.
Acts 17:26-27 assures us that God orchestrates His plans through the events, the decisions of life, and all the people and places we encounter. Proverbs 16:9 reminds us that the Lord determines our steps. And Jeremiah 29:11 (NIV) indicates that God has a definite plan to prosper us and give us hope. When we look at our lives over time, we will be able to see what God has been doing for us and how God can use our circumstances to speak to us. Going through certain circumstances in our life doesn’t always mean God caused it, but it does mean He can speak to us through it.
Remember the story of Joseph. His brothers threw him in a pit, plotted his death then sold him into slavery. Yet, through all this, Joseph stayed faithful to God and eventually through a series of circumstances became the second in command in Egypt. When his brothers came for grain this is what he said, “You intended to harm me, but God intended it all for good. He brought me to this position so I could save the lives of many people.” (Genesis 50:20) Genesis 39:2 says, “The Lord was with Joseph…” God has a way of working things out for His glory. Even when things are not going as planned in life and all seems to be going wrong, we can trust that God will use those circumstances to make us better. When life deals us circumstances that we don’t understand we can choose to allow God to speak to us through our circumstances and become better or we can become bitter.
God can cause certain circumstances to take place in our life to communicate with us. We can’t choose what happens to us but we can choose what happens in us. We need time to pray over our circumstances to ask God what lesson He is teaching us.
Experience is not always the best teacher. Experiencing something doesn’t mean you learned from it. If that was true, we would not have to experience the same thing again and again because we didn’t learn our lesson the first time. We can learn a great deal from our circumstances when we hear what God may be trying to tell us through those circumstances. When the circumstances of life become challenging don’t be afraid to ask God what is he trying to tell you through what is going on in your life. Our mission is to learn how to hear His voice.
- How does God speak through His church?