December 8 I Sunday
“Let the one who is wise heed these things and ponder the loving deeds of the LORD.” —Psalm 107:43
How does God guide us? We see the guidance of God best in retrospect. We trust Him as we move along but our journey is full of unknowns, uncertainties and fears. We may get a hint or a whisper that something may be right and we seek to move accordingly. Many times we do so even with doubts in our minds questioning, Is this really from God? But as we step out in faith with obedience, we see in retrospect the hand of God and what He is doing all the time.
In most of our lives, we learn to recognize the pattern of God’s leading in our own experiences. There is no fixed way God guides people. It is different for all of us. There may be some principles, but one possible way we may experience guidance is that God will often plant something in our mind, like a thought, a sensation or an idea. Then we begin to wonder: is this from God or not? When it comes to the big issues of life, it is always good to wait until there is some external confirmation of what we are internally feeling before saying anything about it to anybody. There is a lot a virtue in keeping things quiet and telling no one.
For example, while on the road to Damascus, Saul of Tarsus encountered the Lord Jesus and was told that he would suffer much for the sake of the gospel. When Saul went back to Jerusalem as a converted man, many were untrusting of him except for Barnabas. Saul then traveled back to his home city of Tarsus in Asia Minor. Since he could no longer function as a Pharisee, he worked as a tentmaker. About 12 years later, Barnabas was now leading a church in Antioch and needed some help. He went to Tarsus to look for Saul and together, they served the church for a whole year. At the end of that year, the leaders and the elders of the church were worshipping and fasting when they sensed the Holy Spirit saying, “Set apart for Me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them” (Acts 13:2). When God told Saul something in his heart, he did not preempt it or start prematurely by operating purely on human efforts; rather, Saul waited about 13 years until God, through other people, set him apart.
For us, the little things that meant nothing then, mean a lot now with hindsight. We can see how God guides our life through memories of our past, which gives us the assurance that He will certainly continue to guide our future.
Prayer: Sovereign God, thank You for guiding my past, present and future. Teach me to continually trust in You and step out in obedience with faith. Amen!