So far, we’ve looked at two ways in which we can get guidance from God—Scripture and Sense. The third way God can guide us is through Signs.
I have to admit, I write this with some hesitation because we can believe anything random is a sign from God, and make our decision based on that.
We could say, for instance, the first person who walks into the party tonight is the one I’m meant to marry. Or, if I see a plane fly across the sky in the next five minutes it’s a sign I should go on that journey.
There is evidence of some decisions being made in this way in the Bible. The Urim and Thummin were believed to be a kind of stone or object used to determine the will of God (Numbers 27:21; 1 Samuel 14:41). And the casting of lots, a bit like using dice, were used to determine outcomes even by the first Christians (Acts 1:26).
Of course, we shouldn’t dismiss that God can guide us in this way. Proverbs 16:33 puts it like this: We toss the coin, but it is the Lord who controls its decision. But perhaps it’s not the best way to consider what God wants. In any case, scholars think these methods began to be used less and instead, decisions were considered from all the facts.
That’s kind of where we are today, isn’t it? When we want a sign from God, usually we look at all the facts and pray that God will guide us through them.
I can give you an example from my own experience.
My husband and I asked God for a sign when, many years ago, we were trying to decide whether to stay in the UK or return and settle to the USA.
We didn’t toss a coin but we did consider all the facts, and then we asked God for guidance and a sign.
We had decided to return to the UK after living in the USA for two years with the intention of settling back home. The fact was my husband could relocate back to London with his company. So we set out to find a house in London. However, our plans were not coming together and any home we could afford was many miles from my husband’s office. He faced a long day with lengthy commute and I faced an equally long day caring for our three children, who were all under the age of three.
The other option was to move back to the States. If so, we needed my husband’s company to provide greater financial benefit and a more secure immigration status. He asked them for an increase in salary, and to start the process of obtaining “Green Cards,” permanent residency for us all.
We considered all that facts that made sense and we prayed. If God wanted us to move back to America, then the company would agreed to our request. If they did not, we knew God intended for us to stay in the UK.
This was the sign we asked for. This was our casting of lots.
A few weeks later, we were packing our bags and booking our flights back to Massachusetts. The company had agreed to all our requirements.
What decision are you facing right now? As you consider all the facts, pray that God will lead you by giving you a sign, but make it something that makes sense.
Photo by Guillaume QL on Unsplash