Over the next few weeks, I hope to share some of my experience in sensing God's signs and guidance so that you might better sense His signs to you and find the divine guidance you need in your life.
Religious people (who believe is God) fall somewhere along a spectrum between two extremes. There are superstitious people who see everything as a sign or supernatural event. Every time it rains, every time a bird lands on a window sill, every time the phone rings, it is a supernatural act of God (or the Devil). I had a youth pastor once who we paid $8,000 per year. He was paid monthly, so his monthly pay check came out to $666.66! He was like, "Hey, can y'all do something because I just can't accept a pay check with the number of the beast on it." So we paid him twice a month, which came out to $333.33, which is a really good number (like the Trinity). Now there wasn't really anything to the numbers. It was just a coincidence. But some people are very superstitious and see supernatural signs and event in everything that happens!
On the other end of the spectrum, there are deists who believe God is not involved at all in human events. They use the analogy that God is like a watch maker who designed the machinery of creation with all the laws of nature as the gears; God wound up the machine like you would wind up a watch and then He stepped back to let it run all by itself, never more stepping in to interfere. So the deists believe God does not give signs at all or even intervene in human affairs in any way. Another variation of this is people who believe God acted in biblical times, but no longer does.
So we have the two extremes—deism and superstition. As with most things though, the truth is somewhere in the middle. Either extreme will lead you astray. The Truth is, God is not a micromanager. He is not like a puppeteer up in heaven holding the strings to every person's life and every event on earth. He is not standing over us controlling every choice we make and every thing we do. We are not robots. God gives us free will. We can choose to love Him or not love Him. We have the choice. That was the kind of creation God wanted—one that could move and act independently of His interference, for that is the only way real love and real relationships can exist.
On the other hand, God is not a distant, uninvolved spectator either. Read your Bible. God was actively involved throughout the Bible. He performed miracles. He intervened. The New Testament is full of stories and eyewitness accounts of God supernaturally influencing the affairs of the world on a very intimate, personal scale. The very foundation of the Christian faith is the direct intervention of God's power over the natural law of death. Jesus was crucified, buried in a tomb, and on the third day God rolled the stone away and Christ rose from the grave. That is not natural! That is a supernatural occurrence made possible by the direct intervention of God. If we don't have that, we have nothing.
And I think there is an important Truth the modern Church needs to hear—especially the Methodist Church (which tends to be so fixated on rationalism and intellectuality that we want to explain away everything with science and logic; we are so hesitant to talk about miracles and divine power). There is an important Truth you need to hear this morning. The Truth is that the Holy Spirit is still as alive and as active and as involved today as He was during biblical times. Read the Book of Acts and see how the Holy Spirit moved and empowered people. Acts is the story of the New Testament Church, empowered by the Holy Spirit, fulfilling the mission of Christ to spread the Gospel to the ends of the earth. It is said the book of Acts is the only unfinished book of the Bible. It is unfinished because we are the Church and we are still on the mission and we are still writing the story. We are still the Church of Acts! And the same Holy Spirit that empowered them, that opened prison doors for Peter, that healed the sick and the lame and the blind and the deaf, that saved the lost and changed the world, is the same Holy Spirit that is living and moving and breathing in our Church today. What's changed? Nothing! The only thing that's changed is the way we think and believe. Maybe we need to change our thinking and realize the Spirit's power is still in us.
Each person has to decide what they believe, for what you believe affects what you see and how you interpret the signs around you. Do you believe God can and does give signs to guide us? Or do you believe God does not bother to speak to us anymore as he did in the New Testament? I want you to know that I believe God does still give us signs to guide us if we are willing to look for them.
In Matthew 7:7-8, Jesus said, 7 “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. 8 For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.”
Do you want to know God’s will for you? I mean do you really care what God wants you to do with your life? What about your day? Do you care what God wants you to do today? Many people go through life missing all God’s signs, because frankly, they’re not that interested in what God wants them to do.