When others claim to hear God through circumstances, I try to caution them to test their conclusions with other evidence. God is a Holy God, and often uses circumstances to get our attention. But He will usually confirm it in other ways.
This happened to us before my husband and I married. We were dating in high school and were both involved in what could have been a deadly accident, when a speeding pick-up hit our car broadside. Through that accident, my husband felt God had a special purpose for his life. Did he “hear” God’s literal “Yes?” No, but through much prayer, seeking God’s Word, and talking to others, he felt God’s confirmation. Several months later, he committed his life to full-time Christian service.
Someone once told me they just knew God was telling them it was okay to buy a brand-new pickup. They’d prayed about it, and circumstances confirmed it: the local car dealership had just the color and model they wanted. But there was one small problem they were neglecting. They couldn’t afford it on their income. And they ignored other red flags as well.
Through Moses, God used circumstances (plagues) to convince Egypt’s leader to release God’s people from slavery. But Pharaoh wouldn’t listen.
Sometimes God uses our circumstances to test our faith. We don’t always know how to interpret the things that happen to us. I recently took my first trip in an ambulance to the local ER–unfortunately as a patient. My pulse, along with my blood pressure, dropped dangerously low. For several minutes my world looked like a spinning photo negative. Scary, to say the least. Four hours of testing later found no cause as to why it happened. The doctor pronounced me healthy and sent me home, after encouraging me to get a follow-up–which I did. Nothing showed up.
I don’t know if God was speaking to me about something special, but the first thing I did was tell Him I was listening! If nothing else, life–and loved ones–suddenly became much more precious to me. One of the first things I usually ask God when circumstances change is: “God, is there something you want to teach me through this?” Yes, I know everything is “fodder” for writers. But I want to make it personal and learn the lesson first.
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