3. God communicates with me through circumstantial signs
The most popular ‘catch-phrase’, I think, in Christian circles is, “When God closes a door, He opens a window”. God daily guides me through those things going on around me.
Abraham, around 100 years old, considered his tired old body all but dead. His wife, Sarah, was about the same age and had always been barren. God spoke to Abraham and told him that Sarah would have a child and that he would be the father of many nations. Hmmm… do you suppose that when Sarah actually got pregnant that Abraham finally believed God? (Genesis 17 & 18)
Gideon was not convinced of the prompting he had received and so he asked God for specific signs. First, the fleece was to be wet and the ground dry and then the ground wet while the fleece was dry. Only when he considered the work of God in his circumstances, did Gideon move forward. (Judges 6 & 7)
King David was man after God’s own heart and even though he had many weaknesses and failed often, he regularly considered his circumstances and found God guiding him through them. The prime illustration of God leading David in his circumstances is found in his encounter with Goliath. There is nothing that would suggest that David should be successful against this mighty giant. David looked at Goliath, considered the worldly strength in the armour and weapons and knew that they would not be enough. David laid down the ‘things of the world’ that seemed to define his circumstances and trusted God. (1 Samuel 17)
Daniel, kidnapped, enslaved and threatened remained faithful. Even in the ominous setting of a den of hungry lions, Daniel knew that his God was with him and would protect him. (Daniel 6)
Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, like Daniel, refused to be swayed by their circumstances. Despite all odds, they trusted God – even in a flaming furnace. What happened? God took care of them.
We need to be aware that regardless of our circumstances, God is teaching us about him: both through the things going on around us and the way in which we respond.
I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances.
I am sending him to you for the express purpose that you may know about our circumstances and that he may encourage your hearts.
1 Thessalonians 5:18
give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.
Sometimes, we don’t understand our circumstances or the circumstances of those around us. The important thing to remember is that God is the same yesterday, today and forever (Hebrews 13:8) and will always be there for us if we seek him. We may not be happy with what is going on, but if we are faithful to Him, He will guide us through. God’s Word promises that He will never give us more than we can handle if we trust Him.
No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted