When it comes to “big decisions” in our lives, most of us would acknowledge that we want to have some sort of leading from God, whether scriptural, circumstantial or prophetic, that enables us to move forward with the confidence that God is with us.
Just recently I had a “big decision” situation in my life, but it did not concern a decision that I had made but one that one of my sons had been praying about for some time.
I do know that some readers may think that asking God for a “confirmation” reveals a lack of faith, and in some cases that may be so, but scripture does reveal that the Lord will answer that prayer. Remember Gideon when he was called by God to defeat the Midianites so that the people of Israel would be free from their seven years of oppression. That’s when Gideon had his very well known “fleece” test. (Judges 6)
If you want to see a similar situation in the New Testament, look at Peter when he was standing in the boat and wanted to be sure that it was Jesus who was walking on the water near them when he said “Lord, if it’s you, Peter replied, tell me to come to you on the water.” “Come,” He said. (Matthew 14:28)
In my situation, this was a family member who had made a very big decision about a job opportunity in an entirely different part of the country. It is a good position, but it’s also pretty far from the rest of our extended family.
This past weekend we were visiting Jon & Jenny and their family, getting acquainted with their new surroundings and the position that he had accepted.
Although many of the circumstances were affirming, and I really had no reason to doubt that this was the right decision, in my heart I was asking the Lord for some further confirmation just so I could release them and know that God had His hand upon them.
On Sunday morning we went to a worship service together at a very vibrant and healthy congregation that meets in a newer facility not far from where my kids and their family have recently moved.
The service was very good from start to finish and I felt a growing sense of confidence that if this was not the right place, it was certainly a good option and indicated that there would be other churches in the area that are alive in Christ.
What happened at the very end of the service is something I won’t soon forget. The pastor closed his message with an invitation to receive Christ (something I’ve done in my ministry for the past 40 years). He then asked everyone to stand and he introduced someone who apparently comes to the church twice a year for an extended time of ministry and coaching. There was no bulletin with names and I somehow didn’t hear this brother’s full name.
He came to the microphone and shared a powerful word from the Lord which seemed to be a fitting and encouraging close to the whole service. Then the pastor received the microphone back and said, “We thank God for Pastor Joe Ewen and times of ministry that he shares with us.”
Suddenly I realized that I just heard from an anointed brother in Christ who has visited North Way multiple times and has received a number of mission prayer teams in his church and hometown in the nation of Scotland.
As you might imagine, it was just too strong of a connection for me to interpret as a simple “coincidence.” This was the Lord’s way of communicating to me that His hand was outstretched toward my son and his family and their steps were being guided by Him. I was very moved by the whole experience and went forward and shared with Pastor Joe Ewen about my son and his family and how they were new to that area and were looking for a church. He gladly embraced them and promised to make an effort to help them get to know the ministry of that particular church and what other opportunities might be out there.
I will look back on that moment as a seminal moment when God went “above and beyond” the normal way of confirming His will and sending to me one of His messengers whose very presence was a confirmation that the Lord knew exactly where they were and that He would be with them in all the steps they were about to take.
What an amazingly personal and faithful God we have!