LISTENING TO GOD IN CIRCUMSTANCES
“After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the time of King Herod, Magi from the east came to Jerusalem and asked, “Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews? We saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him.” ...And the star they had seen when it rose went ahead of them until it stopped over the place where the child was. When they saw the star, they were overjoyed.”
Matthew 2:1-2, 9-10 NIV
What an unusual set of circumstances God designed to lead the wise men to the birth of Christ!
The nearest planet to earth is 37 million miles away. The nearest star is 25 billion miles away. Whatever light the wise men saw, traveling at 186,000 miles per second, had to have exploded at least five years before Christ’s birth for the sight of the explosion to reach earth. Some would call this star a mere “circumstance.” We know better!
Just as God gave the wise men an illuminated pathway to the Son of God, in His perfect plan, we can trust the pathway He gives us.
Proverbs 3:5-6 tells us, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths.” This passage assures us that if we really want the will of God and ask for it, He will see to it that we get it!
The only way to victory and accomplishment as believers is to trust God to keep us and guide us moment by moment - not - be ruled by circumstances. Simply put, we have the choice between relying merely upon judgments made based on the best organized facts that we can gather, or upon judgments made based on the facts as we seek God’s guidance.
We can learn to discern God’s hand through both positive and negative circumstances; however, circumstances are not always an indication of God’s plan for our lives. Maturity comes to believers who are less and less moved by circumstances, for we know the promise found in Psalm 37:23-24: “The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord, and He delights in his way. Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down; for the Lord upholds him with His hand” (NKJV).