Wisdom and the Will of God

Acquire wisdom! Acquire understanding!
–Acts 10:10

Should we seek God’s will through supernatural signs? So far, we’ve looked at four principles about when and why God gave signs in the Bible.

Principle number five: in the New Testament, signs dealt with the proclamation of the gospel, not personal decisions. For example, when Peter received a vision in Acts 10, it was about taking the gospel to the Gentiles. When Paul received a vision in Acts 16, it was about spreading the gospel to Europe. Supernatural signs in the New Testament were about God’s priorities, not man’s priorities.

Principle number six: common sense usually trumps supernatural signs when seeking God’s will. When we are facing a decision, we sometimes think God’s will must be the most difficult or ludicrous option. Yes, God may ask us to do something that doesn’t seem to make sense. But often, His will for our lives is also the most sensible option. That’s why asking for a natural sign from God is sometimes better than asking for a supernatural sign.

Let me explain what I mean. Let’s say you have a job offer in another city, but the pay is less than what you need to support your family. So you ask the company to increase their offer. It wouldn’t be outlandish to pray, “Lord, if You want our family to move, let the company say yes.” That’s not so much a supernatural sign as it is a natural sign. After all, would you want to work for a company that doesn’t value you enough to pay what your family needs?

I think something similar happened in Genesis 24. Abraham sent a servant to his hometown to find a wife for his son Isaac. When the servant arrived, he prayed, “The daughters of the men of the city are coming out to draw water; now may it be that the girl to whom I say, ‘Please let down your jar so that I may drink,’ and who answers, ‘Drink, and I will water your camels also’–may she be the one whom You have appointed for Your servant Isaac” (vv. 13–14). That request wasn’t as odd as it seems. Think about it: Somebody who offered to water a stranger’s camels would be gracious and hospitable. And drawing water for all those camels would require strength. Such a woman would have the stamina to travel five hundred miles back to Abraham’s family. I think the servant asked for a sign that would naturally reveal a fitting wife for Isaac.

God has spoken through supernatural signs in the past, and He might do so in your life today. But when you are seeking God’s will, common sense usually trumps supernatural signs. As Proverbs 4:5 says, “Acquire wisdom! Acquire understanding!”

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Today’s devotion is adapted from “Putting Out the Fleece without Getting Fleeced” by Dr. Robert Jeffress, 2008.

Scripture quotations taken from the (NASB®) New American Standard Bible®, Copyright © 1960, 1971, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission. All rights reserved. www.lockman.org.

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