My house has been on the Oregon market for ten months and counting. Recently, my wife and I decided to pull the listing. Now we are faced with several decisions. Do we rent? Do we try and sell with a different realtor? What other options are there for this morass of uncertainty?
Acts 18:9-11—Then the Lord said to Paul in a night vision, “Don’t be afraid, but keep on speaking and don’t be silent. For I am with you, and no one will lay a hand on you to hurt you, because I have many people in this city.” And he stayed there a year and six months, teaching the word of God among them.
Many Bible scholars believe Paul was discouraged and unclear whether to remain in Corinth after facing hostile resistance from the Jews. This pattern of persecution in city after city, no doubt began to wear on God’s ambassador. His insecurity is something most of us can identify with as we ask the timeworn question, “How do we determine God’s will when we live in the valley of uncertainty?” I believe the book of Acts is the best book in the New Testament to answer this question.
Acts provides us repetitive examples of what the early disciples experienced in overcoming uncertainty. In the first 18 chapters there are at least seven ways we can discern God’s will and each is characterized by a definitive characteristic—faith. Without faith it is not just impossible to please God it is also difficult to discern His will.
How do we determine God’s will and overcome uncertainty?
By faith walking:
1. With prayer, fasting, worship and active listening to the Holy Spirit.—1:24-26; 10:9,19,30,31; 11:5,12; 13:2,3; 9:10,15; 10:3-7,10-16; 16:9,10
2. And observing God’s activity. Dr. Henry Blackaby wrote in his book Experiencing God, “Find out what God is doing and get involved!”—2:4; 8:39; 15:7-9; 16:6,7
3. And knowing God’s Word--1:15,16,20; 2:17-21,25-28,31,34,35; 3:22-24; 4:11; Stephen’s address in chapter 7; 8:32,33; Paul’s address in 13:16-41; 15:15-18; 17:2,3
4. And receiving godly counsel and teaching.--2:42; 15:23-29
5. Willing to obey godly leaders (to include angels) and His Spirit--2:22; 5:19,20,29,32; 6:2-
6; 8:26,27,29,30; 9:3-6,17; 10:7,8,33; 11:28; 14:3
6. Cognizant of circumstances, opportunities and opposition.--8:1,4; 11:19-22; 13:42,44, 50,51; 14:5-7; 15:2,37-40; 16:14-25; 17:10-13;18:6
7. Taking action that furthers God’s kingdom. Unless God directs us to do nothing, we should be actively engaged doing that which we already know He has commanded/called us to do.—3:2-6; 9:27; 14:8-10,21-23; 16:3; 17:16-31
Certainty is the mark of the common-sense life: gracious uncertainty is the mark of the spiritual life.—Oswald Chambers in My Utmost for His Highest
©2007 Daniel York ARR. Reveration is the weekly devotional ministry of First Cause. If you would like to receive these devotionals go to www.firstcause.org and click on the “Click here to receive weekly devotionals” box. Unlimited permission to copy this devotional without altering text or profiteering is allowed subject to inclusion of this copyright notice.
Ecclesiastes 12:10-The Teacher sought to find delightful sayings and to accurately write words of truth. (Holman CSB)