Do you believe in Providence? That God’s unseen hand can guide human events?
According to the New Testament, the early church did to an astonishing degree. Consider this description of the process they used to choose an apostle to replace Judas,
"Then they prayed, ‘Lord, you know everyone’s heart. Show us which of these two you have chosen to take over this apostolic ministry…Then they cast lots, and the lot fell to Matthias; so he was added to the eleven apostles. ” (Acts 1:23–26, NIV)
They followed an ancient Jewish practice similar to throwing dice or drawing straws. The Lord had directed Joshua to divide the land of Canaan among the tribes of Israel in this manner. (Josh. 13:6; Ezek. 45:1; Mic. 2:5; etc.)
The book of Proverbs promises God hand can overshadow such an approach,
“The lot is cast into the lap, but its every decision is from the LORD. ” (Prov. 16:33)
It also gives a very practical reason why this is sometimes healing and helpful,
“Casting the lot settles disputes and keeps strong opponents apart. ” (Prov. 18:18)
Why do Spirit-filled people need to reflect on such passages?
Because even on our best and most spiritual days we only, “…know in part and prophesy in part.” (1 Cor. 13:9, 12) None of us is able to perfectly discern the mind or will of God. Neither will we always agree concerning His will.
As you contemplate the decision that is before us, perhaps you feel a bit like the Apostle Paul when he wrote, “Who has known the mind of the Lord?” (Rom. 11:34)
I have some good news for you…
God has promised to keep His providential hand upon our faulty, frail, utterly imperfect human processes if we call upon Him.
As one country preacher put it, “I believe God is so great that He can draw a straight line with a crooked stick!”
Are you willing to join your faith with the rest of our church family for God to guide us this way? Will you accept the outcome of our congregational vote as ordained by Him?
Are you willing to pray these words?
“Heavenly Father, Thank you for promising to help our weakness. Thank you for promising to overshadow our process. Please settle my heart and calm my fears. Help me think your thoughts today. I trust you to lead us by your Providence into your perfect will. In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen!”