Sometimes it can feel like the Lord isn’t leading you toward anything significant in life. Or worse, that He has overlooked or abandoned you. One story reminds us that idea just isn’t true.
In the Old Testament, a destitute single-again woman named Ruth had little hope for a future. One day she took advantage of a provision in the Law that allowed the poor to reap the corners of Israel’s fields. Her example gives hope to us all.
I want to show you that God is guiding you—and how you can know He is.
God’s Guiding Hand of Circumstance
See if you can find the Lord in the following verse:
So she departed and went and gleaned in the field after the reapers; and she happened to come to the portion of the field belonging to Boaz (Ruth 2:3).
Did you see the Lord in that verse? He was there. The original Hebrew literally reads: “her chance chanced upon the portion of the field belonging to Boaz.” Little did Ruth know, but that Bethlehem field that she “chanced” upon was the field of the man she would shortly marry.
In fact, the Lord is there in the same way in our lives, in the places we “happen” to go.
Two Types of Decisions Regarding the Will of God
Often we’ll ask the question, “How do I know the will of God?” Recognizing the will of God in our lives occurs in two types of decisions:
1. Right/Wrong Decisions
These are choices we make in the realm of morality, clearly expressed in the commandments of Scripture. If the Bible makes a right/wrong statement, you can know this represents the will of God for your life. For example, a believer should only marry another believer. You don’t even need to pray about it.
2. Right/Left Decisions
These are decisions that represent choices unrelated to right and wrong. Which believer should I marry? What job should I take? Many choices fall within the Lord’s moral will—but how do we know which direction to take?
The choices can feel paralyzing. After all, there are so many! How can we be sure of the will of God?
Our Chances are God’s Choices
Our so-called “chances” are really the Lord’s providence. Ruth took the initiative to work—not to hunt for a husband—and the Lord directed Ruth to come particularly to Boaz’s field.
Our plans and the will of God are not mutually exclusive. Rather, the Father uses our plans in the accomplishment of His will. He even uses the malicious plans of others for good (Genesis 50:20; Romans 8:28).
The Father has used what seemed like insignificant chances for His significant direction in my life. It’s the same with you.
Think back in the verse of your own life for a moment. Ponder how the Lord has providentially guided you through would-be coincidences, by chance conversations, by insignificant events. Do you see the Lord in that verse of your life?
Move—and then Let God Guide
The will of God isn’t some passive, mystical force that hits you after you ascend a mountain and meditate for 30 days. Ruth experienced the Lord’s best for her after she took the initiative to move—within the bounds of His moral will—and the Lord guided in His time.
We have in Ruth an excellent example of how to discern the will of God. It’s a simple principle: We move, and then we allow God guide and redirect.
Regardless of how you feel in this moment, the Lord is working to guide you. Providence, which we see in hindsight, we can also take by faith today.
Tell me what you think: What coincidences has the Lord used to guide your life? To leave a comment, just click here.