28 “He said to them: ‘You are well aware that it is against our law for a Jew to associate with or visit a Gentile. But God has shown me that I should not call anyone impure or unclean.’”
Acts 10:28 (NIV)
When was the last time you used the expression, “God has shown me ...”? When was the last time you figured anything out this way?
Our world teaches us to learn by experience. It wants pragmatism to win the day. “Nothing teaches like experience” is the messaging we get. That’s the way to navigate life, we’re told.
Problem is, if we wait for experience to teach us things, it might cost us too much or be too late.
Further, experience doesn’t always teach us well. We don’t learn from our experiences as much as we think. We repeat our same dumb mistakes way too often.
God shows us a better way. He sets great definitions, outlines straight paths, provides strong examples, reveals the invisible laws of life. We don’t have to fill ourselves with trial-and-error living. Losing doesn’t have to be our primary coach on how to win.
How does God do it? Here are His primary ways:
HIS WORD: God’s Word, the Bible, becomes light so we can see our way. We need this kind of light more than we think. View the Bible as light for living. Turn its pages to brighten the day. The more we consume it, the better we see.
Everything else must be seen in light of this (I love musing on Psalm 119:18, Psalm 105, Psalm 19:7-11 and 2 Timothy 3:16,17).
PRAYER: Listening to God in prayer points the way. He has a way of directing us when we settle down and listen, when we settle into quiet communion with Him.
MESSENGERS: God sends others our way. He crosses our path with people who light ours. The African proverb, “It takes a village to raise a child,” is correct when the village is full of God-sent folks.
CIRCUMSTANCES: God shows the way by placing markers along the way. He marks the trail so we can best blaze ours.
He furnishes “Aha!” moments to wow us, guide our steps, and make us confident we’re headed in the right direction. That may include dreams.
HIS SPIRIT: For those who believe and follow Jesus, His Spirit takes up residence in us. The Holy Spirit illumines, instructs, empowers. He coaches, counsels, corrects, convicts and comforts. He faithfully points to truth and righteousness (Consider John 7:37-39, John 14:26 and John 16:7-16!).
These are God’s better ways, far better than our experience alone. May He direct and teach us even today!
Reflect: How do you learn? Do you figure things out mostly by feel and experience? Is God’s Word your daily light? How’s your prayer life? Do you have people who direct you well?
Has God used striking circumstances to get your attention and point the way? Do you recognize His Spirit when He speaks to you?
A prayer to consider: LORD, thank You for every good moment where You have shown me anything. I am so grateful! Keep doing it. I need my trail marked in all the better ways mentioned here.
May I be humble and teachable so that I can receive all that You reveal. And keep pointing me to Jesus, the best way. Amen.