by Neil Anderson
I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am
Some of us tend to assume that it is God’s will if the circumstances are favorable and it isn’t God’s will if the circumstances are unfavorable. Next to the Bible, I would guess that more Christians are “guided” by this means than any other. Yet of all the possible means of guidance, this is the least authoritative and trustworthy.
I had the privilege of pastoring a church that purchased new property and went through a building program. Through most of the process the circumstances didn’t seem favorable. Twice I sat with the mayor, who was also a local real estate agent, and asked him if he thought our plans were feasible. He advised us not to make the land trade, and he didn’t think the city would allow us to build. He knew the real estate and the political climate better than anyone in the city. But the land swap increased our assets by millions and the city planning commission voted 7-0 in favor of our building plans.
You may have to set sail by the tide, but you’d better be guided by the stars or you’re going to end up on the wrong shore. Circumstances may have their effect on your plans, but you have a far greater accountability to God. Make sure you follow Him, not the tide of circumstances.
I heard a motivational speaker say, “I don’t like to recruit Christians because when the going gets tough they quit, concluding that it must not be God’s will.” Generally speaking, I believe that Christians should live above life’s circumstances and not be guided by them.
Also be careful about applying too much significance to unusual circumstances or coincidences. “It must be God’s will. Why else would that book by lying there!” It could be God’s will, but I would never take that kind of a sign on its own merit. I have helped many people in occultic bondage who have made bizarre associations or attached far too much significance to irrelevant events.
Prayer: Lord, I determine to test all guidance by Your Word and not to be swayed away from Your will by circumstances or popular opinion.