"But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all the truth."
(John 16:13a, NIV2)
"And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counselor to be with you forever- the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you." (John 14:16-17, NIV)
Something amazing happens when we invite God into our hearts. He will always guide us in whatever way is best for us. Naturally, we have the choice to ignore His advice, but then we will truly miss the blessing that He has reserved for us.
This notion is quite alien for those who never knew Him. For example, miracles happen in my classroom this year, and I give all credit to God. Truly I don't do anything. All my colleagues, however, think I am crazy to give the credit to God.
"So I say to you: Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you." (Luke 11:9, NIV2)
"For this God is our God for ever and ever; he will be our guide even to the end." (Ps 48:14, NIV2)
So often we hunger for direction, but out colleagues are too busy, out friends have families, and others like to joke around. Where can we find guidance? I would personally recommend coming to our Heavenly Father and experiencing Him fully. Ask genuinely and you will receive, guaranteed! I will share with you a few stories about how my Heavenly Father has guided me during hard times. If I mentioned all my experiences with Him, this devotional would end up being more than 1000 pages long, but I wouldn't do that to you...
Guidance for meeting my future wife: When I was sixteen, I wondered if I would ever get married. I was extremely shy. When any girl showed any interest in me, it made me run in the opposite direction. One day, I asked my Father about this, and He answered me in a dream. I dreamed about my future wife, and boy, she was so pretty. When I woke up I was filled with joy.
As the years went by and I didn't meet this girl, I eventually forgot all about that dream. Amazingly, my shyness disappeared, and though still self-conscious, I started to date; however, I never found the "one" to be my wife.
When I was offered a job at a college in Washington State, my Father came through again, telling me that I would meet someone very special from Los Angeles. How could this be? I was moving to Washington State!
During registration in September, my future wife signed up for one of my classes. When I saw her, I had the feeling I had seen her before. Strange! How could this be possible? We became friends, and I soon discovered she was from Los Angeles. The rest is history. It was only some years later that I remembered my dream, and it's then that I realized why, on that first day I met her, I had the feeling I had seen her before. I had seen her in my dreams!
Guidance towards my job: Towards the beginning of a school year, a fellow teacher announced to me that one of our former colleagues was expecting a baby. As my friend spoke, a strange thing happened to me: I saw myself sitting at an executive desk! It took a few seconds for me to realize what was going on. Just the year before, this former teacher had become a consultant with the local school board, and I realized I was seeing myself in her position! I shook my head in disbelief. I had never had any interest in such a high position. "It must be your overactive imagination," I convinced myself.
Four months later, while attending a workshop at the board office, I decided to drop by and see my former colleague. My intentions were just to say "hi" and to congratulate her on the upcoming baby, but when I stepped into her office, my heart went cold: It was exactly the same office I had seen myself sitting in! And I was even more taken aback when she suggested that I apply to fill her maternity leave!
On my own, I would have never even considered applying for such a position, but right at that moment I knew God wanted me to be there, and I put in my application. I shouldn't have been surprised when I was told I had received the interim consultant position. God had shown me that this was what He wanted for me.
Guidance towards finding my wife's lost keys: The sun was already setting when I finally left work that summer day. I was tired, and as I drove towards the southern end of Tucson, I was looking forward to arriving at the cheery mobile home that my wife and I called home during that two-year period of our lives. I could already imagine my wife coming to greet me at the door. I would eat the supper she would have saved for me and sit down to relax in front of the TV. I smiled at the thought. Just a few more minutes . . .
But I was doomed for disappointment. When I arrived at our lot, the mobile home was completely dark. Curious! My wife, who was a student at the University of Arizona, had exams the next day. Why wasn't she at home studying? "She probably fell asleep," I reasoned. After all, she HAD been burning the candle at both ends lately! But my room-to-room search of the mobile home didn't reveal a sleepy student. In fact, it didn't reveal anything at all! The place was empty!
I wasn't left wondering long, however. Just a few minutes later, there was a knock at the door. My mouth dropped open in surprise as I opened it and saw my wife standing there! What was SHE doing KNOCKING? Why didn't she just use her key and come in?
But before I could ask those questions, she burst into tears, and my mouth dropped even farther. It was completely unlike my wife to cry-unless she was totally frustrated and VERY angry-usually at herself!
"What's wrong?" I asked, reaching out to comfort her.
"I-I lost my keys!" She stumbled.
Lost keys may seem like a rather small thing to some, but I could understand her tears. She had obviously lost precious study time that she didn't know how she could make up, and knowing her, she would be quite angry with herself for doing what she would term as "stupid"! To say nothing about the fact that we didn't live in the best part of Tucson, and the fear of what could happen if those keys fell into the wrong hands was very real.
"I needed a break," she continued, as if needing to explain herself. "I took the dog for a run on the desert. I had the keys in my hand when I left, but when I got back, they were gone!"
As the story unfolded, I began to get the strange feeling in the pit of my stomach that if we asked God to help us, we would find those keys. This was totally unlike anything I had ever experienced before. I didn't know God at the time, and besides, I'M the one who usually panics about such things! When I opened my mouth, I didn't recognize the words that came out: "Don't worry. We'll find them!"
She shook her head, totally defeated. "I've been out with the neighbor and his metal detector. We retraced my entire route while it was still light. They are gone!"
Her words made logical sense, and I couldn't understand the peace I felt inside, and I had no idea why I then said, "Let's pray!"
"But . . .," she started to argue.
". . . And then we'll go out and have a look," I finished.
She looked at me as if I were crazy. "It's dark out there," she reminded me. "Remember, I was running out on the open dessert! No roads, no street lights! Only sand! There's no way we can find those keys in the dark. We couldn't even find them in the daytime with a metal detector!"
I couldn't have agreed more, yet something was pulling me to my knees anyway, and when my wife joined me, I stated simply: "God, help us find those keys!" Then I took her by the hand, grabbed a tiny flashlight and headed out onto the desert. My heart was strangely at peace. It was like I knew without any doubts that God would lead us to my wife's keys.
We had walked for about thirty minutes when my wife dropped behind. I was too intent on my search to pay attention to what she was doing, however, and a few moments later, I noticed a glitter in the sand. I bent over to have a closer look, but it was just my light shining off of a sand crystal. I was about to go on, when a voice said, "Put your hand into the sand!" I obeyed, and as I dug down about an inch, I felt something metallic: The missing keys! Completely buried by the sand!
Amazing isn't it? But it wasn't until later that I heard the truly amazing part of the story.
When my wife dropped behind me, she did so out of utter discouragement (can you blame her?). She later told me that just as she was mumbling to herself about how crazy and impossible this was, she heard a voice speaking into her heart: "You don't believe I can find the keys for you, do you?" Can anyone blame her that she shook her head and mumbled, "It's impossible!" But then she heard the voice in her heart again: "Ask and ye shall receive!" This time she stopped dead in her tracks and stared up at length into the starry night sky. Could it really be true? Then she nodded her head in determination. She had to try. "Yes, I believe you can find my keys!" She answered. At the exact moment that she looked back up from her short prayer, she saw me bend down and pull the keys out of the sand.
This may seem impossible to you. Even illogical. But God knew where those keys were, and that made all the difference in the world. As a result of this incident, we were both launched onto the road to discovering the amazing love of our God. We learned from personal, first-hand experience that everything is possible with God.
Do you want to experience God, ask Him genuinely and He will answer you. He will knock your socks off, and then you will know that He is truly real.
The Illustrator: This daily newsletter is dedicated to encouraging everyone to look towards Jesus as the source of all the solutions to our problems. It contains a daily inspirational story, a Bible verse and encouraging messages. HTML and plain text versions available.
The Nugget: Published three times a week, this newsletter features inspirational devotionals and mini-sermons dedicated to drawing mankind closer to each other and to Christ.