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QUESTION: I wish to ask your opinion on wheather God is speaking to me through signs or if I'm nearly grasping at straws. I have been asking Him to unite me with a certain girl whom I deep,y care about and who is a friend. Her family and children like me as do her co workers. My family hates her cause she has no education, has kids and is what they would say from a low class family

I on the other hand know she is a hard worker, loves her children and even though we argue a lot, we always make up.

I have doubted the power of prayer yet found videos on its validity. One girl testified to her parents reuniting. Other people testify to marriage restoration.

A man whom I know at the mall also told me prsyer works since his hand was severely damaged yet is now functional. I have seen the scar.

Even a boy sat next to me in college and started listening to a video concerning marriage restoration.

When I didn't visit her for two weeks she came to find me which really suprised me, her coworkers also said she missed me

I am not married, but I wish to marry my friend. Is God telling me to jot give up praying for this? To not lose hope even if it takes a while?

ANSWER: Hello Raul,

What the Bible typically calls signs are miraculous events or very unusual events. If it was a typical every day occurrence, then it won't serve as proof.

For example, Gideon asked for a sign: "So Gideon said to God, "If You will save Israel by my hand as You have said- look, I shall put a fleece of wool on the threshing floor; if there is dew on the fleece only, and it is dry on all the ground, then I shall know that You will save Israel by my hand, as You have said." And it was so. When he rose early the next morning and squeezed the fleece together, he wrung the dew out of the fleece, a bowlful of water. Then Gideon said to God, "Do not be angry with me, but let me speak just once more: Let me test, I pray, just once more with the fleece; let it now be dry only on the fleece, but on all the ground let there be dew." And God did so that night. It was dry on the fleece only, but there was dew on all the ground" (Judges 6:36-40). One might have been a coincidence or someone manipulating the situation, but both together is too unusual to claim anything but that God was involved.

What typically happens today, however, is that people want God to tell them via signs what to do. The fact that God has told them through His word seems to be never enough. "For since, in the wisdom of God, the world through wisdom did not know God, it pleased God through the foolishness of the message preached to save those who believe. For Jews request a sign, and Greeks seek after wisdom; but we preach Christ crucified, to the Jews a stumbling block and to the Greeks foolishness, but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God" (I Corinthians 1:21-24). As Jesus proved to the Jews, even when they saw signs, it was never enough because they had already decided what the answer ought to be.

God has told us what to look for in a mate. I do believe strongly in the providence of God, that He answers our prayers. If we find a prayer answered, it doesn't do to go back and ask God, "Are you sure?"

If a girl appears interesting to you and you to her, then you should see if it will work out. If this is someone God approves of, be confident that it will work out. If it is not the right type of person for you, be confident that you are going to see indications that it isn't the best choice. You're not going to see the stars realign themselves to spell out "Marry her!" Put your confidence in God's care and the rest will work out.

What is more sad is when someone thinks they found the love of their life and then ignore all the indications that the other person won't make a good spouse. Yet, they plow ahead thinking that they will fix it in some manner or that it will go away on its own. If you find out that a girl you are dating got stoned one night with some friends, don't fool yourself into thinking it was a one time event. This will become a major issue later if you marry her. If she is so jealous that you can't say a word to another person without checking in with her, then you know you will have major trust issues after marriage. God gives you common sense, so use it!

We're having a meeting this weekend on Revelation and the speaker mentioned several times the judgment of God on the wicked. Even if we don't get into the details of the symbols, what is being talked about isn't hard to understand. "Then the fourth angel poured out his bowl on the sun, and power was given to him to scorch men with fire. And men were scorched with great heat, and they blasphemed the name of God who has power over these plagues; and they did not repent and give Him glory. Then the fifth angel poured out his bowl on the throne of the beast, and his kingdom became full of darkness; and they gnawed their tongues because of the pain. They blasphemed the God of heaven because of their pains and their sores, and did not repent of their deeds" (Revelation 16:8-11). It is interesting that God pours out His judgment and fury on men -- if there was ever a sign, it would be these -- and yet some people refuse to change. Instead, they blame God for the misery they brought on themselves.

You see this in our world. Look at all the misery that is coming on families because parents just move from one partner to another. It is documented. People talk about it. Yet, no one says "You know this unrestrained sex idea isn't working. We need to go back to God's way." Instead, they try to find a way to take it further because "obviously" we haven't gone far enough and that's why we are having problems. Here are people ignoring the signs.

I've seen young men who made a wreak of their lives, but they turn things around and start following God. Suddenly life gets better for them, things improve by leaps and bounds. Do they fall on their knees and thank God? No, they decide the bad events were just a fluke and they go back to their sinful ways. Here are people ignoring the signs.

Pay attention to the world around you. Listen to the word of God and put it first in your life. When things go well, don't question God and ask if you deserve this. Be thankful to God for His blessings. When things go bad despite your doing as God wants, don't question God and ask if you deserve this. Realize that this is an opportunity to grow stronger. Be confident that God knows those who are His and He watches day and night over them.

Thank you.

Pastor Michael



---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Really don't know why the long answer, I am not promiscuous

Also I asked about prayer not about the wicked and such.

And no not all the signs in the Bible were supernatural. Aberhams servent said let my masters future wife give me a drink as well as my camels....not exactly a miricles. The signs in dreams are not supernatural either are they? I cant see how a dream is supernatural

Rainbows are a sign from God right? Not supernatural either.

As

Answer
Hi again Raul,

Sure.  Dreams can be very much of a supernatural event.  The Bible talks about dreams and visions from God.  And rainbows?  Why can't signs from God be supernatural?  God made the rainbow didn't He?  Isn't that supernatural?

There are two extremes to which we can go to in this whole area. One is the extreme of saying that those things never happen today. Some Bible teachers argue that if you have a dream, a vision, or a supernatural sign, it should never be regarded as coming from God. The other extreme is believing that such things should be a normal and regular part of the Christian life. Certain TV evangelists talk so much about their dreams and visions that you may end up feeling inferior if the same thing doesn’t happen to you.

I want to suggest that the truth lies somewhere between the extremes of never and always. We need to find a biblical balance in our thinking about various supernatural signs.

Perhaps the place to begin is with the very simple observation that all of us, no matter what our theology, would love to have a dream or a vision or a supernatural sign. No matter who we are or where we come from, we would like to have one of those defining moments in life when the eternal, almighty, transcendent God breaks through the natural laws of the universe to communicate directly with us.

We know for a fact that God is supernatural. We also know that God can set aside the laws of nature any time he wants to. All of us would love for God—at least once in our life—to break through and speak directly to us. We would love for God to speak directly to us and say, “Yes, I am paying attention to you. I know what you are going through. Here is a sign of my presence and a proof of my love for you.” I don’t think any of us would turn aside from such a thing if we knew that it came directly from God.

We all feel that way especially in the area of guidance. One point I have stressed over and over again is that discovering God’s will is a step by step process. Trying to discover what God wants you to do is not something that you do early in the morning while you are getting dressed. It’s a process. After all, most of life’s decisions are very difficult. Some of them are extremely complex. In those moments we wish that God would definitely break through, push aside the laws of nature, and speak directly to us.

We dream of going upstairs in the morning to the second floor window, looking outside, and finding a message from God written in 4-foot tall letters in the grass below: “Go to China and be a missionary.” “Sell your house and move to Vermont.” “Enroll in medical school.” “Don’t worry about your grandmother. She’s going to be fine.” “Don’t marry Frank. Marry Ed instead.”

Many Christians claim to have experiences of that nature on a fairly regular basis. They may not attend this church, but they claim to have those kinds of supernatural experiences with God on a regular basis. They leave the impression that whenever they come to a point of decision God somehow miraculously speaks to them. Whereas once they were confused, suddenly God speaks in some unusual, mystical, visionary way. And they know exactly what God wants them to do.

Our problem is that for every person that fits into that category there are another hundred Christians who don’t. For every one person who gets the dreams and the visions and the supernatural signs, there are another hundred who go for years and even for a lifetime and never have anything mystical or seemingly supernatural happen at all.

It is possible for those of us who find ourselves in that second category to begin to feel like second-class citizens. If you hang around the people in that first group very long, you may begin to wonder: “Is something wrong with me? Am I not praying enough? Am I not godly enough? Am I not yielded to the Lord enough? Maybe there is something wrong with me because if I was a better Christian maybe God would speak to me the way he does to other people.” Even if you know that is wrong, you still think those thoughts because they have dreams and visions and you don’t.

I would like to lay out five undeniable realities about dreams, visions, and supernatural signs.

Reality # 1: God occasionally revealed His will in the Bible through supernatural means.

The key word is “occasionally.” There are many examples of God speaking supernaturally at certain points in biblical history. God’s call to Abraham in Ur of the Chaldees, Moses and the burning bush, Jacob’s ladder, Joseph’s dream, Samuel hearing the voice of the Lord, Daniel’s vision of the four creatures, Joseph being warned in a dream to take the baby Jesus to Egypt, Peter’s vision of the animals being lowered out of heaven, Paul’s encounter with Jesus on the Damascus Road, Paul’s vision of the man from Macedonia. In this category we ought to put John’s vision on the Isle of Patmos that makes up most of the Book of Revelation. Even a casual reading of the Bible confirms that God occasionally communicated using supernatural means.

Reality # 2: Evidently God did not communicate this way very often, nor did he do it for all the people in the Bible.

If you look at the whole sweep of biblical history, it seems that most of the supernatural events were bunched around three major periods: Moses and the exodus from Egypt, the days of Elijah and Elisha, the life of Christ and the first few years of the Christian church. A fair reading of the Bible would lead to some conclusion like this: that the average Israelite of the Old Testament and the average early Christian of the New Testament rarely, if ever, saw any unusual manifestations.

Reality # 3: God spoke supernaturally at critical moments of history.

He spoke to Moses supernaturally when he was calling Moses to come and lead his people out of Israel. He spoke to Joseph supernaturally when he wanted to reveal his plan for the nation of Israel. He spoke to Peter supernaturally when he wanted Peter to understand that the gospel was not just for the Jews but also for the Gentiles. He spoke to Paul supernaturally when he wanted Paul to understand that he wasn’t to stay in Asia Minor but that he was to move west into Greece and eventually on to Rome.

I think there is a subpoint off that. We find in the Bible that God tended to speak supernaturally at moments when his will could not normally be understood any other way. How would Moses ever be convinced that God had called him to such an impossible task? How could Peter ever believe that the gospel was not just for the Jews? How could Paul be convinced that God wanted him to go to Greece?

Reality # 4: There are some dangers associated with focusing on dreams and visions and the supernatural.

I think there are at least three dangers of focusing on supernatural events in your Christian life. First, there is the danger of elevating the unusual over the ordinary. Second, there is the danger of elevating your personal experience over the Word of God. You begin to value some mystical experience you had more than what God has said in the Bible. Third, there is a very great possibility that you will actually miss God’s guidance because you are focusing on the spectacular and on the unusual when God normally leads us to the ordinary circumstances of life.

Reality # 5: God can and sometimes does lead His people supernaturally.

I do believe that God can and sometimes does speak through dreams and visions and supernatural signs. Throughout church history there are stories of greatly respected men and women to whom God spoke in supernatural ways.

John Calvin stands out as a good example. When one thinks of John Calvin, words like sane, sober, rational, level-headed come to mind. He was the great systematizer of the Protestant Reformation. His “Institutes of the Christian Religion” and his Bible commentaries are still in print after 300 years. Call him what you will, but he is far from a wild-eyed enthusiast. Yet by his own testimony when he was invited to return to Geneva, he intended to refuse the invitation. But he changed his mind when he said he felt the hand of Christ on his shoulder pushing him toward Geneva. He means that he actually felt the hand of Jesus Christ on his shoulder. He was no wild man. Yet he had an experience that he believed to be the supernatural hand of Christ on his shoulder.

Here’s a four-way test for anything that appears to be a supernatural message from God to you:

1. The Test of Scripture. Test it by the Word of God. Is it consistent with what God has said in his Word? Does it reflect the character of Jesus Christ? Will it lead me to a closer walk with God?

2. The Test of Time. Let’s suppose you get a supernatural sign of some kind. Wait before you make a major decision. Wait a day. Wait a week. Wait a month. If it’s from God, it will still be from God next week. If it’s from God, it will still be from God a month from now. People get emotionally riled up because they think they’ve received a message from God. So they run out and do crazy things and ruin their lives. If it had been from God, it still would have been from God if you had waited.

3. The Test of Counsel. In the multitude of counselors, the Bible says, there is safety. God will rarely speak to you in such a way that no one else around you recognizes it as the voice of God. If it is truly of God, spiritual men and women normally will recognize it as well. That’s the test of counsel.

4. The Test of Confirmation. If you have a dream or a vision or some other unusual event that seems like a message from God, ask him to confirm it by non-supernatural means. If it is from God, he will be glad to do that for you. And don’t make a major decision until you have received that confirmation from other sources.

I hope this helps.  Feel free to message me back for further clarification.

Pastor Michael  

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Michael Hockaday

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I can answer almost anything Biblical related. Salvation, Hell, Heaven, Prophecy, End Times, Jesus, Creation, The Flood, Israel, The Church, Spiritual Gifts, etc, etc. The list is endless. If you're unsure on how to intrepret any area of the Bible, I'll be happy to help you out. Even better, I'll provide proof. When I study the Bible, I STUDY it. Don't be shy...ask away.

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As young as 18 years of age, I was preaching full length sermons in church. I spend a lot of time studying the Bible and have been for many years. Presently, I regularly type out full length sermons on the World Wide Web. I also regularly put inspirational material on Facebook, Twitter. MySpace, and on several other sities on the Web...including Google.

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Diploma in Biblical Studies - Liberty University Certificate - It Is Written (online Bible Discovery series.)

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