Acts 18:9-11 (ESV)
9 And the Lord said to Paul one night in a vision, “Do not be afraid, but go on speaking and do not be silent,10 for I am with you, and no one will attack you to harm you, for I have many in this city who are my people.”11 And he stayed a year and six months, teaching the word of God among them.
Our devotional thoughts this week speak to the powerful moments when God intervenes in the lives of His people. Paul’s life is being made miserable by those opposing his ministry, and several thousand years later, two 10-year-old girls in Nicaragua were facing incredible violence and misery. In both situations, a God-given dream or night vision was the key to restoring hope in the middle of some very miserable circumstances.
We may view the biblical account of Paul and the more contemporary account of the young girls and rejoice at God’s intervention; yet wonder why God doesn’t speak like that in the middle of our own current misery. But there is another question that begs to be considered; if God spoke, would we hear Him? We may have to be willing to admit that our desire to hear God speak or our appeal to God for intervention comes with criteria we impose on what we think God ought to do to fix the mess we are in. That God is capable of transforming any circumstance is not in question. What may be the real issue is our willingness to hear God’s voice unhindered by our expectations of what God “ought” to do.
Are you in a really tough spot today? Do you have a need that only God can be the answer to?
You are not the first to walk this path, and be assured God knows your situation even better than you think you do! If you are simply overwhelmed by this need, be assured God cares. If God knows the exact location of two 10-year-old girls about to jump off a bridge in Nicaragua, He certainly has you under His protection. (Psalm 137:7-12)
The needs we face can numb us and keep us from even functioning in the normal daily tasks that are a part of life. Moses knew rejection and opposition and even betrayal as he led God’s people through the wilderness. He set up what was called the tent of meeting. This was a sacred place where there was only one agenda and that was communicating with God. (Exodus 33:7-11) The fast pace of our lives and the added intrusion of technology has created a world where we often try to fit God into an already cluttered schedule. Hearing from God includes our willingness to give God “exclusive space” in our lives and exclusive time so that the voice of God can be easily distinguished from the voices of this world.
Are you on a “ bridge of hopelessness” in this moment? God is still speaking: the real question is are you creating the atmosphere where you can actually hear what He says?
Vice President, ChildHope
The violence that exists in many areas that ChildHope schools serve is a real threat to family safety. Would you pray for these children, but also the teachers who courageously work every day in places that require the sustaining power of the Holy Spirit? There are still 10-year-old girls who face what those two faced in Nicaragua so many years ago. But there are also scores of teachers whose reliance on Holy Spirit interventions gives them powerful ministry moments with these students. Would you pray with us that teachers will be the recipients of “visions and dreams” and other supernatural giftings that will serve to bring transformation to their students?
Scripture quotations are from The ESV® Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.