A Sign of the Times

Leaves change from green to brilliant shades of yellow, orange and red.

Despite the bright sun, the air is crisp and snaps against your cheeks, turning them the same red as the leaves on the ground.

Schoolchildren stand on street corners, waiting for the big yellow bus that will deposit them at school.

Your tastes change from iced tea and smoothies to hot cocoa and apple cider.

There’s no doubt what season it is.

Stay Between the Lines

When I walk with my children across the street I make sure they know to stay between the lines of the cross walk. I laughed today as we were walking, because my son stepped a foot outside the line.

“Mom! I could have gotten hit by a car!”

He thinks there’s something magical about those white lines that keeps him safe.

There’s nothing magical about those lines, but there’s definitely something about staying within God’s will that can make life easier to live. I don’t mean by this that we won’t have trouble, because Jesus told us to expect trouble.

The ease comes in knowing that we’re in God’s will, so we can trust Him to walk us safely through it.

Here’s Your Sign

The Pharisees and Sadducees came up, and testing Jesus, they asked Him to show them a sign from heaven. But He replied to them, “When it is evening, you say, ‘It will be fairweather, for the sky is red.’ And in the morning, ‘There will be a storm today, for the sky is read and threatening.’ Do you know how to discern the appearance of the sky, but cannot discern the signs of the times?Matthew 16:1-3 (emphasis added)

My desire, above all else, is to follow the will of God for my life.

Yet, so often I find myself asking God to give me a sign, directing me to what His will is. I don’t just want a little arrow on a map though. I want a giant, flashing, neon billboard that spells out the steps for me.

Looking at the “signs” above, without questioning my abilities, I know it’s Fall. I trust my instinct and experience enough to positively assert what season it is. Why is it then, that I question my ability to discern what God is doing in my life?

Why don’t I trust my inner voice and experience as much here as in other instances? Why do decisions have to be agonized over? Why does the opinion of every person around need to be sought?

Fear.

Fear of making the wrong choice. Fear of hearing God wrong. Fear of hurting ourselves or others.*

Yet here is Jesus, chastising the Pharisees and Sadducees for that exact thing. Jesus had already provided numerous signs of His power as the Son of God.

The difference was in the sign.

What He’d done already wasn’t good enough in their minds and they were asking Him to provide the sign they wanted.

God’s Will for Dummies

Don’t you wish there was a “Dummies” book out there that helped us to discern God’s will? Wouldn’t it be easy to just flip to a chapter on “Calling” and take a little quiz that showed us what we were supposed to do with our lives?

The problem with that scenario is that God is no longer necessary. In our self-sufficiency we can follow the step-by-step guide to reach the desired outcome. What then is the purpose in a relationship with the Father?

Life is a highway.

We are called to travel a path with God, one that bends, turns and loops back on itself. Clinging to Him, we watch as the signs begin to present themselves.

Change Ahead 2 mi.

Detour 500 feet

Low bridge

God is not trying to trick us.

He is not malicious, He is loving and wants to be known.

Listen to Mark’s account of Jesus’ reaction to the Pharisees and Sadducees:

Sighing deeply in His spirit, He said, “Why does this generation seek for a sign?” Mark 8:12

Rather than seeking out a sign from God to guess at His will, lets seek out God. As our familiarity with Him and His ways increases we’ll see that His will in any given situation will be abundantly clear.

But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. Matthew 6:33

*In no way am I suggesting that it is wrong or sinful to take time to seek God and godly council. I’m talking about those instances where all of the signs are before us, pointing us in a direction, yet we’re still unwilling to move forward. Our stalling then becomes distrust and fear.
{All photos courtesy of photobucket.com}
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6 thoughts on “A Sign of the Times

  1. Submitting to His will is a beautiful thing! I wish I did it more quickly than all this fighting I put into it, but I always thank God for grace. :)

    Thanks Melissa.

    • I saw on your blog how God has been speaking to you about the plans He has for you…and it seems like you are hearing Him clearly and moving forward in what you’ve heard. :) God bless you in what’s ahead for you in the next days, weeks, and months.

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