Saturday, May 31, 2014

Coincidence or Divine Appointment?

                Going through the book of Acts has really made me see things like I have never seen them before. This is not the first time I have studied the book of Acts; in fact, I have read and studied the book of Acts many times. But this time, it is different. This time, it is like my eyes are open and I am not only seeing what is on the surface, but I am seeing what is buried within its depths. One thing that has been sticking out to me lately is the people the Apostles have met and witnessed to. These people are from all different walks of life. They live in different cities, regions, nations, and are not all of the same beliefs and backgrounds. Every single one of them has a different encounter with the Apostles, and each one of them comes away with Jesus.
             
Photo: free-east.com.tw
   This has got me thinking about divine appointments. Throughout the Bible we read about these divine appointments. Abraham meeting Melchizedek, Ruth meeting Boaz, David meeting Saul; not to mention Jesus and the encounters that He had with people like the Samaritan woman at the well, the woman with the issue of blood, and all the others whom the Bible tells us about. Were these chance encounters? Were these all just happy accidents? Were they just coincidences? I do not believe so. I believe that God orchestrated each and every person in the Bible to be exactly where they were the moment they were there. I believe that nothing happens by chance. I believe that my God is orchestrating my life and the events that happen in my life to bring me to these divine appointments so that He can be glorified.
                “You did not choose Me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit, and that your fruit should remain, that whatever you ask the Father in My name He may give you.” John 15:16
                Jesus tells us that He has chosen us, each and every one of us that have believed in Him- have been chosen. We have been hand-picked by Jesus for a specific purpose and reason. He says also that He has appointed us that we should bear fruit. Think about the people that you and I have met along this journey the Lord has us on. Those moments when someone in the grocery store says something to you and you have a quick discourse with one another, or those moments when you choose to go to another check-out line because that one is taking too long. But what it, what if the Lord has orchestrated all these chance encounters, these day to day instances to be divine appointments? What if He has caused that checkout line to be slow because the girl at the other register needs to hear that Jesus loves her today? What if that lady who accidentally runs into you with her shopping cart is lost and needs to know the love of Jesus Christ in her life? What if these chance encounters are actually divine appointments?
                Jesus says to us that He chose us and appointed us. All the events that led up to the moment of salvation in our lives were not by chance. Specific people were placed by God in our lives to direct us to Him. Even before we came to the knowledge of His great love and grace, our very lives were planned out and orchestrated to bring us to that moment when we would believe in Jesus and be saved. The people God placed in my life were not some chance meetings or by coincidence. He knew what I needed to hear when I needed to hear it. He knew what I needed to see when I needed to see it. Most importantly He knew the moment that I would surrender to Him and give myself to Him. It was not by chance that I became a Christian, it was His grand plan and by His grand design.
             I think we need to open our eyes and see the grand plan of our God. We need to recognize and believe and walk in the knowledge that nothing happens by chance- not even the young student who bags your groceries is by chance. If we believe that God is the Master planner, the Grand Designer of all things- then we must also know and believe that divine appointments happen to us every day. Saying that a thing happens by chance says that God is not sovereign. Saying that God did not orchestrate certain events, or certain people to walk into our lives, is like saying our God has no control over His creation. God is and always will be in control, because He is God.
                For me, personally, I need to open my eyes. I need to be aware of these divine appointments that God has placed before me. These people that I see and meet and speak to every day are not just by chance- they are placed by God before me to be a witness to His Son, Jesus Christ. Jesus said that we were appointed and chosen. Jesus is saying to us today that He has placed each one of us right where we are so that we can be witnesses to Him. The people that we will meet on a day to day basis are opportunities to share the goodness and the grace of our Lord, and to see them as divine appointments orchestrated by our Sovereign God. To think otherwise is to see God as less than God and not a God who is in complete control.
             Sometimes these encounters with others frustrate me because I am in a hurry and the lady at the checkout counter is slow. But there is a reason why I am in this line; there is a reason why I went to this store at this moment. There is a purpose and a reason behind everything- we just need to open our eyes so that He can show it to us. Our God is not a God of “just because”; He is a God of “Divine Appointments”. We need to open our eyes and not just see people as people, but instead see our Divine God at work, appointing and orchestrating all these events for His glory and for His grace. You may be the one God has appointed to show that lady at the checkout counter Jesus. It is not by chance, my brothers and sisters; it is all part of His Master Plan. Amen?