Remember the old "Here's Your Sign" Comedy bit that Bill Engvall used to do? This is one funny guy, I've gotta say. If you haven't seen any of the Here's Your Sign jokes, here's a few. There's something that commonly happens that makes me want to say "Here's Your Sign." Someone shares that they had a "sign from God" about some pressing matter - often about matters of marriage (or whether they should be/remain married), but around other issues like finances and others as well. Some seemingly insignificant issues, some with more life-altering outcomes. And I wonder...was that really a sign from God?
What scriptural evidence is there to back up that particular sign? What about when it seems clear that what they're saying God "told them" was in contradiction with scriptural teaching?
What I really want to do is hand them the Word of God and say...
Here's Your Sign
Jesus declared twice, as recorded in Matthew (chapter 12 & 16) that "An evil and adulterous generation seeks for a sign, but no sign will be given to it except the sign of the prophet Jonah." Whoah! Based on this, I think those who are outside of God's will should be very careful about interpreting anything other than the teaching of scripture as a "sign from God."
But how about those who are endeavoring to walk the Christ-centered life?
We have plenty of scripture saying that it is God's very WORD that gives light to our path, provides guidance for our lives (Psalm 119:105), that the fear of the Lord brings understanding and wisdom (Psalm 25:12, Psalm 2:6-9 just to name a couple) that as we truly seek the Lord we will find Him (Jeremiah 29:13) and that the Spirit of Truth is the Guide and helper for those who believe (John 16:13).
I'm not trying to put God in a box and say He will never directly give us a sign, but based on scriptural teaching I believe that would - by far - be the exception rather than the rule. Before seeking a sign, we should seek scripture - earnestly and diligently. And if we think we've received a sign, we should again make sure it really aligns with the Word. It's good to also seek outside counsel from others - in particular those we know to understand and routinely apply God's word well to their lives. But in God's Word, we truly have all the guidance we need.
"In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life, and the life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it." ~John 1:1-5
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