Providence

Jun 04, 16 Providence

Providence – used to be a word that everyone knew and was familiar with. It was referred to in writings from only a couple of generations ago (a “generation” is roughly every 30-years). Providence is no longer in our vocabulary.

 

Definition of Providence: God, being omniscient, directs his universe and the affairs of mankind with wise benevolence. “Omniscient” means: having complete or unlimited knowledge, awareness, or understanding; perceiving all things. And “Benevolence” means a desire to do good to others.

 

For a Biblical definition of Providence, I’ll refer to Dr. J. Vernon McGee, who stated, “Providence is the way that God is directing the universe. He is moving it into tomorrow — He is moving it into the future by His providence. Providence means “to provide.” God will provide.”

 

I watched an interview between a man named Phil and pastor John MacArthur, whose Biblical teachings for the most part I agree with. They were discussing many topics pertinent (important) to the body of Christ (us, his church), and Phil, in regards to Christians wanting to hear and then do God’s will, stated”…[a Christian should] line up with Scripture and then do what you want to do, as long as you’re being obedient to what God has clearly commanded [in Scripture], He’ll lead you through providence. And I think the mistake a lot of Charismatics make is looking for special revelation when God doesn’t lead us by giving us new special revelation. He leads us by providence, but He’s just as active in leading us.”

 

Definition of Charismatic (from Dictionary.com) is: characterizing Christians of various denominations who seek an ecstatic religious experience, sometimes including speaking in tongues and instantaneous healing. I would add that typically Charismatics seek a supernatural experience.

 

The reason I bring this up is because there is a growing tendency in the body of Christ to trust special revelation more than “Scripture” (another word for our Bible) and not necessarily only amongst those of a Charismatic affiliation.  I totally agree with what Phil said, which is basically God reveals Himself to us through Scripture and by Providence.

 

I used to be a New Ager; this is the belief system I grew up in.  Everything was supernaturally charged.  I was attracted to the Charismatic affiliation of Christianity because of this.  When I became a Christian, I still trusted the Charismatic experience but as time goes by, I’ve become suspicious of the Christian supernatural experience in regards to what we are seeing in our day and age, specifically, in special revelation in the contemplative prayer movement. SO, because this experience is identical to my New Age mediation experience, I issue this …

 

WARNING: Please don’t look for special revelation by doing a type of prayer or exercise (even if a “Christian” tells you it is okay) that requires you to try to empty your mind so that “God” can speak to you. This is not condoned (okayed) anywhere in Scripture but it is the way to do Eastern-style New Age meditation. And if someone tries to convince you that it is okay, they have taken a few of Bible verses totally out of context. If you do a prayer or exercise like this, something will speak to you but its not going to be God. God formed us; He created us. He knows how we operate and He doesn’t require that we do mental gymnastics to see evidence of Him in our lives or to allow Him to be active in our lives. If you are a Jesus-follower/believer, He will direct your life. It’s just going to happen. That’s Providence.  So, I encourage you to know your Scripture and trust that He is able and willing to be involved in your life.

 

Do what the Bible tells us to do: “test the spirits”. This is sadly lacking in the body of Christ but God tells us to do this through the following Bible passage.

 

How to Test the Spirits: 1 John 4:1-6

Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, for many false prophets have gone out into the world. By this you know the Spirit of God: every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, and every spirit that does not confess Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you heard was coming and now is in the world already. Little children, you are from God and have overcome them, for he who is in you is greater than he who is in the world. They are from the world; therefore they speak from the world, and the world listens to them. We are from God. Whoever knows God listens to us; whoever is not from God does not listen to us. By this we know the Spirit of truth and the spirit of error.

 

The above bible passage is very important because satan’s favorite tactic is to masquerade as the voice of Jesus, even through books stating they are by “Christians” and also through what other “Christians” tell us. (I pretended to be a Christian for years!) In our language, 1 John 4:1-6 means that you, as a Jesus-follower, can ask a question like this to anything coming to you as if it is from God (including that still, small voice in your head): “Are you the God and Father of my Lord, Jesus Christ, the only Savior, who is God in the flesh, who died for my sins, ransomed me from death and satan and conquered satan forever?”

 

Anytime that you believe that something has come to you that is not from God, ask God your Savior, to Rebuke it and protect you because He is your refuge and Savior. So test the “Christian” book you are reading, the “Christian” you are listening to, and even that silent voice.

 

God bless you and keep you safe in Him.

 

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