Archive for January, 2009

God’s Miracle Provision of Gas

Wednesday, January 7th, 2009

Luke 11:8 “Because of his persistence he will rise and give him AS MANY as he needs.”

A friend and I had been praying for a new job for her. She called again, a few months later saying there was a possible job opening up and we needed to pray about whether God wanted her to take it considering everything going on in her life.

A few weeks later to my dismay she called to say she was moving farther away to take the position God had given her. She had a month to pack a whole house and keep up with a full-time job and aged parents who were ill on top of her own health challenges. We kept in touch every day. It soon became clear there wasn’t going to be enough time with all she had to do to pack the house though everyday she packed a few boxes.

I was seven hours away and felt helpless; though staying in touch was useful in keeping her priorities on the right things, I could hear the despair in her voice. The feeling of needing to help grew strong, but I was seven hours away and gas was just ridiculously costly.

I prayed about the need my friend had and what God wanted me to do with it. Should I go or just listen on the end of the phone. God answered. He opened up some time at work but there was not enough money, and gas was soaring at $4.50 a gallon. How could I do it? Seven hours, 450 miles equaled a lot of money in gas.

(For the reader: I am self-employed so missing a week of work meant missing a week of pay also.)

I called her and mentioned that God had opened my schedule to take time off. And, I thought there was enough money for gas. I knew she didn’t have any money either, but she said she would pay half of the gas if I would come. It had been a year since we had been together, and this may be the last time we would see each other for a longer time since she would be eight hours farther away.

We made arrangements for the end of July.

It came time to leave, we prayed for safekeeping, and that my 15-year-old car would not have any problems on the way. I climbed in the car and drove about an hour before filling the tank, which equaled $60, and I would have to do that at least twice each way. Gas was less in Indiana and the farther you drove south the cheaper it was so the news said. The long stretches of road were lonely, but singing along to scripture songs on a tape and praying for wisdom and strength for moving was comforting.

It was a very nice drive. I watched the gas gauge, and for the cheapest place to stop for gas, but the gauge hardly moved. I stopped frequently for food and to stretch my legs but not for gas.

Pulling into her drive my eye caught the gauge for the last time and it hit me. God drove me 6 hrs on a quarter tank of gas!

My friend asked, “What kind of car is this? Truly this must be God’s car!”

Praising God for his blessing, the next week was filled with conversations and lots of packing. Oh, what a blessing for us as we spent time together.

But that wasn’t all! A week later when it was time to leave, I topped off the tank for the drive home. The customary stops for food and to stretch my legs were made, but not for gas. When I got home again, after driving seven hours I looked at the gas gauge. A quarter tank of gas was gone. God knew neither of us had the money and supplied this car with God’s gas. What a blessing to bless others in their time of need and share just how powerful God truly is.

Praise God! He is faithful to His unworthy children!

Oh, and my gas tank holds 15 gals so that was what 3.75 gals. What a God!

I did my part; driving 64 miles an hour to save gas, but this was just God and God alone. What a miracle!

Margie Mitchell
Michigan

Note from Dan: I know Margie personally and know her story to be true. God is good!!!

Find more resources on praying at path2prayer.com. Find more testimonies on God’s miracle keeping on the testimonies page.

Hearing God’s Voice in Determining His Will

Monday, January 5th, 2009

Abstract: Many individuals claim to hear God’s voice. Some appear to legitimately do so, but not all! It seems Satan sometimes uses the claim to having “heard God’s voice” for mischief. In this article I summarize what I have learned about the place of “God’s voice” in determining His will. These thoughts first appeared in my weekly newsletter.

Perhaps the most common question that is directed my way is how to know God’s will. Lately there has been an added twist to the question: “What am I to do with the “voice” that sometimes speaks to me?” Voices are a challenge when it comes to prayer—sometimes confusion comes from too many voices speaking; sometimes there doesn’t seem to be any voice.

There are people who say “God told me…” and it seems to be legitimate. I am a bit envious of them to be honest. These people love the Lord and are thoroughly committed to whatever He wants. Others speak of God giving them dreams—I hear this particularly in primitive cultures or in the early stages of their Christian walk. I think that is wonderful too. Some talk of God “speaking” to them, but I am frightened because what God seems to be saying is at variance with what God has spoken through His word or other teaching. For example, one time in the past I was informed that I was going to die during a particular week, something that made me initially sad, but obviously did not happen.

The point is, any time you rely on God’s voice alone for direction, you are potentially placing yourself in a dangerous position since Satan will seek to take advantage of such a mode of seeking direction. For example George Muller only used “lots” twice before giving up of them, for both times the lots misdirected him—he comments later that Satan can apparently turn the coin as it is falling to the ground. God uses multiple voices when He leads us and we must seek to hear from all of them, and to hear them speak unitedly to correctly know what God is saying.

Generally speaking, God rarely communicates directly. In my life I can probably count on one hand the number of times God seemed to be speaking to me, and it appears that my experience is similar to many others. That doesn’t mean that God hasn’t given strong impressions, but God speaking directly as in saying specific words in unmistakable ways has been more the exception, and certainly not something that could be planned on ahead of time—in fact came when I was desperate for wisdom on at least one occasion. When God spoke, it was short, to the point, profound and life changing. God had already been directing through his word, was providentially opening and closing doors, and the direct communication was in complete harmony with—and confirmed—that prior communication.

I am certain that God prefers to speak to us through His word and He will rarely communicate directly if it is already in the Bible—though the devil would have us believe God speaks apart from His word. When God speaks He speaks in harmony with His Word. In reading countless books written on prayer by great Christians down through the ages, I find the same thing. Many speak of having received strong lingering impressions and eventually sensed direction in the basis of those impressions, but they also confirmed those impressions in other ways—remember Gideon!

I always come back to what George Muller said regarding knowing God’s will: 1. 90% of the challenge of knowing God’s will is choosing to have no will of our own—or, to put it another way, choosing to have WHATEVER God wants. (Luke 9:23) 2. Recognize that God’s leading will always be in harmony with His word (Isaiah 8:20). 3. Realize that God’s leading will often be accompanied by the opening and closing doors of His providence. 4. Hold out for God’s peace, for God’s leading will be accompanied by His peace (Col. 3:15). If you sense that something isn’t quite right, or just don’t feel at peace about it, it either means “no” or “wait.”

Muller said that any time he rushed beyond God’s leading he invariably made mistakes.

Muller did one other thing that was brilliant when it came to knowing God’s will. When he felt satisfied that God was leading in a particular direction, he would go to his friend Craik, share what God had put on his heart, and ask Craik to expose any unworthy motives and/or scriptural objections to his intentions. In this way Muller was further protected from making poor decisions. I think this would be a good plan to adopt, but make sure you are going to a friend with a mature Christian experience.

This is taken from my newsletter that is sent out almost weekly. Write me at path2prayer@gmail.com to subscribe.

There are many more resources on knowing God’s will at the Practical Christianity page at path2prayer.com.