Like you, I have heard denominational people talk of how God had “led” them to move to some particular place, or “laid upon their heart” some particular job or task, or “called” them to some specific ministry. I recall, for example, listening to a Baptist couple explaining to my wife and me how God had “called” them to a preaching work in Florida. But as the conversation progressed, they admitted that the work had not gone well, and that it was a mistake moving there. I wondered then, and I still wonder, how they could believe that God’s supposed “call” was a mistake. I thought God did not make mistakes. My Bible says that God “doeth all things well,” (Mk. 7:37; cf. Mk. 10:18).
We know that in prior ages God miraculously directed the steps of certain people. He drove Adam and Eve from the garden of Eden. He called Abram out of Ur of the Chaldees. He commanded Moses to go down into Egypt to free his people. He sent Jonah to preach to the people of Nineveh. God spoke to our forefathers “by divers portions and in divers manners,” (Heb. 2:1). But if God were still miraculously telling people where to live, what to do and how to work, what need would there be for the word—the faith which has been “once and for all delivered unto the saints,” (Jude 3)? If the Scriptures are not, as we have been led to believe, inspired by God and able to make Christians “complete, furnished throughly unto every good work,” (2 Tim. 3:16-17), why do we need them? Why not rely on our dreams and visions?
If God is still furnishing “partial” revelations to particular people today, why did Paul say that “when that which is perfect is come, that which is in part shall be done away,” (1 Cor. 13:10)? Were these miraculous gifts done away with or not?
If I must wait for a dream or a special vision from God in order to know where to move or work, why did the Hebrew writer say that God is no longer speaking in “various amounts and in divers manners,” but only through his Son, (Heb. 1:1-2)? Is not the word which was at first spoken by the Lord himself and then “confirmed unto us by them that heard” and recorded by inspiration into the book we know as the Bible sufficient to meet our every need? Does not the Bible provide for us “all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of Jesus Christ,” (2 Pet. 1:3)? And if it does, why do I need something more?
As we review the great heroes of the faith presented in Hebrews 11, one thing becomes very clear: God is moving in the lives of his faithful children. He is accomplishing his will. He is providentially working in the affairs of mankind, and is looking out for our welfare. As Paul said, “And we know that to them that love God all things work together for good, even to them that are called according to his purpose,” (Rom. 8:28).
God is not required to answer every curiosity, every speculation or idle question we may have. But he has given us his all-sufficient word. He has told us to believe it, to have faith and to obediently follow Him throughout our lives. When we do this, we know that God causes all things to work for our good. We know that God’s providence is favorable toward us. We can have confidence that God is directing our paths, because we are faithfully following his word. As an anonymous writer has beautifully put it:
I do not always know what lies before me, Or what of trial or test may be in store;
My steps are ordered, God will do the choosing, He knows the way I take—need I know more?
I do not know the reason for each testing; The lessons I must learn, I cannot tell,
Or why I’m led through valleys deep and lonely— I only know He doeth all things well.
If the path I walk seems steep and rugged, And I must labor long to reach the goal,
There’s always One close by my side to help me; He brings sweet rest and comfort to my soul.
And from the pages of God’s Book before me, He speaks the words that all my fears dispel,
And though I do not know the why nor wherefore, I can be sure He doeth all things well.
Then I will rest in Him and take fresh courage, And trust His promise not to leave me e’er—
New strength supplied to carry on the battle, New hope that I the victor’s crown shall wear.
It is enough to be of God beloved, To have the Lord within my heart to dwell,To have the peace that passeth understanding, Content to know He doeth all things well.
-by Robert C. Veil, Jr.