Life is filled with disruptions and interruptions. So how can we tell the difference between these and divine appointments? Here, PastorResources.com contributor Karen Whiting tackles this issue head-on:
A woman touched Christ’s cloak and caused him to stop when he felt power leave him. Her faith touched his heart and he used her as an opportunity to teach others. An angel sent Philip to an Ethiopian, in Acts 8, and God directed Peter’s visit Cornelius, in Acts 10. They recognized such interventions as a divine appointment.
People and problems often intrude. Sometimes we need respond while other times we need to train the person to stop breaking into our day. Other times we need to let the urging of the Holy Spirit reveal it as a call from God.
- Disruptions break into a person’s time with chaos and selfish cries for attention. Explain to disruptive people that you will not give them attention, but schedule times such people can contact you and how (email, phone message, or appointment).
- An interruption is when someone breaks into another person’s discussion or action for a purpose. If it’s an emergency, respond immediately. Otherwise smile and calmly set boundaries to limit intrusions and set a time to follow-up on the need.
- A divine appointment includes an urging from God, a sense that He is orchestrating things. It takes practice and a sense of listening to God’s voice to recognize these. It ends with a sense of awe of God’s timing and direction.
Avoid disruptions. Let family members know appropriate times to get your attention. Focus on family members when you are together and listen to their needs. Share meals and schedule family time. Set up a signal for an urgent need or emergency to which you will need to respond.
Learn to recognize divine interventions. Pray daily, and at each interruption, for guidance. Evaluate after a situation to discern if God orchestrated the interruption. Note if you or others were blessed and how God directed you. Awareness and sensitivity to the Holy Spirit’s powerful nudge take time to develop.
Karen Whiting (karenwhiting.com) is an international speaker, former television host, and the author of eighteen books, including Stories of Faith and Courage from the Home Front.