Monday, October 15, 2018

EmmDev 2018-10-15 [Wherever I am...] Coincidence or God-incidence

Week 3: Seeing what God is already doing.

Coincidence or God-incidence

The dictionary defines the word coincidence this way: a remarkable concurrence of events or circumstances without apparent causal connection. Christians sometimes see their daily encounters not as a coincidence but rather as a God-incidence.

A God-incidence might be defined as: A happy coincidence or outcome that was most likely directed or orchestrated by God. The classic example is for a friend or relative to keep popping into your mind, so you give them a call and it turns out that they really needed to talk with you. Another example would be when money is needed to cover some expense, and money shows up unexpectedly for the exact amount required. Such God-incidences are miracles so small that it's tempting to think that no miracle really happened at all.

Look at Philip in Acts 2, he "happened" to be travelling along the road from Jerusalem to Gaza. Verse 26 says, "But an angel of the Lord said to Philip, "Get up and go south to the road that runs from Jerusalem down to Gaza." (This is a desert road)." Now if we phoned a friend and said, 'an angel of the Lord has spoken to me and told me to phone you', they may think you were a little "crazy"! So, is this a "God-incidence" -- a miracle encounter between a questioning great man of authority and Philip in order for the Word of God to be spread to the four corners of the earth? After Philip had explained to the Ethiopian what he was reading, he asked to be baptised and "Look! Water!", on the desert road! As Albert Einstein once said, "coincidence is God's way of remaining anonymous".

Sometimes God opens a door of opportunity to his people in very unlikely places. God is in control of the entire universe, right? So, these encounters may be a small way he's letting us know that he's with us and thinking about us and enabling us to carry his Word and work to unexplained places and people?

Are all of the circumstances in our life by random chance or does God perhaps sometimes eliminate the uncertainty so as to impact the outcome? The answer is up to each of us to decide.

"So he got up and went; and there was an Ethiopian eunuch [a man of great authority], a court official of Candace, queen of the Ethiopians, who was in charge of all her treasure. He had come to Jerusalem to worship, 28 and he was returning, and sitting in his chariot he was reading [the scroll of] the prophet Isaiah. 29 Then the [Holy] Spirit said to Philip, "Go up and join this chariot." 30 Philip ran up and heard the man reading the prophet Isaiah, and asked, "Do you understand what you are reading?" 31 And he said, "Well, how could I [understand] unless someone guides me [correctly]?" And he invited Philip to come up and sit with him. 32 Now this was the passage of Scripture which he was reading: "Like a sheep He was led to the slaughter; And as a lamb before its shearer is silent, So He does not open His mouth. 33 "In humiliation His judgment was taken away [justice was denied Him]. Who will describe His generation? For His life is taken from the earth." 34 The eunuch replied to Philip, "Please tell me, about whom does the prophet say this? About himself or about someone else?" 35 Then Philip spoke and beginning with this Scripture he preached Jesus to him [explaining that He is the promised Messiah and the source of salvation]. 36 As they continued along the road, they came to some water; and the eunuch exclaimed, "Look! Water! What forbids me from being baptized?" 37 [Philip said to him, "If you believe with all your heart, you may." And he replied, "I do believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God."] 38 And he ordered that the chariot be stopped; and both Philip and the eunuch went down into the water, and Philip baptized him." (Amplified Translation)      (Acts2:27-38)

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Ruth Armstrong is the serving minister of St Andrews Germiston. She is wife to Warren and mother to Lia, Sarah and Noah. She crochets to stay sane and when that doesn't work, she runs (on the road)!

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