No Need to Roll the Dice Anymore

Devotional | Bible | Discipleship | Ministry | Prayer | Spiritual Disciplines

We begin reading through the book of Acts in our daily Bible reading; today is Acts 1.

When I began my most recent sermon series, I pointed out that Acts 1:26 records the last time in the Bible that anyone “cast lots” to determine God’s will.

A little background: In the Old Testament times, people would “cast lots” to determine God’s will. We see the same term used when we’re told that the soldiers cast lots for Jesus’ clothes during His crucifixion. (Matthew 27:35) So what is it?

Casting lots is basically the same as rolling dice. Proverbs 16:33 tells us that someone may “cast lots”, but God determines the outcome. So how would someone try to determine God’s will by rolling dice?

Well… let me tell you a little of my own story.

Several years ago, I was preparing to attend a retreat on “Worship” and we were reading through the book of Acts in our month-long preparation. I had recently been laid off and I came across this verse in Acts 1. I thought, “Why not roll some dice to see what God wants me to do?”

Our family had a game chest with all kinds of board games, so I grabbed a handful of dice. (More backstory, I had graduated from Seminary, spent five years on a church staff, and due to situations at church, I was wounded and stepped down, telling God that I didn’t want to be hurt like that again. So, I “left the ministry” for several years.)

Like the Disciples in verse 24, I asked God to speak through the results of my roll of the dice: a majority of the dice to be “even” numbers if God wanted me to pursue a ministry position and a majority of the dice to be “odd” numbers if God wanted me to pursue a secular job. I shook fourteen dice in my hand and threw the dice onto the game chest….

What are the odds?

I began to sort the dice into “even” and “odd”. There were seven “odd” dice and seven “even” dice. Bewildered, I did the same thing and came up with the exact same results!

Truly amazed, I began to ask God what this could mean. And then I realized that the reason why this is the last time anyone cast lots to determine God’s will: Acts 2 follows on the heels of Acts 1. As we’ll see in tomorrow’s reading in Acts 2, something very special happened in Acts 2.

I don’t want to get ahead of myself, but God fulfilled His promise that Joel prophesied in Joel 2:28-32 that God’s Spirit would be given in a new, special way — not just to “special” people like prophets, priests, and kings — but to all kinds of “ordinary” people.

A very practical result of this new, special anointing would be that ordinary people would be able to hear God. No longer would ordinary people need to consult with special people like a prophet in order to know God’s will. God would make His will known to ordinary people.

Application

If you are one of God’s kids — an adopted child of the New Covenant — you have the same Holy Spirit living in you that lived in the Disciples. If you are one of God’s kids, you don’t live in Acts 1; you live in Acts 2! You have equal access to your Father and you can learn to hear His voice, too!

Just ask! He’ll begin to speak to you through His Word, His other kids, church leaders, your circumstances, and through an “inward” witness that some people call a “still small voice”.

So spend time in His Word, asking Him to reveal Himself to you. Remember that your purpose in this is not to have some kind of special gift, but to know your Father better and to love Him more.

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