The Way of Providence

“Walk around the side of the house", my daughter said, "through the gate, to the patio on the back side of the house. Open the grill cover, and there you will find the garage door opener to get into the house."

They were good instructions with explicit directions. I was confident I would have no trouble gaining entrance into their house. The problem was that I found the door opener, not under the grill cover, but rather on the concrete pad UNDER the grill. The opener was not located exactly as she had said; nevertheless, I did eventually get into the house. 

This is a harmless example of the fallibility and disappointment of the words of man. We’ve all given or been given wrong directions or inaccurate information regarding access to something or even the time, location, or other particulars of specific events. It’s not intentional, just predictable. It’s human nature. We’re not perfect, and neither are our instructions. 

God, however, is perfect, and His words are true and accurate…every time. And this morning, as I read from the book of Luke, my heart danced as these two examples stood out to me:

The first comes from Luke 19 as Jesus prepared to enter Jerusalem in what we know as His Triumphal Entry. 
“When He approached Bethphage and Bethany, near the mount that is called Olivet, He sent two of the disciples saying, 

"Go into the village ahead of you; there, as you enter, you will find a colt tied on which no one yet has ever sat; untie it and bring it here."If anyone asks you, 'Why are you untying it?' you shall say, 'The Lord has need of it.' 

"So those who were sent went away and found it just as He had told them. (Luke 19:29-32)
Jesus gave specific instructions not only as to where His disciples would find a specific colt, but also foretold the conversation between the disciples and the owner of the colt. He gave them clear and defined information because God had a clear and defined purpose in mind.

And they found it just as He had told them. Every word, every action, every jot and tittle. (Matt. 5:18, KJV) 

Later, as they prepared for the Passover, Jesus once again gave specific instructions: 
“The Day of Unleavened Bread came, the day the Passover lamb was butchered. Jesus sent Peter and John off, saying, "Go prepare the Passover for us so we can eat it together." (Luke 22:7-8) 

They said, "Where do you want us to do this?" (Luke 22:9)

And He said to them, "When you have entered the city, a man will meet you carrying a pitcher of water; follow him into the house that he enters. "And you shall say to the owner of the house, 'The Teacher says to you, "Where is the guest room in which I may eat the Passover with My disciples?"' "And he will show you a large, furnished upper room; prepare it there." And they left and found everything just as He had told them; and they prepared the Passover.” (Luke 22:10, 11, 12, 13)

Jesus could have said, "Go to the house on the corner of such and such." But God is always specific. Note all the precise details of not only the man, but even details concerning the room. It wasn’t any room; it was a large and fully furnished room, already prepared for them. And the disciples found it just as He had told them.

The disciples were still unaware that Jesus was going down a path marked out from the beginning of time. There would be no variance in His plan then. There is none now. 

We should find comfort in knowing that God’s Word never fails and never changes (Mal. 3:6). We are called to discover God's promises, not analyze them according to our understanding. God is intentional in His plans and purposes and faithful in His Word. (Ps. 33:11) The disciples found everything just as He said, and we will too. 

It is equally comforting to know that God prepares the hearts of those He chooses, whether to soften or to harden, to accomplish His will, and He does so ahead of time and ahead of us; therefore, the outcome is the Lord’s and not ours. (Romans 9:18, James 5:11)

God’s Word is precise, accurate, faithful, unerring, spot on, just, exact, true (John 17:17), dependable, believable, clear, absolute, perfect, sure, right, pure (Ps. 19:7-8), definite, specific, settled (Ps. 119:89), established, reliable, eternal (Matt. 24:35)… just to name a few. 

For us, that means we can trust His Word to be the same yesterday, today and forever. (Heb. 13:8) There are no surprises--only truth, blessing, and hope. 
“Trust in the LORD with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight.” (Prov. 3:5-6) 
God’s word is truth (2 Sam. 7:28) and all His promises have been fulfilled in Christ, who is our “Amen” (2 Cor. 1:20). His word is living and active, (Heb. 4:12) flawless (Ps. 18:30), and fully reliable (Ps. 33:4).  

I love the way The Message conveys the words of Jesus to His disciples. He said, 

Keep your eyes open as you enter the city.” (Luke 22:10, MESSAGE)

Today, Jesus is saying to us, “Keep your eyes open”. Keep them open to what He is doing in your life. Listen attentively to the instructions of His Word, for He's given clear and defined promises for the plans and purposes He has for you and your household. (Ps. 32:8) If you are unclear regarding His instructions, ask Him. (Luke 22:9, Matt. 7:7, Jer. 33:3) 

Finally, be comforted by the words with which He comforted His disciples:
 “In My Father’s house are many dwelling places; if it were not so, I would have told you; for I go to prepare a place for you. If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself, that where I am, there you may be also.” (John 14:2-3)
And I have no doubt that upon our arrival, we will find it just as He has told us.