Don’t you wish you had clear direction from God on the decisions you need to make? Wouldn’t it be wonderful to be certain. Wouldn’t it be helpful to just know yes or no so you didn’t have to sit and wonder and worry.
Who remembers the Magic 8 Ball of our youth? You would ask it important questions like “Does Jim love me?”, and it would light up with the answer “Don’t count on it.” Then you ask, “Should I go to the dance with Bene”, and it would light up with, “Signs point to yes.” Did you know the Magic 8 ball had 20 answers. 10 were positive, 5 were negative and 5 were totally non-committal. In 8th grade I didn’t know Jesus, and I was totally making life decisions on the shake of the Magic 8 Ball.
That leads me to ask, what are you making your decisions on today? Are you reading a horoscope written by a journalist who got stuck with that job instead of the Hollywood gossip column they were hoping for? Are you counting on someone to make decisions for you? Are you hoping for signs and wonders? Or do you still have that Magic 8 Ball hidden in the closet?
Did you know the Old Testament tells us about a decision making breastplate? Let’s talk about that today.
Exodus 24:15-18 “When Moses went up on the mountain, the cloud covered it, and the glory of the Lord settled on Mount Sinai. For six days the cloud covered the mountain, and on the seventh day the Lord called to Moses from within the cloud. To the Israelites the glory of the Lord looked like a consuming fire on top of the mountain. Then Moses entered the cloud as he went on up the mountain. And he stayed on the mountain forty days and forty nights.”
It was on this mountain within the cloud where Moses stayed for 40 days and 40 nights that God gave him specific instructions. He told him how to build the tabernacle, how to make the offerings, patterns for the table and the lamps were given. Then chapter 28, God tells Moses what the priests are to wear. I’m telling you, God is very detailed!
Aaron is chosen as a priest, and God tells Moses they are to make a ephod for Aaron. An ephod is a type of apron. It was to be made of gold, blue, purple and scarlet yarn and linen. Braided chains of pure gold embellished the apron, as well as precious stones such as onyx, turquoise, amethyst, and emerald. The front of the ephod was to have a pocket of sorts on the breastplate, folded over double to hold 2 special stones. Exodus 28:30 “Also put the Urim and the Thummim in the breastpiece, so they may be over Aaron’s heart whenever he enters the presence of the Lord. Thus Aaron will always bear the means of making decisions for the Israelites over his heart before the Lord.”
To fully understand what God is instructing, you must understand what these two stones are. The Urim means light and the Thummim means perfections. In Greek they mean revelations of the truth. When the priest asked a yes or no question, they would light up. These stones were used to shed God’s light on a pending decision. Should we proceed God? Should we stay here Lord? Should we choose this leader? Is this the right way?
God would reveal truth to the priest through these two stones by making them light up to confirm a yes.
Scripture also refers to this method of following God’s will as “casting lots”. It wasn’t by luck or chance, it was a divine direction by God.
The Magic 8 Ball, the horoscope columns, the fortune cookies, they’re all our attempt to recreate what God had given the priests in understanding God’s decisions and directions.
So, where are our stones? Where’s our confirmation of a rock that lights up like Aaron was given? How are we supposed to cast lots to know for sure where God is saying yes and when he is saying no?
There was an abrupt end to the use of the stones. No more casting lots. Do you know when that ended? It ended precisely when God gave us His Spirit.
Acts 2: 1-4 “When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place. Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them.”
From this day forward, there were no stones lighting up, as God had used before. Now, we are all given something so much greater. We are given God’s spirit dwelling within us. His spirit guides us. His spirit leads us. His spirit confirms our choices, opens our eyes, and directs our thoughts.
We’re walking around with the greatest power in the whole world, yet we would settle for stones that light up. We would delight in a magazine column that told us good things are coming. We would find hope in a Magic 8 Ball that tells us “it is decidedly so.”
You have the power to make the right decisions! You have supernatural wisdom to guide you here! You have the answers you seek, and they’re already inside of you when the Spirit of God has been invited into your life. Everything changes when you are guided by God’s spirit within you. You start making choices you never had the courage to make before. You start making changes you never felt strong enough to make before. You start seeing things through different eyes.
Galatians 5: 16-18 “Let the Holy Spirit guide your lives. Then you won’t be doing what your sinful nature craves. The sinful nature wants to do evil, which is just the opposite of what the Spirit wants. And the Spirit gives us desires that are the opposite of what the sinful nature desires. These two forces are constantly fighting each other, so you are not free to carry out your good intentions. But if you are led by the spirit, you are not under the law.”
Verse 25: “Since we are living by the Spirit, let us follow the Spirit’s leading in every part of our lives.”
So, about that decision you have to make and you don’t know what to do. About that turn you need to make and you desperately want to turn the right way. About that change you desire, but you don’t know how to go about it. God used to guide his people through stones that would light up, but now, because of Jesus, we have something soooooo much greater!
Let God’s spirit lead every part of your life. Ask him what you should do here. Request guidance here. Seek his answers. He will respond. He will lead you. He will prompt you. He will reveal things that you couldn’t possibly know otherwise. Ask him for his spirit today.
Just like Aaron with his breastplate and stones, you have the means of making decisions. Your means is the spirit of God which lives within you and reveals the light of God to guide you.