One intriguing way of receiving guidance I heard as a very young Christian.
It was at a camp, and the speaker described how he and his fiancée had separated for three weeks. Oh, they loved each other – there was no doubt of that.
But they went away and asked God to take away His peace completely from them if His blessing was not on their intended marriage.
To their relief He didn’t.
As I listened to their story, I casually said to the Lord, “Jesus, if You don’t want me to go to Scottburgh after this camp, please take your peace away from me completely.”
I forgot all about this prayer until the evening meeting.
During the worship I began to feel awful. Desolate. A couple of tears began to roll down my face. I was sitting at the back, fortunately, so I hoped that no one could see me. Just to make sure, I put my hand over my face.
But someone did.
I felt an arm round my shoulder.
It was the morning speaker.
I began to realise that it was an answer to my casual prayer that morning. He prayed with me, and God showed me where He wanted me to go instead.
Unbeknown to me, a couple of years later my fiancée used a similar form of guidance and laid our relationship totally on the altar.
There was a teaching tape that she was keen for me to listen to. But in spite of her asking me several times, I had not responded.
Finally she said to the Lord, “Jesus, if Your blessing is really on our relationship, get Michael to ask to listen to it. I’m never going to mention it again.”
Next time I fetched her, split seconds before she was about to close the front door, I casually said, “ That tape you wanted me to listen to, won’t you fetch it?”
Without saying a word, she went to fetch it.
Ten minutes later she told me what she had done. We were both so moved.