With God's Guidance

Monday, January 20, 2014
Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "Softly And Tenderly Jesus Is Calling"1 (Lyrics)

Genesis 12:1 – Now the Lord had said to Abram: "Get out of your country, from your family and from your father's house, to a land that I will show you." (NKJV)

There are many such places in the Bible where God speaks to people directly, or through an angel, or by way of the Holy Spirit. But not all of us get such clear instructions. Let me explain.

In December of 1966, the company that I worked for was awarded a big pipeline project in Austria. We were going to do the design in an office building in Vienna, and I was asked to be the project accountant. I had just returned from two four-month single-status assignments in the Sultanate of Muscat and Oman, while my wife and three little children lived in Holland. I had made up my mind that I was not going to go single-status anywhere any more. However, a long-term project in Vienna sounded good; but then, I was told that I could not bring the family (yet).

So on January 9th, 1967, I left the family again. After some time in Vienna, we were told that in the not-too-distant future, we would be able to bring them. So my colleagues and I started looking for places to live in that city of three million people. It had to be a house that we could afford, which would accommodate five people, near the American or English School bus stop, and close to a subway station — hard to find. We even contemplated resigning and returning to North America. But then, things started to fall into place.

I found a house, and work started in earnest. On the first of March, the family came. My wife found her way around, locating a grocery store, a doctor, a dentist, and a hair dresser. The older children were enrolled in the English-speaking school system and the little girl in an Austrian kindergarten, and we started to attend the Vienna Community Church.

We lived there for four years, and even though we went there reluctantly, those were four very rewarding years, personally, professionally, and spiritually. Even though we had gone to church all our lives, we got deeply involved in the work of the church there; we all learned another language; we enjoyed going to operas and operettas; we became friends with some professional singers at the church; and we made some good friends, both at work and at the church.

And looking back, it was the Lord guiding us to that place, although we sure did not know it at the time — but I can see that now.

There are many times in our lives when we make personal decisions. Sometimes, they are made for us, and it is only later when we see that it was God's guidance in our lives. As the psalmist wrote:

Psalm 121:5a,8 – The Lord is our keeper; the Lord shall preserve our going out and coming in from this time forth, and even forevermore. (NKJV, paraphrased)

Prayer: Our Father in heaven, there are so many times in our lives when we have to make decisions as to what to do and where to go, and we pray that we would always seek Your will in our lives. Even when we don't clearly hear Your voice at the time, may we later discover that You were indeed leading us. We thank You in Jesus' name. Amen.

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About the author:

Joel Jongkind <austria67@bmts.com>
Meaford, Ontario, Canada

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1 Comment

  • PresbyCan Feedback says:

    Wonderful story and application Joel.

    Thank you for this excellent devotional Joel.

    How true is your prayer and experience. It matches my experience also.

    Thanks for sharing Joel and the much needed reminder, blessings, and prayers.

    Always true!
    Good thought.

    Thank you Joel. I have felt this guidance so many times in my life and at 90 years of age can say, so many times, “Thank you dear Heavenly Father for leading me”. Blessings.

    Dear Joel,
    Today’s devotional was very encouraging and so true. Even when we aren’t aware, if we belong to Him, God is leading us.

    Good morning Joel. Thank you for sharing your experience. We too have had corporate moves, and though difficult at the time, they were all part of God’s plan for our lives. We, like you, have seen this in retrospect.
    Thank you for your inspirational devotionals. They are appreciated!

    Good Morning Joel,
    Thanks again for a wonderful devotional this morning. I have passed it on to my kids who are going through transitions in their lives. God always supplies all we need when we need it though His timing is often very different than ours.
    May God continue to bless you as you serve Him.

    Thanks, Joel, for this morning’s devotional. Our experience was just the opposite in that we were to go to Venezuela (LONG TIME AGO). Instead my husband was in and out of that country many times. As things stood, what developed worked well for us and our involvement in our hometown community and church. We just need to look for God’s guidance, don’t we?

    I have experienced what you did over the past four months. My husband and I changed churches after many years. We went though a time of hurt, broken communication, etc. Now I can look back on life as a born again Christian and see the hand of God leading us in His love. His directions are so clear sometime as it says in Ephesians deserving death and destruction but receive Grace upon Grace.

    Dear Joel,
    Your devotional reminded me of Psalm 121:7,8: “… the Lord will watch over your coming and going both now and forevermore.”
    I love to hear these verses used as a benediction at the close of church services. But benedictions seem to have gone out of style in our church. I’d love to hear them again.
    Thank you. And may you and yours always take the way of our Lord, guided by the Lord himself.
    Keep writing.

    Dear Joel;
    You are so right. I remember packing up my young daughter, hopping the bus and heading up to my parents place. My husband and I were living with his father which did not work out. I had to make a decision and that was it. To make a long story short: we converted our cottage into a permanent residence and have never regretted it since. That place is sold now and we are living with my mother in a beautiful house (with a granny apartment) overlooking a bay. To think back, I don’t think that I would have become involved in our church and so on.

    Dear Joel,
    Thank you once again for sharing. Your ministry is always such an inspiration to me. Thank you for this awesome prayer. It is always so good to be reassured of how amazing the dear Lord works. May God bless you always. Peace be with you.

    Good word today Joel,

    Yes Joel it is wonderful how God leads us in spite of our sometimes dull minds.
    Good word brother!
    Praise God for his ever present help!

    Good Morning on a very crisp morning here.
    Thank you for your “guiding” Devotional. It immediately reminded me of one of my favourite hymns: ‘Guide me, Oh Thou great Jehovah’. I imagine that I will be humming it much to-day.

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