Is It Coincidence or Is It God?

How many of you have had an experience happen where you internally ask the question, 

"Was that a sign from God, or was it a coincidence?"

I've heard opinions of all sorts... There are no coincidences. We miss God's signals without realizing it. We are making something into a 'God moment' that was merely made up in our head. Everything is a God moment. 

It can be confusing.

I've also learned people will commonly project their own experiential lens onto others, especially when it comes to how God interacts with us. For instance, I know quite a few women who have been hurt by men and therefore conclude God does not speak in their love lives, or anyone else's. If you engage in conversation about this topic, someone with pain from a bad experience may tell you God leaves it solely up to us to figure out our dating life because we have a free will, and He allows us to make that choice.

I was this person. I don't think this is wrong, per say. However, it's with a lens of brokenness where this view may grow in a person's mind. There are other really important elements missing from this statement. 

About 6 years ago, I remember being the number one advocate for God speaking into our love lives, telling everyone that it's stupid for us to leave him out. I 'trusted God' with a certain someone and ended up with a broken heart and confused theology of God and marriage. I bring up this topic because I think it's something that causes a lot of pre-conceived notions about who God is and why things happen to us. A lot of people seem to have similar experiences and it's important for us to learn from each other and tackle this topic wholeheartedly. 

In having that experience, I began asking a lot of questions and sure enough found that my new theory from a broken past was more like lies mixed in with the truth.

I swung to the other side, leaving Him entirely out of my dating life because when I had put my faith in God, it hadn't worked out. I justified it by concluding it's not up to God at all, but solely based on people's choices. I battled a lot in my heart about this. 

God can handle our doubt. He can handle our confusion. He is an expert at showing us the truth. In my pain, I found how He loves to communicate to us about all things, especially marriage and relationships. 

Love is a choice. We are all given this choice every day. But to exclude God from our relationships, marriages, and love lives is to exclude the very creator of love. He adores communicating with us, He speaks to us in many unique and personal ways, and He has a lot to say about relationships. I think there is one inherent truth we learn when we take a risk in this area, and that is

God is far more concerned with us deeply knowing who He is rather than us knowing all the answers. 

The way we grow in our friendships and marriages is time - we spend time with people. The more time you spend with someone, the more you get to know them and that relationship flourishes.

It's the same way with God.

God has love languages and these languages mimic our day to day relationships. We are made in His image so surely we are made to love like him. 

The more time we spend with God, the more we understand and learn that He is not a far off spirit whom we have limited access with. We are able to know Him deeply and intimately. When we know about who He is and His ways, we learn the deepest secrets of what it means to love. We then learn the way He speaks in relationships - be it friendships, dating, marriage, family etc.

It is us learning to love with His lens and not our broken one. 

Back to my original question. How do we know when things are mere coincidence, or when they are a 'God moment' regarding what we are asking him about? 

The closer you are to God, the more you know how He personally speaks to you and the more you will inherently know the answers you are looking for.

Some people experience God through creation - nature. They hear and see God move in mysterious ways when they are surrounded by nature. Other people will get pictures in there mind, a type of vision, and recognize that it's an impression from God. They are often creative people.

For me, it's all about words. Words in my head, words that stick out when I meet someone, words I see around me, be it street signs, words on a truck, words on paper etc. Sometimes it's hard for me to hear God unless I write things down - makes sense considering I love writing! 

Ultimately, you know when something is a 'God moment' when you know who God is and take that exciting journey of learning how He talks to you. The Creator of the universe made you uniquely and the more you figure out your special gifts and talents, you will begin to hear Him and the secrets He wants to reveal to you. It's mezmerizing, and it's a lot more than we think. 

There are other ways of discerning His voice in your life, including in romantic relationships. I'll go more into this next week. I look forward to hearing from you! I would love to know your thoughts about this and I'm sure our community would too! Don't be afraid to share your experience or questions with us in the comments, or email us at writeus@thedtrblog.com. 

As we experience this love, there is a temptation at times to become hostile to our earlier understandings, feeling embarrassed that we were so “simple” or “naive,” or “brainwashed” or whatever terms arise when we haven’t come to terms with our own story. These past understandings aren’t to be denied or dismissed; they’re to be embraced. Those experiences belong. Love demands that they belong. That’s where we were at that point in our life and God met us there. Those moments were necessary for us to arrive here, at this place at this time, as we are. Love frees us to embrace all of our history, the history in which all things are being made new.
— Rob Bell, Love Wins