Daily Devotional

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Casting Lots

And they cast lots…and the lot fell on Matthias; and Matthias was added to the eleven apostles.     Acts 1:26

The eleven apostles were making plans—casting dice and flipping coins—trying to decide among themselves who should be the twelfth apostle. They selected two men, Joseph and Matthias, as potential candidates. They prayed to God to show them which man was worthy of the position, and Matthias was chosen. On the other side of Jerusalem, a Roman Jew named Saul was at work persecuting Christ’s church. The apostles didn’t know it—and Saul didn’t know it—but God was already at work selecting Saul as the next apostle. Saul ultimately became the apostle Paul, the man most responsible for spreading the gospel throughout the Mediterranean world. Matthias, on the other hand, is never again mentioned in the Bible. 

Woody Allen is quoted as saying, “If you want to make God laugh, tell him your plans.” The eleven apostles had made plans, they’d cast lots, and they’d tried to forecast the future. All the time God was working ahead of them to produce the most miraculous results. That is the extraordinary thing about God. While we make plans, God makes progress. We cast lots, God changes lives. We envision the future, God creates the future. Sometimes it is best to hold off making plans long enough to see where God is already at work.

As you make your plans, have you considered what God might be planning for you?

Lord, thank you for working ahead of me. Help me to remember that you are always at work preparing situations, changing lives, and transforming communities. Continue to work in my life and in the world . . . and allow me to be attentive to it all. In Jesus’ name, I pray. AMEN.