Tidbits and Blessings Blog
by Jeanie Malone
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We all have divine appointments, whether we recognize them or not. I have briefly met a stranger in a public place, sometimes to chat briefly and end up holding hands and praying, and at other times, only our eyes met, and I was overcome with a heavenly chill and firm confirmation from God this person was praying for me.
These people have come and gone, often nameless to me, but certainly not unimportant. Sometimes the divine appointment is as an anonymous kind deed. Sometimes it’s an event where you are especially moved by a speaker. God loves us so much and shows up in so many ways to show us that He cares.
Recently, my husband and I attended a Christmas party with his former coworkers from a company that shut down a couple of years prior. A kind, small-framed, elderly man came and hugged me and took my hand and asked me by name how I was doing. I didn’t recognize this man but after learning his name quickly knew he was the prayer warrior praying specifically for me and my daughter when he worked with my husband.
I knew at that moment, his prayers for us had continued without pause, even without knowing any results of his prayers. Instantly, my mind went back to the toughest couple of years of my life when I felt that I was at the bottom of such a deep pit I could barely see light above.
I knew this man’s prayers were part of God’s plan to keep me holding on when I could do nothing more.
Just today a sister in Christ purse dialed me. When I called her back, she apologized but desperately needed a moment of stillness in prayer, so we prayed together. This was no accident her phone dialed me. It was a divine appointment and invitation to pray for her and with her.
With the account of Onesimus in the Bible, we could talk about the value of new beginnings or the significance of justice and equality, but we’re going to talk about the importance of divine appointments. Read about Onesimus in Philemon 1:1-25 and Colossians 4:9.
Onesimus was a slave to Philemon, who was a friend to the Apostle Paul. Philemon was a wealthy Christian leader who hosted house-church gatherings. Onesimus stole from him and hit the road to Rome. It was no coincidence that at the same time, Paul was under house arrest in Rome for preaching the gospel. Onesimus sought out Paul, the man whom he’d known to come preach at his master’s home in Colossae. Onesimus came to the saving grace of Jesus Christ and was a great help to Paul, so Paul sent Onesimus with Tychicus, along with a letter to the slave’s owner, imploring Philemon to forgive Onesimus and assuring him that Onesimus was living up to his name, which meant, “profitable, useful, helpful.”
Onesimus went from being a slave to being a thief and fugitive on the run to helping spread the gospel. God used unlikely circumstances to unite Paul and Onesimus and reunite Philemon with Onesimus later. Their meeting in Rome was certainly appointed by God for Onesimus to surrender his life to Christ, make honorable choices, and for him to be a help to Paul.
Another account of divine appointment is the account of Phillip and the Ethiopian eunuch. Read this account in Acts 8:26-40. Phillip obeyed the angel of the Lord when he was instructed to go a certain direction on a specific road. There he encountered a eunuch “of great authority under Candace, the queen of the Ethiopians” (Acts 8:27). The eunuch had come to Jerusalem to worship and was reading from the book of Isaiah when Phillip found him.
The eunuch was eager to understand what he was reading—what we have as Isaiah 53:7, “He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth: he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he openeth not his mouth.”
Phillip explained the prophecy. The eunuch believed. They traveled a way together before coming to a body of water where the eunuch requested to be baptized. His faith lacked nothing! He was so happy to now understand, accept, and live the truth.
God didn’t keep the two together for a long period of time; Acts 8:39-40 says immediately following the baptism, “when they were come up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord caught away Philip, that the eunuch saw him no more: and he went on his way rejoicing. But Philip was found at Azotus: and passing through he preached in all the cities, till he came to Caesarea.” God put the two together for a divine appointment to change the eunuch’s life.
Every life affects other lives in some way, good or bad. Getting to know Paul in Rome affected Onesimus, whose help affected Paul and his ministry. Phillip’s obedience affected the Ethiopian eunuch, and surely countless others were affected by the eunuch, a man of authority and importance.
Some divine appointments stand out in our minds. Others come and go in a fog but with no less power. Thank God for those divine appointments you remember and those of which you weren’t even aware. Ask God to help you tune in to Him so closely that you never miss an opportunity for a divine appointment where you bring the power of God to someone else’s life, knowing that God is using you to show His love for someone as He invites them to a deeper relationship with Himself.