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What is a divine appointment?

divine appointment

When someone speaks of a divine appointment, he or she is likely referring to an extraordinary event in a believer’s life or a significant spiritual encounter with another person. The timing, purpose, and outcome of the experience seem to be orchestrated by God rather than simply random chance or coincidence.

Some might call a divine appointment a “God moment.” These seemingly uncommon occurrences are often major milestones or turning points in our walk of faith as we grow in knowledge, understanding, wisdom, discernment, and in our ability to minister to others. The encounters may leave us with a strong conviction that we are doing the “good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do” (Ephesians 2:10). In Acts 8:26–40, Philip experiences an undeniable divine appointment when an angel of the Lord sends him to share the gospel with an Ethiopian eunuch who just happens to be reading Isaiah’s prophecy about the coming Messiah.

Another obvious divine appointment occurs in Acts 10. The Lord makes it clear to Peter and Cornelius in advance through separate revelations that they are to be key players in a momentous encounter in which God pours out the gift of the Holy Spirit on Gentile believers for the first time. More often, however, with divine appointments, the reality and significance of the event are not recognized until afterward.

In Acts 12:6–11, Peter suddenly realizes that his dream of escaping from prison has, in reality, just happened (Acts 12:11). Frequently, hours, days, and sometimes even years go by before we finally grasp in amazement that God has been working in our past, delivering us from evil through various divine appointments. In Joseph’s experience, a good portion of his life had passed before he fully comprehended that his brothers’ betrayal and selling him into slavery had been a divine appointment: “You intended to harm me, but God intended it all for good. He brought me to this position so I could save the lives of many people” (Genesis 50:20, NLT).

God is always working to bring about His sovereign purposes in our lives: “And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them. For God knew his people in advance, and he chose them to become like his Son. . . . And having chosen them, he called them to come to him” (Romans 8:28–30, NLT). The Lord is ever close to us (Jeremiah 23:23; Psalm 139:7–12), continually advancing our life’s assigned mission in countless divine appointments, whether we sense them or not (Philippians 2:13; Ephesians 1:11).

We must avoid becoming overly preoccupied with dramatic divine appointments, looking for them at every turn. Our sinful nature may be tempted to seek signs and confirmations from people who make us feel especially loved by God and significant in His kingdom. Plenty of charlatans and even heretics will say whatever our “itching ears want to hear,” but it won’t be the truth (2 Timothy 4:3–4). A healthy spiritual focus is grounded in God’s Word and guided by His truth. If we only pursue sensational and miraculous moments, we will miss the far more important fact of God’s constant, daily care and intervention on our behalf through the intercession of His Son and Holy Spirit (Romans 8:26–27, 34; Hebrews 7:25). We are better off letting God bring these experiences to our attention in His perfect time as He sees fit. We can’t force them; we can only trust God’s sovereign plan and respond according to His will.

Like Joseph passing through his difficult ordeal, we may not always detect God’s behind-the-scenes activity in our lives. But all Christians can be sure that, in every moment of every day, God is working “out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will” (Ephesians 1:11). God’s purpose for every believer is sanctification—a lifelong process of being transformed into the image and character of Jesus Christ (see Romans 8:29; 15:16; Ephesians 1:4–11; John 17:17; 2 Corinthians 3:18).

The most crucial divine appointment of our lives is that glorious day we encounter Jesus Christ. It is the moment when we respond to God’s voice calling us to come to Him, repent of our sins, and be saved (John 6:44; Hebrews 3:8). Like the woman who encounters Jesus at the well, we surrender our lives to Him and drink from God’s eternal fountain of living water (John 4:7–38). From then on, we abide in Jesus, remaining in Him and bearing much fruit (John 15:5). Every day and every moment in our relationship with Jesus is a divine appointment (Psalm 118:24), all of it leading to the culminating moment when we stand before God’s throne in His eternal kingdom and worship Him forever (Revelation 20:11–13; 21:3–4; Revelation 22:3–5).

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This page last updated: February 28, 2024