Down through the history of mankind people have devised all sorts of ways to seek divine guidance for the living of life.
One method used in pagan religious rituals was called the “quiver of the liver.” They cut open an animal and took out the liver. They believed the motion of the animal’s organ would direct them in discovering the mind of the gods. Today we no longer believe in the mystical powers of the stomach, however, the language is still used when you hear people say, “I had a gut feeling,” or “I felt it in my gut.”
Other people in ancient times consulted the stars. Astrology was used by the “wise men” who followed a star to reach Bethlehem. Astrology was studied by philosophers of old to try to determine the origin of the universe. The signs of the Zodiac were widely used during the Hellenistic-Roman era to find the mind of the gods. These signs of the Zodiac are still being used today.
Others in ancient Greece and Rome consulted oracles. Priests and priestesses were believed to have divine ability to know the mind of the gods and predict the future. Oracles were thought to be portals through which the gods spoke directly to people. In Tibet, oracles have played, and continue to play, an important part in religion and government. They are considered a form of divination.
Divination was a consuming passion of pagan religious practice, and was strictly forbidden by God. In Deuteronomy 18:10-12 we read:
“There shall not be found among you anyone who makes his son or daughter pass through the fire, or one who practices witchcraft, or a soothsayer, or one who interprets omens, or a sorcerer, or one who conjures spells, or a medium, or a spiritist, or one who calls up the dead. For all who do these things are an abomination to the Lord, and because of these abominations the Lord your God drives them out from before you.” (NKJV)
These verses leave no doubt as to God’s will concerning divination; yet modern day followers of Christ still engage New Age “channelers,” consult Ouija boards and tarot cards, and play innocent looking games such as Witches’ Brew and Dragons and Dungeons. These methods are dangerously close to divination and fall under God’s condemnation.
Other well-meaning Christians play “biblical roulette” to seek God’s direction. They let their fingers walk through the Bible in hopes that a verse will pop out at them indicating God’s direction and will. Have you ever heard a person who was seeking God’s will say, “I was leafing through the Bible and a verse suddenly stood out to me.”
Still others flip open their Bible and with their eyes closed put their finger on a verse and believe that’s God’s will for them.
None of these methods of determining the mind of God on a particular matter are approved of by God. Has God provided a means for you and me to use in determining His will and making good decisions? The answer is a resounding YES! We will consider some guidelines in the following devotions.