"For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. And this will be the sign to you: You will find a Babe wrapped in swaddling cloths, lying in a manger." (Luke 2:11,12 NKJV)
Shortly after my husband and I bought the house that would become our newlywed home, we discovered a plate in the sidewalk bearing the letter "S"—the first letter of the last name of the previous owner. Since we were on our way to becoming Mr. and Mrs. Spencer, we joked that it was a sign the house was right for us.
Sometimes, though, I have not been joking when I've asked God for a sign that something is right or that something is His will or that I should go one way or the other, make one choice over another.
God does not owe us any new signs. In one, magnificent Sign, God answered every question, settled every doubt, cleared up all confusion. Of course, just reading that sentence, you, like I, might be thinking, "Really? Because I've still got plenty of questions, doubts, and confusion." We would like more signs...new signs. This, though, is where faith stands in the gap. Faith trusts God in the storm before the calm, in the night before the morning, in the famine before the feast.
Still, in His generous grace, God desires to confirm Himself and His will to us. When we are standing at a crossroads or trying to decide between Door #1 and Door #2 or a "yes" or a "no," we can still look for a sign to help us discern which road, door, or answer is right for that particular season given the light we have to walk in at the time.
S ~ Does it sync with Scripture? God will never lead us away from His Word, so any "guidance" I think I'm seeing that takes me in that direction is a "road closed" sign.
I ~ Does it promote intimacy with God? I once heard a Bible study teacher say that if something will cause me to trust more in God, it's probably not from the enemy, because that's exactly what he doesn't want. The reverse seems true, too.
G ~ Does it make use of the gifts God has given me? God doesn't give us spiritual gifts just so we can leave them wrapped or stash them in the closet.
N ~ Does it glorify His name? If something I'm thinking of going ahead with will make God's name more known or cause people to see Him for who He really is, there's probably at least a "proceed with caution" sign attached to it.
And above all else, if the sign I think I'm seeing leads me to the Babe in the manger who is now my Savior, I hope I'll follow the shepherds' lead and hurry toward Him.