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Casting lots

Acts 1:26-

  “And they cast their lots, and the lot fell on Matthias. And he was numbered with the eleven apostles.”

    Just after Jesus ascended, the disciples were waiting on the outpouring of the Holy Spirit on all flesh. They knew that there had to be 12 apostles so they decided to ask God who the 12th would be who would take Judas’ place. Up to this point, a very common practice was to “cast lots.” This was basically the same thing as drawing straws. The problem with this exercise is that first, the pagans practiced it too.. as we saw in John 19:24 when the soldiers “cast lots” for Jesus clothing. Because this was a pagan ritual, the demons and the wicked one answered the “lot casting” very often. And because up until Jesus ascended and took His blood to the mercy seat no one was spiritually alive those who had been deceived in their lot casting would not be able to know the difference. 

    For these reasons, God no longer wants us to have to “cast lots” in order to receive direction from Him. Instead, He has poured out the Holy Spirit which will live on the inside of us and guide us from there if we are willing. Most people do not “cast lots” anymore in the way it was done in the time of Jesus, but they still do cast lots as it were. They will place parameters on answered prayers- especially for guidance. For instance, as an example, people will say things like, “Lord, if you want me to marry so and so, let them ask me tonight on our date” or “Lord where do you want me to live?- Here or Here- show me by letting me get an interview in whichever town you choose” Both of these situations require outside circumstances to manifest in order to “point the way” in the same way that actually casting lots does. However, just as in the practice of casting lots, the wicked one can orchestrate circumstances that appear to be from God. Then once you move on those circumstances “lining up” they will crumble, and you will have an aversion to seeking God’s advice in the future. It is therefore much safer and more reliable to receive the indwelling of the Holy Spirit- by being baptized with the Holy Spirit that you might have an internal witness and peace to direct your path. 

    The fact that the disciples cast lots here in Acts 1:26 verifies that they were not yet baptized with the Holy Spirit but merely saved and were therefore in a dangerous position. They had already gone out and performed miracles in Jesus’ name before His crucifixion but notice that now He didn’t want them doing anything without the person, power, and presence of the Holy Spirit manifesting in their lives. They wouldn’t have been able to discern good and evil correctly, nor would they have had the dynamos power they needed to manifest the love of God had they gone out and preached without being baptized with the Holy Spirit. 

    Let this be a lesson in discernment to you…. if you want to truly hear God’s voice, direction and wisdom, His best is that you are baptized with the Holy Spirit of the living God and you hear Him and are guided by Him internally. 

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