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The “Lucky Dip” Method

February 08, 2024
Dick Leggatt

How do you get your guidance?  What method do you use to hear from God? Do you depend upon the Bible for both specific and general direction for your life?

The days in which we live are perilous (2 Tim. 3:1), to say the least. It is imperative that you and I walk closely with Jesus and that we hear from Him—sometimes moment by moment—about how we are to proceed. There are many testimonies of how the Lord has guided His saints using the Scriptures—our essential source for daily direction.

Guidance does come from the Word—sometimes even by the “lucky dip” method.

Defining Our Terms

I want to begin this letter with a statement of repentance. I repent for being very uncharitable toward believers who have used what I call the “lucky dip” method.

What is that method, you may ask? It is a process some people use for guidance where the Bible is opened at random, the finger is arbitrarily placed on a verse, and that verse is then perceived to be the “word from the Lord” to guide them for that day.

As a serious student of the Word of God, my attitude toward this practice had been rather disdainful. “The Bible is to be studied—not used as a glorified fortune cookie.”

As true as that statement may be, here is a remarkable fact: the Lord can provide His direction through the Word in any way He chooses—even the “lucky dip” method.

Remarkable Examples

So, why am I repenting today? For two reasons. One is that I know of legitimate examples in the lives of many saints, including my father-in-law and mother-in-law, Don and Alice Basham. The Lord used this random method to bring His direction to them.

On one occasion, after Don had pastored a church in Canada for some years, he sensed that the Lord had a change in store for him. One morning, Don randomly opened his Bible and these words from Genesis 31:3 leapt off the page: “Then the LORD said to Jacob, ‘Return to the land of your fathers and to your family, and I will be with you.’”

Although Don, a brilliant teacher and a true biblical scholar, received most of his guidance from prayer, godly counsel, and intensive study of the Word, he took this passage as confirmation of the new direction he was sensing. As a result, he and Alice ultimately moved their family back to America to pastor a church in the States.

The other reason I am repenting is because just recently, the Lord used the same “random word” approach I had criticized—the “lucky dip” method—to speak to me.

Three Prophetic Promises

At the beginning of the year, I had been involved in a wonderful study about the healing of Naaman in 2 Kings 5. One morning during that study, I opened my Bible, intending to turn eventually to that location. But as my Bible fell open, a word caught my eye on the page to which I had randomly opened. That word was “rewarded,” and the section was Jeremiah 31:16–17, a great passage containing three prophetic words.

In this passage, the Lord Himself is speaking, and I trust His words will impact you as powerfully as they have affected me. “Thus says the LORD: ‘Refrain your voice from weeping and your eyes from tears; for your work shall be rewarded, says the LORD, and they shall come back from the land of the enemy. There is hope in your future, says the LORD, that your children shall come back to their own border.’”

Summarizing the promises in these verses, here are the three prophetic words:

1) Your work will be rewarded. 2) Your children will come back. 3) There is hope in your future. You may wish to claim any one of these words. Or maybe you will take all three of them—"free of charge,” as Derek would say—compliments of the “lucky dip” method.

God’s Good Work

I honestly don’t know whether Derek Prince ever used the “lucky dip” method to get his direction from the Lord. As anyone could attest, Derek was a serious Bible scholar who certainly received guidance from his vast knowledge of the Word of God. Without a doubt, intensive Bible study ought to be a primary source of guidance for us.

However, speaking of the “lucky dip” method, I have chosen an excerpt at random from Derek Prince’s vast archive of teaching. It is taken from his message, “How You May Sanctify Yourself.” As with so much of Derek’s teaching, it covers an array of topics that help you and me to grow in our walk with Jesus Christ. I trust it will encourage you.

In Ephesians 2:10 (KJV), the same truth is brought out. “For we [believers] are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.”
We are God’s creation. Dear, beloved friend, if you are a Christian, don’t criticize yourself. Don’t belittle yourself. Don’t talk all the time about what you can’t do and all your failures.
Do you know why? Because you are criticizing God’s workmanship. It says, “We are His workmanship.” Shall the things formed say to Him who formed them, “Why have You made me this way?” It’s not for the clay to tell the Potter what to do. He is the Potter. We are the clay.
He formed us the way He decided we ought to be because He had a purpose in view. “We are His workmanship created in Christ Jesus unto good works which God before ordained.” The meaning of that phrase is “before the foundation of the world,” God ordained the work—the good work that you and I were to walk in. We don’t have to decide what we are to be doing. We have to find out what God has chosen us to do.

The Help We Need

The entire thrust of what we have been discussing in this letter is finding and fulfilling the will of God for our lives. Whether we find that godly purpose through intensive prayer and Bible study, or we happen upon it using the “lucky dip” method mentioned in this letter, our goal is to find it and fulfill it. Let’s ask for God’s help in this!

Dear Lord, I want to open myself to You and Your guidance for every step of my life. Whatever means You wish to use to communicate that direction to me is fine with me. Please open my eyes to receive it.

Lord, if I have unwittingly rejected any of Your messages in the past, I ask for forgiveness now. Help me to be wise in this matter, not accepting every whim or suggestion as Your word for me. At the same time, I tear down any barriers I may have erected to hearing from You. Help me in this process, Lord, so I can hear Your voice and do Your will. Amen.

The Best Prayer Possible

What better prayer could you and I place before the Lord? We have told Him that we are fully committed to following Him and His will for our lives. Our goal here at Derek Prince Ministries is to support you in that goal in any way we can.

Please feel free to access the help we are glad to supply. If you wish, you could begin by downloading your own free copy of the message from which Derek’s quote was taken, “How You May Sanctify Yourself.” It contains a lot of encouraging teaching.

Providing these kinds of resources is a great joy for us. It is also an opportunity for us to send a tangible “thank you” for your prayers and support. We are grateful to you.

Heaven Help Us

As I close this letter, I am thinking of a funny story often shared by Ern Baxter, our dear, departed friend, preacher, and Bible teacher. This anecdote could be placed in the category of the “lucky dip” method gone wrong. (We do have to be discerning.)

Ern had a wonderful little resource he would use every morning called a promise box. It contained Scripture passages intended to bring direction for the day. Every morning as he left his house, Ern would reach up to the promise box on his refrigerator and pull out one of the cards containing a passage from the Bible—which Ern took as the word from the Lord to guide him and inspire him throughout the day.

All went very well for many months until one morning, the promise Ern plucked out of the box was this passage from Psalm 50:22: “Now consider this, you who forget God, lest I tear you in pieces, and there be none to deliver.” Ern’s reaction to this particular message? “That ended my use of the promise box for daily inspiration.”

The priority of discovering God’s direction for our lives is no simple matter. But we can trust the Lord to faithfully help us. He will find a way to relay His guidance to us, sometimes even using unorthodox ways—such as the “lucky dip” method.

All the best,

Dick Leggatt
President, DPM–USA

How You May Sanctify Yourself

Be encouraged and inspired with this Bible-based sermon by Derek Prince.

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