Does God actually play a tangible intervention/ guidance role in our lives.., like bringing things to pass, arranging circumstances and situations etc?
I have no doubt God is behind everything having to do with my life. Of course, that might mean something totally different than what you're asking, as its meaning has indeed changed for me in view of the overwhelming reality of Christ.
I suspect our view of God's operations is tied to a desperate need to believe that we actually matter in the grand scheme of things. Do we matter? Do we have any real value and uniqueness? Or are we just part of the purposeless mass of humanity? I think we're desperately hoping to convince ourselves that we do matter because deep down inside we have always feared we don't. After all, it's pretty easy to find many who will gladly validate our inferiority. It's a universal struggle that reveals itself in every imaginable relationship.
So, if I am fighting against my own internal sense of inferiority I must establish an alternate framework - or perception - by which I might view myself differently. Yeah, I could cite you a few examples from my own life, though I'm sure you have enough of your own to recognize what I'm talking about, huh? :) My view of "Divine guidance" will be significantly formed upon the outworking of events and circumstances AS I SEE THEM in connection with myself ... whether or not there is any real connection.
Once again, my observations are NOT suggestions that God does not intervene in amazing ways, but that our desperation may be forcing circumstances to validate our divine usefulness. For there is a world of difference between God's orchestration and someone's perceived need to figure out what's behind that orchestration.
Also consider that since God is for us then all things are for us, even those that seem to be against us. If we are seeing Christ we might see him in everything simply because we inwardly know that he is our life, even if the particular circumstances are unrelated to what we think.
Anyways I guess the reason I asked it in the first place was (and I know your views on prayer-which I love) that over the last 6 months there have been about 3 times that I can nail down that I have specifically prayed to God about something and its happened in the most prompt and tangible way. I want to think woo hoo Gods listning and makin it happen and playing a tangible part in my life but my cynical side says...that was always gonna happen...it was just conincidence you prayed for it just before that... Know what I mean??...does yr answer still apply? : )
Ah yes, the cynical side! :)
If you saw The Matrix you'll remember the scene where the Oracle tells Neo not to worry about the vase. As Neo says, "What vase?", he knocks it over and immediately apologizes. The Oracle says, "I told you not to worry about it.", then she adds, "What's really gonna bake your noodle later on is would you have broken the vase if I hadn't said anything." Hahaha! The whole attempt at trying to reason the intervention of God is rather futile. Christ himself is our confidence.
What if God's workings, especially in responding to our requests, turn out to be pure simplicity that is only complicated by our ridiculous attempts to figure out the eternal according to the temporal? What if God is really never taken by surprise?
I had a situation happen to me years ago where I told everybody I was sure God had a place available for us to move into about 20 minutes to the south of us. My wife asked me a few times how I knew, and I said, "I just know". The time came and the place I had found during the whole ordeal was not going to be ready, so we were left high and dry. All our belongings were packed away in a U-Haul, and we had to stay with my dad instead of moving in. The next day the place was made available, and we "miraculously" moved in. Shortly after, when a friend at the church we were going to asked me how I knew God's leading I just said, "God". Of course, the insinuation was that I somehow had found that miraculous place of faith.
Maybe God didn't tell me anything ... at least in the way I was assuming he would. But maybe God did indeed respond to our requests. Funny thing is that when more of the story is told it sounds less like the miraculous leading I desired it to be and more like an interconnected set of twists and turns and trials and doubts and desperation and fears ... and very assuredly, faith. It just so happens that when I was contacting the landlord it became known that I was looking for God's leading in this thing, and it turns out the guy was a believer who did everything he could to make this happen ... even letting us in before they were totally finished (the AC wouldn't get installed for at least a week).
Do I discount God's involvement because of all these less than perfect leading scenarios? Not at all. The truth is that so much of what I had previously assumed and perceived just doesn't matter, for despite all the inconsistencies and discrepancies Christ was working mightily in me! I do know that I was coming to see more and more of the freedom and grace of Christ because of my struggles through it all. The reality that faith didn't need any validation came through a desire to find some.