Which internship should I take? I had just been offered an opportunity, but was waiting to hear back on a different position that I wanted more. They say a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush, so I leaned toward taking the offered job, but wasn’t sure. My school required an internship to graduate, and I only had one day to decide because I was leaving for study abroad the next morning and needed to line everything up beforehand.
I asked my mom what to do, and we prayed together. She then got the idea to write the names of the internships on strips of paper and pull them out of a hat. Two out of three would decide the job for me. I pulled the same place that had already offered me a position the first two times, and didn’t look back. I had peace, and the internship worked well.
Later, I saw that my decision-making process was the Biblical equivalent of casting lots. Proverbs 16:33, “The lot is cast into the lap, but its every decision is from the Lord” (NKJV). During the Old Testament, the Holy Spirit only inhabited a few people every once in a while. When the leaders needed to make decisions, they often cast lots. One example is when Joshua divided up the promised land allotments for the children of Israel (Joshua 18:6-10). In 1 Chronicles 24, the priests and Levites decided the order in which they would serve in the temple by casting lots. Nehemiah cast lots for which people would live in Jerusalem and who would live in the surrounding regions (Nehemiah 11:1).
Looking at these examples, I noticed they were all in the Old Testament. The one New Testament example I found was Acts 1:26 when the disciples cast lots to decide which disciple should replace Judas Iscariot. Every time people cast lots in the Bible was before the Holy Spirit arrived as a mighty rushing wind in Acts 2:2.
On the night before He died, Jesus told His disciples of the coming Holy Spirit. John 16:13 says, “However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come” (NKJV). Under the new covenant, we as believers all receive the indwelling Holy Spirit. The Spirit does not come and go, but abides in us and guides us in all truth. The Holy Spirit listens to the Father and shares His heart with us so we may have heavenly wisdom. He is our primary source of guidance.
Was I wrong to cast lots to decide on where to do my internship? I don’t think so. We didn’t cast lots as a first resort. My mom had the idea after we prayed together. Nonetheless, I haven’t made any major life decisions using that method since then. God can use whatever He wants to guide my steps (Proverbs 16:9). The main thing is to seek out the Holy Spirit’s guidance for what He wants. He will never direct me in a way that does not align with Biblical truth.
Sometimes, we may have two good opportunities, and God just lets us decide. The beauty of God is that when we seek Him with all of our hearts, He will be found by us (Jeremiah 29:14). If we strive to obey God, He won’t drop us on our heads. Even when we abandon the goodness of
God and pursue our own desires, we can’t escape God. We can never go so far that we can flee from His notice (Psalm 139:7-12). When we repent, He will pull us back to His side, and is bigger than all of our bad decisions. May we seek the Lord’s direction and allow Him to show us how to make decisions as the Spirit chooses. He won’t lead us astray, but will guide us day by day.
Joanna Eccles has led Bible studies for over ten years and completed the year-long C. S. Lewis Fellows Program. She is passionate about discipleship and helping people know God better. Joanna enjoys coffee, traveling, and reading, and currently lives in Virginia.