Thursday, May 22, 2008

Decision making and the will of God (part 4)

One of the great blessings of modern life is the abundance of choices we have at our fingertips (or better yet our taste buds). Sonic Drive-In boasts 168,894 drink possibilities on their menu. If you tried just one combination per day it would take you over 500 years to try them all. It’s easy to see how this “blessing” of modern life can also feel like a curse. The sheer number of possibilities overwhelms us. We become stressed over what is the right choice and whether or not we’ll miss out on something good if we make the wrong choice. For Christians, we often add the stress of worrying about not just making a poor choice, but in that poor choice missing God’s will for our lives. It’s enough to cause us all to long for simpler days.

But even simpler days included tough choices. The question we’ve been addressing over the last few weeks is how do we know God’s will as we attempt to make those choices? We started remembering that God loves us and is not out to get us. Then we remembered that in many decisions God has already told us what his will is in the Bible (ie. we shouldn't murder, we should be kind to others, we should consistently worship with other believers, etc.). We also noted that sometimes, but only sometimes, God will make his will known in unmistakable ways (ie. burning bushes, angelic messengers, etc.).

But what about when he doesn’t? That really is the question we’ve been getting to all along. What do we do when faced with two (or more) choices for which there is no clear guidance in the Bible and no direct word from God? For example, suppose a college student is trying to pick a major. She’s narrowed it down to biology or accounting. She’s searched the Bible, there’s no prohibition (or encouragement) towards either profession. She’s prayed, consulted godly counsel, waited . . . but no miraculous word from above, not even a nudge. What next?

Here’s where I’m going to sound pretty unspiritual, but hang with me. My advice to this young lady – do what you want. Look, God made you. He made your likes and your dislikes. Made you with talents and gifts and then in his grace gave you the freedom to go and be you. So part of decision making and the will of God is that sometimes, after we’ve sought the guidance of scripture and listened to the Spirit’s leading, we just need to do what we want, trusting that God’s will had a hand in shaping those desires. It’s what the Psalmist was getting at when he said, “Delight yourself in the Lord and he will give you the desires of your heart” (Psalm 37:4). Sometimes the most spiritual thing we can do is to do what we want, so long as we make that decision within the guidelines God set forth in the scriptures and carry the decision out to His glory.

May God set you free today to do just that.

Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men – Colossians 3:23.

1 comment:

Debbie Mendrop said...

Taylor, I like your new layout. You look so outdoorsy. I am enjoying your words about Godly decision making. You always give me things to think on and remind me of things I need to remember. I look forward to reading your thoughts every week. Thanks!