The First Step Is Always The Biggest

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

As a pastor I am often asked, "When making decisions, how do you know for sure if you are hearing God's voice or not?" It is a legitimate question and an important one. Life is full of hard decisions and no one wants to walk down the wrong path or step carelessly in the wrong direction. One of the most difficult parts of the process of decision making is that of discerning God's will in those decisions. There are two main things to consider when making major decisions.

First, God rarely spells out all the details. I wish I could tell you that as a follower of Christ, God will provide you with a written out plan complete with directions and details. That just isn't the case. God can and sometimes does do this but it is extremely rare. There are a couple of reasons why I believe he doesn't do this. First, if we knew all of the details of what lay ahead, we might turn around and run the other way. I am thankful that he didn't clue me in on everything I would face in life. I wouldn't have been able to handle that knowledge so God was gracious and only revealed what I needed to know at the time. Second, if God spelled it all out ahead of time I wouldn't have any reason to rely on him for the details of my life.

The second area to consider when making major decisions is that there isn't always only one right decision in every situation. Yes, there are times when there is clearly only one right way to do something and it is critical that we make the right choice. But most of the time I believe he leaves a lot of the details up to us. This is a principle found throughout scripture. In Joshua chapter one we read that Moses has just died and Joshua is now the leader of the Israelites as they are now getting ready to enter the Promised Land. In verse three God tells Joshua, "I will give you every place where you set your foot, as I promised Moses." And in Matthew 16:19 Jesus tells his disciples, "I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.” In reality God is wanting us to take the bull by the horns, so to speak, and go for it! You decide where you're going and he will back you up. Of course this isn't a blanket permission to do whatever we please with our lives. The key is that the life we live is not ours, but his. We are just stewards of the life he has given us. But the point is he has given us authority and he expects us to use it. Just make sure it is is accordance with the purposes of his kingdom.

As you face major decisions in life and you are struggling to hear a clear direction from the Lord, perhaps the lack of clarity isn't an indication that you're missing something. Perhaps it's God's way of letting you know that he wants you to set your foot and then he will give it to you. This opens us up to getting us off track or abusing such a big responsibility, yes, but God is big enough that if we do get off track, he will graciously and gently nudge us back in the right direction. So, go ahead and take that first step. He's waiting on you.

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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

What an interesting subject. My own understanding is that the optimal approach is for the LORD to guide us. He is our Matchmaker. He guides us to the woman most suited to be our wife. He is the LORD who draws us to Christ and He is the LORD who remains our Teacher and guides us day by day in our chosen career.

Yes, as David says if we do get off track, He will graciously and gently nudge us back in the right direction. And the right direction is always being Christ-focused. So, go ahead precious readers and take that first important step. Be very encouraged for He's eager to accompany you on a meaningful, shared, new, exciting and rewarding adventure!

May Our great Lord continue to bless David body, soul and spirit to His glory!


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