Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Dealing With Decisions

When faced with tough decisions to be made, how do you deal with it? Do you seek the answers from friends and relatives? Do you allow confusion to fill your mind? Do you wring your hands in despair when the answer is slow in coming?

Decision making is a big part of successful living, and every right thinking person is concerned with making right decisions. Every day we are faced with this challenge and there are always various options to each decision we face. Two or more courses of action may seem to be right but we know we can only choose one and face the consequences. How can we know which one is right for us, regardless of whether it is right or wrong for someone else?

It takes wisdom and good judgment to make right decisions and that can only come by being in tune with the Spirit of God. When we are in tune with the Spirit of God, we have the Spirit of Wisdom dwelling within us to guide and direct us into the right paths for our highest benefit. Proverbs 3:5-6 tells us: “Trust in the Lord—lean not to your own understanding—in all your ways, acknowledge the Lord and He will direct your paths.” This message is vital, timeless and clear.

At 1 Samuel 30, the Scriptures tell us that David faced a traumatic situation at Ziklag when the Amalekites burned it and took the women captive. David was greatly distressed but in the midst of his sorrow, wisdom came shining through. He did not take matters into his own hands but sought direction from the Lord and he was specific.

At verse eight, David inquired of the Lord, saying: “Shall I pursue after this troop? Shall I overtake them?” And the Lord answered: “Pursue: for thou shalt surely overtake them, and without fail, recover all.” Here we see humility and a willingness to be directed. What can we glean from David’s attitude? We can glean the importance of going first to God in all our affairs, seeking His guidance and direction in all things, great and small, and allowing Him as the Divine Director. But we can only do this successfully when we live in covenant relationship with God as David did.

As we walk in attunement with the Spirit of God within us He envelops our thinking and feeling and brings them in accordance with whatever is highest and best for us. And it is always right. The quality and depth of our attunement with God determines the quality of our ability to act out our parts on the stage of life.

God guides and directs us only when we willingly let go our concerns to Him in deep trust, but only after we have sought His guidance and direction. Psalm 46, verse 10 says: “Be still, and know that I am God.” The word “still” in the Hebrew in that text means, to “let go” or “cause to fall.” When we need God's direction in our affairs we are to become “still,” meaning we are to let go our problems to Him. In other words, we are to allow Him to direct our paths.

One of humanity’s main problems in trusting God is that we somehow think that God does not know our needs and far less knows how to fulfill them; isn't that foolish on our part? In order to successfully trust God and “let go” our burdens and concerns, we must first have a profound faith in Him and confidence in ourselves as His children. Then will He reveal Himself to us as discernment, guidance and direction.

Is there some issue you are facing at this time that is distressing in that you cannot choose which way to go? Lean not to your own understanding but acknowledge God's all-knowing power and He will direct your paths. Bring that issue to God in prayer and in quietness and confidence, ask for His direction and willingly place yourself and your affairs into God's directing hands. Be specific about what you should do concerning your challenges. God will not fail to answer and you should not fail to follow through with whatever He commands. Then let go that issue. Release it unto God.

Back to David. Despite some foolish choices he had made in his time, yet David lived in covenant relationship with God and the Scriptures tell us that “David was a man after God’s own heart” (1Sam. 13:14). His loyalty to God is a good example for each of us to follow.

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