I am facing some decisions in my life that could change my life and affect the lives of others. They are not just about what color shirt to wear or about what I’ll eat for breakfast! I am blessed to have a choice in those matters. But, there are larger choices that have a ripple effect in the world, which need to be made thoughtfully and, as a Christian, with an awareness of God’s will.
Aside from trusting Jesus as my Savior, the best decision I ever made was the pursuit of Bev with whom I enjoyed 41 years of life- partnership in our calling, raising children, and finding joy. I am glad she chose to say “yes” to that marriage proposal back in August, 1974! It was a choice that changed everything for me. Since her death 5 months ago, I have pondered the pathway ahead, praying often about the choices to be made about the future.
God has many messengers, if we are ready to listen. Yesterday, after I led a funeral service I was visiting with a friend. In our casual conversation, out of nowhere he remarked, “Pastor, what you do is so important. Your life touches so many other lives, making a real difference for them.” His words were encouraging and sobering, reminding me of the importance of seeking to know the will of God as I make choices about life.
Are you choosing wisely?
Are you actively desiring the will of God for your life?
James counsels thus: “Look here, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we are going to a certain town and will stay there a year. We will do business there and make a profit.” How do you know what your life will be like tomorrow? Your life is like the morning fog—it’s here a little while, then it’s gone. What you ought to say is, “If the Lord wants us to, we will live and do this or that.” Otherwise you are boasting about your own plans, and all such boasting is evil. Remember, it is sin to know what you ought to do and then not do it.” (James 4:13-17, NLT) The Spirit warns us of thinking that we are little gods in control of life. We are wise to acknowledge the uncertainty of life, humbling knowing our lives are secure only in Christ’s care. From that humility, we are taught to be constantly looking to the Spirit for guidance. And, when we know God’s will, we must do it! If we press ahead with what pleases Self, the Word bluntly says we sin.
Living under the guiding hand of the Lord is our privilege but we cannot assume that everything will just work out for the best as we stumble along. We need to be purposeful, wise, actively living in ways that please and honor the Lord. Consider this wisdom – “You know that under pressure, your faith-life is forced into the open and shows its true colors. So don’t try to get out of anything prematurely. Let it do its work so you become mature and well-developed, not deficient in any way. If you don’t know what you’re doing, pray to the Father. He loves to help. You’ll get his help, and won’t be condescended to when you ask for it.” (James 1:3-5, The Message) Those difficult situations in our lives can become an opportunity to know God and His will more fully. Like a student struggling with his lessons, wondering if he will ever just ‘get it,’ we find ourselves in times when we can do nothing but the basics, seeming to do that same thing, over and over again. Finally, the practice yields mastery of the concept. God says that when we keep on keeping on, even when we want to quit, a beautiful kind of character develops. Along the way, we are invited to ask God to reveal the way ahead. He will not be impatient with us. He won’t berate us for our dullness. Instead, He will help.
Remember this about the will of the Lord. The aim is not perfection but progress. If perfection is our goal, we will be fearful, most likely, near paralyzed, unable to move ahead. With a heart that loves Him and a mind that is fed by His Word and wisdom, we choose today and He will guide. Memorize this passage. It is a life principle. “Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take.” (Proverbs 3:5-6, NLT)
Actively listen for the Spirit’s inner voice!
Do what you know is right TODAY!
Learn and do the Word!
Find and accept the counsel of the wise!
Here is a word from the Word. Live confidently in the promise. “My choice is you, God, first and only. And now I find I’m your choice! You set me up with a house and yard. And then you made me your heir! The wise counsel God gives when I’m awake is confirmed by my sleeping heart. Day and night I’ll stick with God; I’ve got a good thing going and I’m not letting go.” (Psalm 16:5-8, The Message)
Jesus Led Me All The Way
Someday life’s journey will be o’er
And I shall reach that distant shore.
I’ll sing while ent’ring Heaven’s door-
Jesus led me all the way.
If God should let me there review
The winding paths of earth I knew,
It would be proven, clear and true,
Jesus led me all the way.
And hither to my Lord has led,
Today, He guides each step I tread,
And soon in Heav’n it will be said,
Jesus led me all the way.
Jesus led me all the way,
Led me, step by step, each day!
I will tell the saints and angels,
As I lay my burdens down,
“Jesus led me all the way!”
John W. Peterson
© 1954. Renewed 1982 John W. Peterson Music Company
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