Monday, October 20, 2014

Day 20 Transitions – Making Decisions and the Will of God

In the past I have struggled with making the wrong decision so I would become so paralyzed that I wouldn't make any decision at all.  From a logical standpoint we all know that this is just plain unproductive.  However, some of us have made this such a habit that we can’t seem to break away from it.

My husband, who is a Marine, has taught me something that has proven to be very useful when it comes to decision making.  Make a decision, right or wrong, just make a decision and move forward.  Obviously in battle Marines don’t have the luxury of standing around deciding if they should shoot a “target” or not.  Their years of training and experience has prepared them for this moment and they make a quick decision – shoot or not shoot.  There is no room for thinking about what to do or that it could cost them their life.  The good news for us is most of our decisions are not life or death so we can relax a little in this process.  This is also something we can learn and become proficient at.

Decision making is a huge aspect of transitions and even after making the decision to move forward in a transition it will be just one of many decisions you will have to make throughout the process.  Don’t get me wrong – some decisions do deserve more time; our patience; and prayer.  However, eventually you have to make a decision and move forward with it.  Even choosing to do nothing is a decision. 

Prayer is a huge part of my decision making process!  I pray for God’s will; I read and meditate on God’s Word; I seek wise counsel; and I wait to see how God reveals himself in my circumstances. 
So my struggle and my question is how do I know that I am really in God’s will when I am moving forward in a decision?  This is a question I ask myself a lot.  And, I am still learning how to “exercise my decision making muscles”.  Please know, before you read any further, that I am by no means a spiritual expert nor am I an expert on all the things of God.  I am just a woman who has experienced many opportunities where I have made decisions and grown from them – good or bad.   I say this because there are scriptures in the Bible, talking about God’s will, that I believe answers this question.

I was asking for prayer sometime in the past 6 months, on a Facebook post, and a dear, sweet friend, sent me a private message about praying for God’s will in regards to making decisions – specifically the right retirement home for us to purchase.  I am sharing her message to me, along with a link to watch a webinar, taught by Malcolm Smith, on this very subject.  Malcolm’s webinar is in two parts, due to equipment issues, and it is over an hour long.  However, I think it is worth it and I think it’s important to watch in reference to what my friend says in her message!

Message from my friend:

Dear friend, I want to encourage you concerning God's will, and this house hunting business.  The New Testament says nothing about 'finding' God's will.  Instead it reveals how His will is to present the Gospel to those from every nation, to renew His children's minds so that they bear fruit and to instill in them boldness to talk openly with Him. In short, His will is Jesus expressed in and through us.  To be in Christ and to grow in maturity.

It isn't like we are on a highway and we need to find the right exit or we've missed it.  The evangelical community spends so much energy searching for God's will, when He's living in them, and if we'd just realize that and live in contentment about that, we could have more peace. But everyone is always searching and second guessing.  I wanted to say that I don't think God cares what house you pick, as long as you love your neighbor when you live in that house.  He desires good things for you, so if you find a house you love, YAY!  Praise God, but don't stress yourself out trying to figure out if it's THIS one or THAT one.  "Oh, no, what if we pick the wrong one?"  or, if you get in it and then something isn't quite right you start thinking maybe you were supposed to have picked the other one and you missed the signs.  You'll drive yourself crazy with that line of thinking.  Most of us have driven ourselves crazy trying to figure out the 'will of God' when Jesus is the will of God and we live and move and have our being through Him and His life in us!.  I hope that makes sense?! 
So, relax, pick the house you love and fits your criteria, and then REST in knowing that God will use you in that house, or any other house.  You will be, as you have been, in His loving care and 'will'.
I love you and I am so excited that you have some real options for house hunting when you get there!  God provides for those birds every day, and you are more valuable to Him than they are! 
I am back with some scripture to back myself up!!  I want to keep things on track where they belong and not just me running away with my mouth!!  The Greek word for Will, when it's used in these verses, is eudokia which is translated for 'good pleasure' and 'a gracious purpose, a good objective'.

What is the gracious desire of the Lord? 

Ephesians 1:5-6 (AMP) He planned in love for us to be adopted, revealed, as His own children through Jesus Christ with the purpose of His will [because it pleased Him and was His kind intention].

In Hebrews 10:10 Jesus is talking about how he came to do God's will, which is the Gospel [verse 5 establishes that it's Jesus talking] so in verse 10 according to His will we have been made holy through the offering made once for all of the body of Christ. 

When the 'will of God' is talked about it's always like that - Jesus was the will of God so that His good pleasure and kind intention could be realized; that we'd be in Him and Him in us, which is fellowship.  It never talks about will as something we have to find and do.  Other than living out of the Life we've been given.  Ephesians 5:17 says, "Therefore, don't be vague and thoughtless and foolish but understanding and firmly grasping what the will of the Lord is."

Since it says therefore, you have to read the verses that come before, and it's all about how Christ came for us and redeemed us—God’s will!  He says, “Awake O sleeper! Arise from the dead and Christ shall shine upon you and give you light...  "

He is our light that shines - that's the will of God.  I hope that encourages you!

Malcolm Smith has a teaching on this very topic of God’s will.  Here is the link to webinar 3 Part 1 of this two-part series.  He has technical difficulties in the first part so that is why it's in 2 parts!  When it stops, you go to the second one!!

I am interested in being shown the verses that say we do need to be searching for the will of God.  And if it's something we are never quite sure of how do we know if we found it or are in it?  That's the burning question. I have always been confused with the 'perfect will of God" and the "permissible will of God" and where that all comes from. Those terms are never used in the bible.

The bottom line is about how loved we are and how much confidence knowing that can give us as we walk with Him each day.  We can learn to quit second guessing everything and just trust.  This is true peace!  I’d love to hear what you think after watching Malcolm’s webinar.

I’d love to hear what you think about these scriptures that 
were referenced and what you think of Malcolm’s webinar.   


Shelley DuPont said...

If this doesn't resonate with the post I just wrote! My husband retired from the Air Force in 1995, a lifetime ago. We are getting ready for final retirement. My desire is that we are in God's will, too. Decisions aren't always easy when it comes to this. I always remind myself that God leads his sheep to a pasture, but doesn't tell them which blades of grass to eat. I know you'll be directed accordingly.

Mary@The Encouraging Home said...

Love this encouragement! It is so easy to get discouraged but we need to remember Who we serve!

amanda huffman said...

My husband and I just moved because of the military and I was stressing out on if we choose the right house, church...Through a series of events God gave me peace that we were in the right place. God is so good.

Katha said...

This is true for every kind of decision. Sometimes we just have to move towards a door in order to see if it's open or not...
Thanks for sharing!